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Career Corner: 5 Action Steps to Communicate Your Transferable Skills

We’ve all heard the age-old saying, “No time like the present.” Given the uncertain times, these words are feeling more relevant as days go by. Industries are changing daily, and organizations have to shift gears on a moment’s notice, causing many people to self-reflect on their work and personal situations. Whether you’re ready to take the plunge into a new career or industry, or still considering the switch, knowing which direction you want to head and how to communicate your transferable skills is pertinent. But no need to fret. We’ve got you covered.

You may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?” Or, you may have already conducted countless hours learning about your desired new industry and/or role, and you’re ready to make the jump. No matter where you are in the journey, communicating your transferable skills and share your personal brand presence will set you apart from other candidates, even those currently within the field.  Here are five action items to get you to your dream job and feel confident about your decision to change careers.

Action Item No. 1: Pre-work and Research

The hardest part about changing careers is deciding which direction you want to head. It’s important to take time to self-reflect and learn about the industry and the role you truly want. Think everything through thoroughly. Are you feeling stuck because your role has been affected by Covid-19? If this is a short term fix due to our current environment, that is understandable. However, these steps are for someone who has the clarity and conviction to make a change – and now needs that extra support to cross the bridge from one industry to another.

Here are some questions to ensure you are 100% committed to making this leap!

  • What is most and least fulfilling about your current role? How does your new role interest fill the gaps in your current/previous role?
  • Are there factors in your current industry that are affecting you to pivot now? Is this a long-term or short-term pivot?
  • Does this new role/industry fulfill your passions?
  • How long can you endure this roller coaster ride as you make the transition, both financially and mentally?

A bit of due diligence and pre-work on the front end will give you a competitive advantage as you communicate your motives and worth. Need help with some of the questions above? Here are some recommended resources:

Hire a Coach

Many organizations offer in-house career counseling services to assist with succession planning. Nicole Wagner’s role focuses on in-house career counseling to students entering and starting with Compass Group. If your organization does not, please reach out directly to Rebecca Ahmed as a follow up to this article, or research the plethora of certified coaches through the International Coaching Federation.


Platforms like LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Recruiting Daily, and ERE are common sites to check out for advice on organizations, job expectations, culture, interview processes, and compensation. Hear from experts directly through their blogs and reach out to those experts for additional insights and opinions.


Looking for a book to tackle this head-on? Richard N. Bolles is a trailblazer when it comes to the job search front. His book, “What Color Is Your Parachute?” is a tried and true method for anyone looking for direction and pinpointing career paths based on interests. His Flower Exercise will send you on a self-discovery of knowing who you are so you can explore the best path for your next career move.

Action Item No. 2: Identify and Communicate Your Transferable Skills

Your professional success shines through in the stories you share about your past experiences and roles. Here are some questions to help create three elevator pitches that highlight your accomplishments and achievements.

  • What is/was your last role?
  • What problem existed in this role?
  • Exactly what tools did you leverage to address this problem?
  • What solution did you provide to address this problem?
  • How did your solution benefit the organization?

Once you have thought through and answered the above questions, step two is taking these solution-oriented approaches and relating them to your new desired role. Check out our case studies below to see exactly how we did this step by step.

Action Item No. 3: Integrate your transferable skills

Now that you’ve identified your transferable skills, next on the agenda is articulating your career journey and past experiences into your branding. Your resume and LinkedIn profile are the first impressions you are making to potential employers. Think of them as digital advertisements showcasing your talents, accomplishments, and the overall badass you are!  Below are a couple of ingredients to help you integrate your story and stand out in the digital world.


On average, recruiters spend less than 10 seconds skimming resumes for keywords. Ten seconds, that’s it! So how do you convey your awesomeness on one single page? Skills-based resumes are the perfect format to highlight your expertise and transferable skills clearly and concisely.

  • Ditch the objective. These one-liners tend to be generic and fail to demonstrate your true talents and abilities.
  • Showcase your value and skills at the top of your resume in a “summary of qualifications” or “core competencies” section. Leverage sites such as TopResume to assist with verbiage to beat the bots!
  • Under your work history, list out three to five accomplishments for each role. We recommend using The Ladders formula for effective and concise communication – success verbs and data points to emphasize each role’s accomplishments.
  • Make sure your resume is targeted to the role and company. You will want to update it for every job you apply to, ensuring you speak to each role’s desired experience and company culture.


Tapping into your LinkedIn community and utilizing all facets of this platform will give you a competitive edge. In addition to showcasing your experience, LinkedIn is a great platform for you to share your passions, connect with various networks, search for jobs, and build your brand!

If you’re new or in need of a refresher, we highly recommend checking out this article on how to leverage your LinkedIn profile. Looking to go more in-depth with their Sales Navigator platform? Check out recommendations from Samantha McKenna.

Action Item No. 4: Leverage Your Resources

You’ve completed your research and determined your next move. You’ve built a resume and designed your LinkedIn profile. Now it’s time to get out there and ensure everyone knows your desired next steps. Have your network work for you. You are only one person, but your network can reach thousands!

How can you ensure your network is working for you? Here are some quick steps to get the ball rolling:

  • Let recruiters know you are actively seeking an opportunity and ensure they know what the opportunity is. There are settings in each social media platform to turn on and ensure you show up in Boolean searches.
  • Leverage your alma mater connections. Even if you don’t know someone from your school, send a private note to connect with them. People naturally want to assist others from their communities, even if they don’t personally know you.
  • Hit the town or hit up zoom! Sign up for networking events that attract leaders in your career field of interest. Attend galas, association events, virtual coffees, wine tastings, etc. Have fun connecting with people in a variety of communities that all align with your desired role. All it takes is one personal interaction that can lead you to your dream job interview! 

