Personal Branding & Networking

 

Every January, millions of people lay out goals and resolutions for the new year. But by February or March, they’ve almost always forgotten them. Resolutions to lose 10 pounds or call your parents more often are good ones, but I wonder if they are so easily breakable because of how rooted they are in routine. If you are unhappy with your day-to-day routine, sometimes you need to make a much bigger change to shake things up.

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Almost every time I speak to a new client about why they want to move into an impact-driven career, they say, “I want to make a difference.” Sound familiar? As you think about your 2017 resolutions, why not set a goal to finally make that difference: to find a job that will empower you to do the work you really want to do and make an impact.

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More than 50 percent of jobs are landed due to personal connections or referrals, so it is crucial to leverage your network of contacts for your professional development. Even though many people find networking to be intimidating, you don’t have to worry. Reaching out to your network doesn’t have to be scary and salesy. Think of it as a mutual friendship where you are simply reconnecting or offering something in exchange for a favor. You have to give a little to get a little.

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A week before our tumultuous Presidential election, I sat down for breakfast in a packed ballroom at the BSR 2016 BE BOLD conference in New York City. And though I don’t normally eat my breakfast surrounded by hundreds of other people, it was clear that I was surrounded by like-minded souls. Addressing a room filled by individuals focused on exploring new ways to use business and leadership to create a more sustainable world.  Lindsay Levin, founder of Leaders Quest, left the audience with a piece of advice that clearly resonated with everyone the room, “If we want to be transformational,” she said, “we have to ready to transform ourselves.  This is something that is at the core of the important work I do with change leaders, and influenced much of our thinking throughout the rest of the conference.

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By Laura Baker

If you had told me two years ago that I was going to hire a “career coach” I would have laughed at you.  I consider myself a strong, determined and fiercely independent woman, so life coaches fall into the category of things that I don’t need.  If I can do something for myself, then I will, period.

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As this great article on Forbes points out, ‘your actions + what others say about you = your reputation’. It’s a formula that I tell all my jobseeker clients to write on a sticky note and pin to their desktop. Why? Because your reputation is your currency and it has a major impact on your employability – especially in the social media era.

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