Action Item No. 5: Nail the Interview

You leveraged your connections, made it through the bots then landed an interview. This is your time to shine and highlight how you bring value to the new organization.

Most often, companies use behavior-based interview guides to assess how candidates handle certain situations. As you can imagine, these guides ultimately tell them if the candidate is a good fit and also a match for the role. These questions tend to have multiple parts and can be confusing if you’re not familiar with the format. The STAR Interview Method is a fool-proof way to answer and nail these questions every time. Think of it as giving a personal example in a story format.

  • Situation: Briefly set the scene by providing a few short concrete details of your example and how it relates to the question.
  • Task: What was your role in the situation? Be concise and clear.
  • Action: Explain the steps you took to overcome the challenge. How did you bring value to the situation?
  • Results: What was the outcome, and how did your achievements lead to the result?

You’ve now read through our five actions to communicate your transferable skills effectively. No matter where you are in the career change journey, these steps will empower you to communicate your value and worth!


Editor’s Note:

This post was co-authored by Rebecca Ahmed, an upcoming TEDx speaker, a certified Energy Leadership Coach with the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and a published writer. She has taken her expertise and launched her own business, Laugh Thru Life, where she brings energy and joy to the workplace.

Rebecca AhmedRebecca is a recognized expert in talent acquisition, culture, and diversity and inclusion. During her 10+ years as a leader in Human Resources (HR) in Hospitality, she is most notably recognized for partnering with C-Suite Executives through a 2.8B M&A, overseeing Talent Acquisition, HR Operations, and Technology for up to 16,000+ team members. Rebecca has a bachelor’s in public relations with a double minor in communication design and business from the University of Southern California, and a master’s in hotel administration from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

#WorkTrends: Taking a Scary Career Leap … Into Cannabis

This week on #WorkTrends, to celebrate Halloween, we’re exploring one of the scariest things you can undertake: Making a career move or exploring a brand-new industry.

We talk to Stormy Simon, former president of online shopping site, about her nerve-wracking career leaps and her new passion: the increasingly mainstream cannabis industry. We also hear from Keegan Peterson, whose platform Wurk is adding function to the cannabis industry.

Listen to the full conversation or read the recap below. Subscribe so you never miss an episode.

Making the Leap

Simon took an unconventional path to the upper levels of the technology industry, rising from a 2001 temp position at then-startup Overstock to become vice president of branding three years later, and president in 2014. Overstock expanded dramatically during her time at the company, growing from $18 million in revenue the year she started to $1.9 billion by the time she left.

“The best part about arriving at Overstock in the beginning of an emerging industry was the ability to take a chance,” she says. “There we were, sitting in offices, creating a new way to shop, changing the habits of consumers. In 2001 … I had never placed an online order. People in the office hadn’t really ever done it. We were creating habits that no one had done. That gave us the ability to take a chance because you were first, which also turned out to be a lot of fun.”

Two years into her tenure as company president, Simon decided to leave Overstock to advocate for the legalization of marijuana, with a heavy emphasis on the medical and scientific benefits of the plant. “That was a big deal and it took a long time,” she says of her decision to leave Overstock. “It was one of those multi-year struggling-back-and-forth decisions. It wasn’t something I took lightly.”

Today she serves on the Advisory Board for CannaKids, a California-based brand with a focus on supplying high-quality medical cannabis products to patients of all ages, and she consults for other companies in the industry.

Evolving Industry

Simon says one of the biggest challenges in her transition has been the rapid change within the cannabis industry, particularly when it comes to regulation and taxation.

These types of companies “aren’t treated within their state as an equal business to any other business,” she says. “If you have a grocer that only sells lettuce, they are going to pay less taxes than someone that only sells cannabis. Where do you put your money? There are no banking options or you’re paying outrageously for banking options. Now banks are starting to come up with solutions, but two years ago, it was archaic.

She says that in California, where she resides, the legalization of cannabis that began Jan. 1 has led to more stringent regulation of the industry, which had previously been concentrated in medical marijuana dispensaries. “They were supposed to be medical,” she says. “The lines got pretty blurred and no one was really in control of what was happening here. Well, legalization changes all of that.”

Simon says she expects the rest of the country, and eventually the federal government, to follow in the footsteps of Colorado and California and ease regulations surrounding cannabis. “I think ultimately the federal government is going to approve this plant as a medicine,” she says. “And this is a tricky, controversial thing to say, but I hope that states are brave enough to go recreational before that happens. The reason I say that is there are all sorts of benefits happening in states that are legal, both medicinally and recreationally.”

Learning More

Simon says she loves being an advocate for legalization and that she has her hand in “about five different cookie jars,” including educating people on the medicinal benefits of cannabis.

“I have really enjoyed going around the country, meeting people and starting the conversations that can potentially change their mind or spark their interest enough to get their self-directed education,” she says.

She encourages people who want to learn more about the industry, as well as the ongoing debate over legalization and medicinal benefits, to start with the Marijuana Policy Project, which maintains a library of what states are doing on cannabis policy.

“I encourage the listeners to just start reading,” she says. “This is a big deal in our lifetime. History books will be written and, whether we simply read about it or we jump in, we’re all a part of it. It’s part of our future.”

Resources Mentioned in This Episode

Let’s continue the conversation. Join us on Twitter (#WorkTrends) for our weekly chat on Wednesdays at 1:30 p.m. Eastern, 10:30 a.m. Pacific, or anywhere in the world you are joining from to discuss this topic and more.

What to Do When People Don’t Support Your Next Career Move

You’ve weighed the pros and cons and carefully assessed the impact. After in-depth consideration, you’ve decided to accept that new job, or launch your own business, or take time off to be with your children. You know it’s the right choice — but your boss, friends, and colleagues aren’t convinced. What should you do when people you respect disagree with your decisions?

Consider their motivations. This is the time to get clarity about who has your best interests at heart, and who’s a frenemy with their own agenda. One college student who wrote to me for advice was planning to drop out at the end of the semester to start his own social media business, but he was getting blowback from his peers. Most of them surely thought they were being helpful — “devil’s advocates” who were helping to steer their friend away from certain doom. But his decision likely raised uncomfortable questions for them about their future prospects and the value of their pricey education. Similarly, you should take your colleagues’ advice with a grain of salt, especially if it reflects on them and their choices in some way. Your decision to take a sabbatical in order to finish your book, for instance, could trigger your friends’ repressed literary ambitions in unexpected ways.

Understand their concerns. The truth is, your colleagues are right to be skeptical. Most new businesses do fail, and many women who take time off work to raise children have a hard time returning to the career track. You may be an exception to the rule, but your friends are right to express some concern. In order to turn them into allies, you have to assure them that you’re taking them seriously by listening carefully to their concerns rather than making glib assumptions. Think about your conversations with dubious colleagues as a savvy variant of the pre-mortem — i.e., an exercise that evaluates everything that could go wrong in the future.

Hedge against the downside.Understanding the potential risks enables you to do a much better job hedging against them. If you’re planning to launch a startup, for instance, your colleagues might have highlighted concerns about your finance skills. In that case, taking a financial management class before you leave your day job, or recruiting a top-quality CFO, would simultaneously assuage their fears and make your startup more likely to succeed.

You can also establish trip wires to ensure you don’t take too many needless risks. If you’re an “all-in” type of person, for instance, your allies might fear you’ll wreck your family’s savings by pouring it all into a floundering venture. Instead, you could set a rule in advance — written down and made known to board members, your spouse, and senior staffers — that you’ll only continue to commit your personal resources if the company achieves certain growth milestones. Otherwise, you’ll need to rely on outside investors (who may be hard to find if the numbers aren’t good) or shut down the venture. Having clear metrics to track progress enables you, and your critical colleagues, to gauge how you’re doing.

Emphasize that you have to try. When it comes to your career, the decisions — and the regrets — are ultimately yours. Others may feel concern for you, but you’re the one who has to live with the consequences.  When a palliative nurse wrote a book several years ago about the top regrets of the dying, at the top of the list was the failure to live life on your own terms (as opposed to fulfilling others’ wishes for you). If you’ve carefully considered the options and are ready to try something new, it’s worth listening to others’ questions, perspectives, and doubts. But before you allow them to sway you, consider whether you’d ultimately regret not trying — even if the decision proves unsuccessful.

It’d be ideal if everyone in your life supported all your decisions, but that’s unlikely to happen. Yet you’re far more likely to face occasional resistance from those who genuinely believe they have your best interests at heart. By taking the time to understand their motivations and concerns, showing them exactly how you’re mitigating risks, and making it clear how important this decision is to you, you’re likely to gain at least their respect — if not their support, too.

A version of this was first posted on

Photo Credit: berkankasap728 Flickr via Compfight cc

5 Ugly Myths About Changing Career in 30s

You are in your 30s, they say.

You should already know what you want from this life and your career, they say.

Oh, really?

According to the research by Vodafone, people of 31-35 years old are the most unhappy at work. They feel undervalued, unfulfilled, demotivated, and they experience a mid-career blues, thinking of career change more often than others but still worrying if it’s worth making a swap here and now when you are not so young and promising as those graduates, full of energy and ready to do everything a boss tells.

All those stories about 35-year-old Mary who gives up a lawyer career for becoming a gardener… Or, a story of 33-year-old John who dreams of writing a book and quits his office job of a successful manager to join the team of professional essay writers

You read them, you listen to them, and you believe you can do the same. But all those ugly myths about changing career in your 30s keep you on the alert and prevent you from taking the first step toward your better and happier future.

What are they?

And the more important question:

Shall we believe these myths and take them into consideration while thinking of changing career in our mid-life?

Myth #1: You are too old for changing career

Who said that?

Didn’t you read all those articles about people who became millionaires after 40 or guys who proved it was never too late for a career change?

Let’s take Julia Child, a famous chef who wasn’t cooking meals until age 36. She worked as a CIA spy! Or, Barack Obama who published the book at age 43, having earned millions though he couldn’t keep body and soul together before.

Henry Ford was 45 when he created the Model T car.

Rodney Dangerfield started his career of a comedian when he was 45!

Milkshake device salesman Ray Kroc has built the world’s biggest fast food franchise when he was 52. We all know it as McDonald’s today.

Any more examples needed?

Myth #2: Changing career, you’ll have no way back

It could be true if we lived 20-30 years ago. Someone still believes that once you’ve chosen a career path, it will be your path forever.

However, times change. And the job market changes, too. It’s built for a career change: recent studies suggest it’s okay to change career, as it gives you freedom, allows you to experiment, and lets you try different options to choose what your heart desires.

Though it’s not good for your resume to have multiple and frequently changing job places, no one says you should sit at the same place for the whole life. It will definitely not make you happier and more professional.

Myth #3: You know your perfect job before you get it

Some of us believe they know what is good and what would fit us by 30. We have a picture of our perfect career in head, and we don’t see any point to trying anything else if this “else” doesn’t meet our expectations.

The truth is, you never know what is perfect for you until you try it. Experimenting, you will be able to find your perfect job.

Any examples needed?

The Magliozzi brothers, hosts of Car Talk radio show, would hardly call this job a career of their dream when they graduated from MIT and planned to work by profession. However, they both are satisfied and happy now, considering themselves at their own place.

Myth #4: Career change is for those knowing what to do with life

Assuming that a 35-year-old person should know what he or she wants from life and how to achieve that, it becomes impossible to venture upon a new step if you are not that kind of a person.

If you are in a mid-life crisis, if you have no idea what you want to do for life, if you believe you should change something, and if you are not satisfied with your present, there is one thing for you to remember:

You are not alone.


Just go to Quora, and you’ll find a lot of questions from people experiencing the same doubts:

  • “I am 35 years old and still have no idea what I want to do with my career, what to do?”
  • “I am a 35-year-old entrepreneur looking to pivot my career. What are some ideas for a new career?”
  • “I am a 41 year old professional. I want a change of career but am afraid of uncertainties. How should I go about it?”
  • “I am a 35-year-old woman. Am I too old to start a career in the film industry?”

The answers they get speak volumes:

  • “I’m in your predicament…I’m 34 and went from education to environmental compliance, which I hated, back to education and am currently looking for work.”
  • “I’m creative too and went into advertising. Then journalism. Then publishing. Spent 10years in the media, thinking that’s that a creative person should do. I’m 35 now and studying for a new career and never happier.”

After all, you’ll never know what to do with your life until you start doing something with it.

Myth #5: It’s miserable and embarrassing to start a career in 35+

All doubts and problems appear if you can’t forgive yourself the fact you are in your 30s already but still don’t know what you want from your career.

Accept the fact you are constantly changing: those dreams from your 20s seem strange and not so exciting in your 30s; the jobs you found interesting at age 19 seem awful and boring when you are 35; your abilities and interests change, too. That’s normal, and no one will blame you for starting a new career at your mid-life.

After all, it’s your life. And no career myth or other people’s thoughts shouldn’t disturb you from living it to the max.

Are you in your 30s? Have you thought of changing career now? What does prevent you from doing that?

Let’s share thoughts in comments!


7 Ways Candidates Blow A Phone Interview

I’m consistently amazed by how unaware the average job seeker is of how to establish a positive first impression on a phone interview. I hear the same frustrated complaints from employers of all industries and sizes – that candidates who voluntarily submitted their resumes in hopes of discussing a position they’re supposedly interested in just can’t seem to get it together. Remember when all you needed was a solid resume to be guaranteed a face-to-face interview? For the sake of saving time, resources, and money, recruiters have become much more selective on who they decide to meet in person. In an effort to weed out time-wasters and soft-skill-deficient candidates, recruiters are conducting phone screens to find out who’s off their game.

1. They’re unprepared to take the call.
If you’re 4 beers deep at a Yankees game or trying to wrestle a dirty diaper off a screaming baby, you probably shouldn’t answer a call you don’t recognize. Yet, most of the candidates my recruiting team speaks with are under the impression that it’s better to answer a call you’re not completely prepared for than to miss the call altogether. It’s not. If you find yourself in a situation that isn’t suitable for a professional conversation, don’t pick up. Instead, call back within 24 hours, after you’ve collected your thoughts, can speak confidently, and have locked down a quiet location.

Not to mention, they start timing you from the second they leave a voicemail, which brings me to my next point. If you’re actively looking, you should have a professional voicemail with specific instructions to avoid an unwanted game of phone tag. For example, “Hi, you’ve reached Mark Smith. If you’re calling in regards to my resume, please leave your name and number as well as the best times for me to reach you.”

2. They expect the recruiter to fill in the blanks.
“Hi, what job did I apply for again? What company are you calling on behalf of?” It pains me to admit this, but these responses are the norm when an employer reaches out to a candidate, even for high-level positions. You’re a job seeker, which means you probably apply to several jobs each week. We understand that it’s tough to keep track, but it’s essential – if only for the sake of a recruiter’s sanity – that you start taking notes. Just by picking up the phone and saying, “Hi Wendy, you must be calling in regards to the Customer Service position I applied for last week.” Mind blown.

3. They conduct an unorganized job search.
This goes hand in hand with my last point. Today, it’s not enough to print out a handful of resumes and call it a day. We always recommend that our candidates keep a spreadsheet of every job application they submitted with corresponding dates, company names, and relevant contacts. Or, if you’re a tech wiz, try these awesome job search apps. That way, when the phone rings, you’ll have a handy guide that’ll save you from playing guessing games. Also, it’s important to keep your background information and portfolios within arms reach to provide some quick material for preliminary questions. It says a great deal about your personal brand if you’re prepared to answer a challenging question, and even have some on-hand stats to back up your argument. And for bonus points, don’t forget to browse company websites and connect with HR personnel on LinkedIn. Taking that extra step makes a huge impression.

4. They don’t understand why recruiters really call.
More often than not, recruiters aren’t calling to simply schedule a personal interview; they’re calling to conduct a prescreen. In other words, to decide whether they want to move you forward. Remember all that research you were supposed to do when you applied for the gig? Use it to show recruiters you know something about how their company culture works and that you’re serious about the job.

5. They have a bad “radio personality.”
Phones are tough – all you have to make an impression is your voice. Candidates, especially introverts, often fail to heighten their energy over the phone. Nobody’s expecting you to sound like Ron Burgundy, but you should at the very least sound excited, confident, and prepared. Excessive “umms,” stammering, or sounding like you’re dead inside are huge turnoffs to recruiters. The only way to overcome this obstacle is through practice. Record yourself on any device you have handy, and ask yourself this difficult question: “Would you hire you?” Getting your career narrative down in a way that engages and connects with an employer is essential to winning that face-to-face meeting.

6. They have a weak or unprofessional online presence.
Chances are, if recruiters are interested in what you have to say, they’ll be googling you before then end of your conversation. A half-complete LinkedIn profile or a racy Facebook picture is all it takes to eliminate you from the game. Just last week, one of my recruiters found a candidate with a stellar background and scheduled her for an interview right away. But just minutes before their call, she discovered an R-rated photo online that involved a stripper pole. Needless to say, the recruiter’s mind was made up before the conversation started.

7. They fail to treat a phone interview with the same decorum as they would a personal one.
Just because you didn’t put on a suit or block out time in your day doesn’t mean it counts any less towards your chances of securing the job. Request follow up procedures, send personalized thank you notes, and be sure to highlight any takeaways to reinforce your sincerity. Take it from me, the small things really do matter.

photo credit: Phone Talkin via photopin (license)

Preparing For A Career Pivot

In my practice as a career coach, I often work with professionals who want to pivot from one field to another because their current career one no longer provides fulfillment. I’ve read plenty of good advice about preparing for a career pivot, but perhaps in an effort to present only the positive, none of the articles I’ve read provide the unvarnished truths about what you may confront.

Let’s examine the real obstacles you may face, and then I’ll offer practical tips on how to overcome them.

You’ve done your research; you understand the field; you’ve taken the relevant courses needed to successfully transition into your chosen next career. You’re ready to begin the job search, armed with a new functional resume that discusses your competencies and skills rather than the trajectory of your prior employment. How are the recruiters and hiring managers going to respond to your candidacy?

Realistic Strategies

Spoiler alert: the answers aren’t pretty, but when you understand what you may be up against, you’ll be better prepared with realistic strategies.

I surveyed recruiters and HR managers because they are typically the first people who view your resume, asking two questions:

• A mid-career professional takes all the relevant courses in order to change fields. Will they get hired, even though their “experience” in the new field is academic, not actual?
• What is the likelihood of a mid-career professional getting hired in a more junior role in order to make a career shift?

In response to the first question, two recruiters replied with an unqualified “no,” with one saying that his employment agency would never be able to place such a candidate, and the other, a HR manager, noting that “once you are pigeon-holed in a particular field, it is nearly impossible to break out.”

Others were more optimistic, provided that the candidate met other criteria, such as having significant transferable skills. One hiring manager said she would consider career pivoters,” but that they would face serious competition from candidates with actual experience.

Another recruiter said it would be “tricky,” but the degree to which the candidate’s previous experience is relevant to the new employer would be a significant factor; she added, “I wouldn’t bank on it unless it’s a sector where the new skills are in high demand.” An IT recruiter suggested that candidates whose prior experience has afforded them knowledge within a specific domain could potentially move into that field, but said the real question is, “where is the value-add for their potential future employer?”

As for the probability of mid-career professionals being hired in more junior roles in order to gain experience in their new careers, two recruiters ranked the possibility as “very likely,” or “high,” if the abovementioned criteria were met. Others were less optimistic, pointing out that most mid-careerists would have trouble taking a compensation hit.

Overcoming Objections From Recruiters

None of this sounds encouraging, but there are strategies for overcoming objections from recruiters and employers if you want to change careers.


You’ve heard that networking is critical to a job hunt, and no more so than when you search involves a career pivot. Leverage your social network contacts to develop relationships to help you get ahead.

Stay Put

The biggest problem career pivoters face is being an unknown quantity in a new field. Changing careers if often easier if you stay within your current company where you have earned a reputation as being smart and hard-working. Transitioning to a different department allows you to gain experience, often without taking a compensation hit.

Go Solo

While some people thrive as employees, or just need the security of a steady paycheck, there are considerable benefits to marketing your talents directly to employers on a freelance or contractor basis.

Prove your Value

Want to demonstrate your skills within your next career? Create something of value – pro bono – and offer it to your target employer. If you know how to do something – just do it (sorry, Nike). Perfect example of “show, don’t tell,” and if nothing else, builds a portfolio of work that demonstrates your expertise.


Image: bigstockphoto

Is There An “Encore” In Your Career’s Future?

I live in New York City in Midtown Manhattan, within easy walking distance of world-class performing arts venues Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center. Encores are highly prized and sought after in my neighborhood. When it comes to your career, or the recruiting you and your firm are doing, is there an encore in your future?

I’m not referring to curtain calls, grateful bows or curtsies, or a bouquet of roses. Who wouldn’t love any of those? I’m talking about encore careers. The Wikipedia definition is “work in the second half of life that combines continued income, greater personal meaning, and social impact. These jobs are paid positions, often in public interest fields, such as education, the environment, health, the government sector, social services, and other nonprofits.”, a non-profit organization focused on this movement describes it more succinctly as “second acts for the greater good.”

I am a walking commercial for encore careers because I’m in one and loving it. You could have one too. Your employer could also benefit greatly from accessing the talent pool of mature, mid- and late-career people who are looking for an encore, or the next phase of their working lives. According to Money magazine in The Suddenly Hot Job Market for Workers Over 50, many organizations are discovering and focusing on this population.

Here’s my story.

I spent 30 years working for two large for-profit firms, P&G and IBM. For several years, my plans have been to join an organization with a mission focused on making the world, or at least a small corner of it, a better place. I wanted to more fully live my life in service to others, with a focus on education, social justice, equality or other issues that matter to me — as a servant leader, utilizing social to engage and connect people, both passions of mine.

I was ready to make a move and start my encore career.

I considered a handful of very interesting positions, in HR and not, all found through my personal network or my Twitter feed (really).  My decision was to accept a newly created position in Alumni and Development at my alma mater doing fundraising work.

My new role is Director, Foundation Relations and Regional Advancement Officer at Transylvania University, a private, nationally-ranked liberal arts college in downtown Lexington, Kentucky.

Yes, I can hear you snickering. Transylvania is Latin for “across the forest.” The college was founded in 1780 by Thomas Jefferson when he was Governor of Virginia (and Kentucky was not yet a separate state). Later President, Gov. Jefferson recommended Transylvania over Harvard back in the day, and it remains a fine institution. I continue to live in New York City, working with foundations, alumni, parents and friends in this northeast and around the country to support the liberal arts, Transylvania, making the world a better place one student and one graduating class at a time.

Is there an encore career in your, or your organization’s future? Here are a few ways to learn more, and take action.

  1. Follow encore career-related Twitter feeds, including @NextAvenue @EncoreOrg @nonprofitorgs @Idealist @IdealistCareers @cgcareers and @DRGSearch
  2. Purchase and read The Encore Career Handbook, by Marci Albohor
  3. In your recruiting, target and seriously consider mid- and late-career professionals for open positions. Help them find an encore and contribute their years of talent and experience to your organization’s success.

I plan to share more with you in this blog from time to time, on HR, work culture, social business, travel, encore careers, and connections between people and cultures. Please share my post, and let me know what you’d like to hear from me in the future. I’ll see you on #TChat!

The Only Person You Need to Trust

You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.  This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” — Steve Jobs

Think about what happened to Steve Jobs after a very public firing from Apple Computer. Instead of wallowing in despair and disappearing from the public eye, he went on to create several businesses, including Pixar and NeXT. He produced innovative products and eventually was rehired at Apple, where he revolutionized technology with the development of iTunes, the iPod, iPad, and the improvement of the Apple line of computers.

JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series was fired from her job as a secretary because she was taking too much time off to write her books.  Her former boss was quoted as saying, “We made the right decision to sack her, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see her come crawling back here for her old job once this Harry Potter thing blows over.” JK Rowling trusted her instinct to pursue something that she loved; even though it cost her a job, she went for it anyway. Do you think she changed her life, just a little?

When I lost my job in October of 2010, I had a choice: I could pound the pavement, searching for a new sales job or I could pursue dreams that were on my goal list in May of 1989 — to become a professional speaker and published author. Even though it was very scary, I decided to trust my gut and go for it. Though the road was difficult and the challenges many, that single decision has profoundly impacted every area of my life for the good.

If you got caught up in the economic downturn and are currently on the job market, are you searching to do the “same old, same old” thing, or is it time to trust your gut and try something else? If the doors you are trying to enter keep closing on you, and you’re not having success, you may want to step back and reconsider if you are on the right path to begin with. This may end up being the ideal time to “kick it up a notch” and make a dramatic change.

Ramon Greenwood shares in his article that 80% of CEOs use their intuition in decision-making. Albert Einstein and Dr. Jonas Salk were also fans of going with your gut. It may be time for you to take a much needed leap of faith.

What would you like to do but “can’t?” What excuses are you using? What’s holding you back? Take a moment, right now, and imagine what life would be like if you achieved your dreams. What would it look like? How would it feel? Who would you share it with? Where would you live? Experience the emotion of your success. Do you believe it can happen now? If not, do you believe that I believe in you?

Trust my belief in you and take a baby step toward your dream. Every step gets easier and before you know it, you’re there. Congratulations!

If you’re still making excuses for all the reasons you can’t move forward, I only have two words for you – STOP IT!!!

About the Author: Employee engagement expert and motivational speaker Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. For more information, please connect with Lisa at her website,, or email her at

photo credit: shinealight via photopin cc

Risking Failure, Winning Big With Career Change

“Nobody succeeds in a big way, except by risking failure.”  William Feather

At a recent meeting of the National Speakers Association, I had the opportunity to meet Simon T. Bailey, a professional speaker and author whose topic is personal brilliance. Simon has been speaking for more than ten years and is extremely successful. Although his skill as a speaker is impressive, learning how he got started in the speaking business was more notable.

Simon was a high-level executive in several major corporations, including the Disney Institute. When he decided to pursue a speaking career, he left the Disney organization, cashed in his stock and began the journey. Now mind you, his wife was a stay-at-home mom with two young children and Simon had no Plan “B.” Failure was not an option.

Simon risked everything because of his faith in his abilities and his passion to do what he loves to do. As a result of his commitment, he has achieved extraordinary success. What about you?

Ask yourself the question, “If I had all the money and time in the world, what would I do?” If your answer to this question and your current life situation are on different planets, you may want to rethink what you’re doing now. We all have choices in life. Some people feel that even if they are absolutely miserable, they have to stay in their present job because of the security of a regular paycheck and health benefits. You may be saying, “You don’t understand. I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay; I can’t just walk away from all that.”

Yes, you can. The reality is that it’s not that you CAN’T walk away; it’s that you WON’T walk away. You have a choice. In order to get more out of life, you may have to risk more.

It’s been said that “if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.” When you take this to the next level you’ll find that, “If you want to have what others don’t, you have to do what others won’t.” (Note: I was going to write that you shouldn’t do anything CRAZY to put yourself at risk, but there is always someone that’s going to feel that whatever you’re doing is crazy, so go ahead and take your risks.) We need to have such passion for what we want that nothing can hold us back from going for it. The best idea is to follow your heart.

Learning how to follow your heart is best accomplished by taking time in quiet meditation and mindfulness to contemplate our highest and best life. How do you that? Start by sitting quietly and listening to your breath. When thoughts start to permeate your mind about the laundry list of things you need to do, simply release the thought and go back to your breathing.

What risks are you currently taking to move toward your dreams and goals? What additional risks should you take? The chances don’t have to be big and scary. Start with small gambles; experience the thrill of victory and then go for slightly larger stakes. Your success will be that much sweeter when you get over your fear and just do it. (Thanks, Nike!)

P.S. — Believe me, you’ll always be more disappointed with the things you DIDN’T do, than those things you did.


As Founder of Grategy, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to create stronger employee and customer engagement, retention and satisfaction. Her proven gratitude strategies (Grategies) lead to increased productivity, passion and profits. She is the author of seven books, and co-stars in two documentaries: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys,” and “The Gratitude Experiment.” To learn more, visit


photo credit: sabrina’s stash via photopin cc

Are You Hanging Onto The Ladder Of Comfort Or Climbing The Ladder Of Success?

“The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.”  Thomas Henry Huxley

Life doesn’t always turn out the way you expect.

After my brother, Scott, graduated from college with an accounting degree, he opened an eyeglass store with a partner. They employed a full-time ophthalmologist, and business was booming. A few years into it, Scott became intrigued with the idea of becoming an eye doctor himself, so he went back to college to pursue a degree in medicine.

He applied to several ophthalmology programs, but he could not get accepted — no matter how hard he tried. Yet he didn’t give up. He studied hard, retook the exam and tried again. No dice. Finally it dawned on him that he may be pursuing the wrong path, so he explored other areas of medicine.

Shadowing a friend who was a podiatrist, Scott found that he loved the field of podiatry. He pursued it, effortlessly got into a program, graduated, and after years of hard work is now a partner in a successful surgical practice. He developed two implants that were approved by the FDA, and the company and his practice are growing like wildfire.

My brother could have gotten comfortable with his original plan and led a pretty good life. The eyeglass store was doing well — why should he do anything else? He couldn’t get into ophthalmology school — so why not give up on medicine altogether? He still had his accounting degree to fall back on. Each time he “failed,” he made the decision to climb the next rung on the ladder, challenging himself every step of the way. This has made all the difference.

In today’s economic environment, many people are holding onto their rung for dear life. Even though they don’t have the career they dreamed about — they may not even LIKE their current job — fear and inaction keep them stuck. Over time, one of three events is likely to occur:

  • One — they remain paralyzed, clinging to their rung until the end of their career.  They then pay the price of regret for never reaching their full potential.
  • Two — the rung breaks, sending them crashing down with no choice but to choose a similar path or try something different. Some will take the opportunity; others will opt for more of the same.
  • Three — the pain of staying the same becomes greater than the fear of change. The choice is made, and one hand reaches for the next rung on the ladder, and the next, until they have reached the pinnacle of their personal and professional pursuits.

If you feel like you’re stuck in your current position, now is the time to begin to take action to become the person who gets promoted. In his article “Get Noticed!,” Alan Hall shares four steps to climb the corporate ladder. These actions include: be innovative; make recommendations; raise your hand; and support and mentor your fellow peers. Recognition and achievement comes to those who are willing to do what it takes to be successful.

Is it time for you to climb to take it to the next level in your career? Think about one thing you can do today to move yourself to the next rung. Our journey on the ladder of life will never end. It’s the climbing that is the fun part. Enjoy the ride.

P.S.: Sometimes our hand slips and we fall down a few rungs, it’s all good. It makes us that much stronger when we continue to climb and see what lies ahead.


As Founder of Grategy, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to create stronger employee and customer engagement, retention and satisfaction. Her proven gratitude strategies (Grategies) lead to increased productivity, passion and profits. She is the author of seven books, and co-stars in two documentaries: the award-winning “The Keeper of the Keys” and “The Gratitude Experiment.” To learn more, visit

photo credit: Miguel Virkkunen Carvalho via photopin cc

Managing Your Career: What Would Richard Branson Do?

Written by James Clear

In 1966, a dyslexic 16-year-old boy dropped out of school. With only a tiny bit of seed money and a friend’s help, he founded a magazine for students. Fueled by advertisements he sold to local businesses, he ran this bootstrapped operation from the crypt of a local church.

Four years later, seeking ways to grow the fledgling magazine, this enterprising young man started selling mail-order records to his student subscriber base. Within a year, record sales were sufficient to help him build his first record store. After two years of selling records, he decided to launch his own record label and studio.

The small recording studio rented space to local artists, including one named Mike Oldfield. This was where Oldfield created his hit song “Tubular Bells,” which became the record label’s first release. The song eventually sold more than 5 million copies.

Over the next decade, the fearless entrepreneur grew his record label by attracting bands like Culture Club, Sex Pistols and The Rolling Stones. Along the way, he continued adding businesses to his portfolio — an airline, railway, mobile phones, on and on. Almost 50 years later, his conglomerate included more than 400 companies.

That young boy who left school behind but kept starting things despite his inexperience and lack of knowledge is now a world-renown billionaire — Sir Richard Branson.

How I Met Sir Richard Branson

When I walked into the Moscow conference room, Branson was sitting in a chair only 10 feet away. A hundred other people surrounded us, but it felt like we were having a private conversation in my living room. He smiled and laughed frequently. His answers seemed unrehearsed and genuine.

At one point, he told the story of how he started Virgin Airlines, a tale that seems to represent his entire approach to business and life. Here’s what he said, as I best recall:

I was in my late 20s, so I had a business, but nobody knew who I was. I was headed to the Virgin Islands and a very pretty girl was waiting for me, so I was, um, determined to get there on time. At the airport, the final flight to the Virgin Islands was cancelled because of maintenance or something. It was the last flight out that night. I thought, “this is ridiculous,” so I went and chartered a private airplane to take me to the Virgin Islands, which I did not have the money to do. Then, I picked up a small blackboard, wrote “Virgin Airlines: $29” on it, and went over to the group of people who had been waiting for the cancelled flight. I sold tickets for the rest of the seats on the plane, used their money to pay for the charter fee, and we all went to the Virgin Islands that night.

Successful People: What Habits Make a Difference?

After speaking with our group, Branson joined a panel of industry experts to discuss the future of business. As everyone around him filled the air with buzzwords and mapped out complex ideas for our future, Branson said things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it,” closely followed by things like, “Why can’t we mine asteroids?”

As I watched the panel, I realized the one person who sounded the most simplistic is the only one who is also a billionaire. So what sets him apart from the rest?

Here’s what I think makes all the difference:

Branson doesn’t merely say things like, “Screw it, just get on and do it.” He actually lives his life that way. He drops out of school and starts a business. He signs the Sex Pistols to his record label when everyone else says they’re too controversial. He charters a plane when he doesn’t have the money.

When everyone else balks or comes up with rational reasons why the time isn’t right to move forward, Branson gets started. He figures out how to stop procrastinating and he takes the first step forward — even if it seems outlandish.

Start Now — Even If You Don’t Feel Ready

Of course, Branson is an extraordinary example, but we can all learn something from his approach. If I summarize the habits of successful people in just one phrase, it’s this — successful people start before they feel ready.

I can’t think of anyone who embodies that philosophy better than Branson. Even the Virgin empire name was chosen because Branson and his partners were business “virgins” when they launched the company.

Branson has spearheaded so many ventures, charities and expeditions throughout his career — it would have been impossible to prepare fully before launching them all. In fact, he was likely not prepared or qualified for any of them. He’s a perfect example of why the “chosen ones” choose themselves.

The Truth About Getting Started

If you’re working on something important, then you’ll never feel ready. A side effect of pursuing challenging work is that you’re simultaneously pulled by excitement and pushed by uncertainty.

When you begin a new endeavor, you’re bound to feel uncomfortable and perhaps even unqualified. But let me assure you — what you have right now is enough. You can plan, revise and delay all you want, but trust me, what you have now is enough to start. It doesn’t matter if you’re trying to start a business, lose weight, write a book or re-energize a career. Who you are, what you have, and what you know right now is good enough to get going.

We all start in the same place — no money, no resources, no contacts, no experience. The difference is that some people choose to start anyway. And only those who start can reach the finish line.

So, what are you waiting for?

james-clear-circle-250(About the Author: James Clear is an entrepreneur who leverages behavior science to help you master your habits, improve your health and do better work. For useful ideas on improving your mental and physical performance, subscribe to his newsletter or download his 45-page guide on Transforming Your Habits. Connect with James on Twitter or Google+ or LinkedIn.)

(Editor’s Note: This post was adapted from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Kris Krug Flickr

Considering a Career Change? Take a 360 Snapshot

Written by Dorie Clark, Next Avenue

Thinking about reinventing yourself professionally so you can switch fields or move up the ladder in your current career? A good way to start is by giving yourself a “Personal 360” interview.

At some corporations, employees receive performance reviews based on what are called “360 reviews” (360, as in all directions). In a 360 review, the key people you work with — your boss, peers, subordinates and clients — provide anonymous, aggregated feedback about you and your performance. Firms conduct these reviews partly to uncover the suck-ups who get along perfectly with their bosses but are tyrants to everyone below them.

What a Personal 360 Interview Can Do For You

By pulling together your own Personal 360 interview, where you talk with assorted people about your strengths and weaknesses, you’ll be able to begin leveraging your best talents for the next stage of your career. These people are not only your best hope of receiving honest feedback, they’re also the ones you’ll turn to for mentoring and (eventually) new business and referrals. It may seem like an imposition to reach out, but the truth is, it takes a village to reinvent yourself.

(Related reading: Why We’re Hardwired for Midlife Reinvention)

Personal 360 Process

Here’s how to conduct a Personal 360:

First, create a list of questions you think would be helpful in enhancing your self-knowledge. Executive coach Michael Melcher suggests paired questions. For example: “What’s my strength?” and “What’s not my strength?” Or “What career can you see me in?” and “What career can you definitely not see me in?” That format, Melcher says, “gives people permission to give the full picture; they don’t want to be too negative.”

A few good questions that aren’t paired:

  • What 3 words would you use to describe me?
  • If you didn’t already know what I do for a living, what would you guess, and why?
  • I’m trying to go from field X to field Y. What steps would you suggest?
  • What are my blind spots?

Picking Interview Targets

Next, identify the people you’ll be tapping for your 360 review. You need to be careful, especially if you don’t want to tip your hand to co-workers that you’re considering a career change. Focus on friends, trustworthy colleagues and family members you can depend on to provide honest feedback (no frenemies need apply).

Phyllis Stein, a career consultant in Cambridge, Mass., and the former director of Radcliffe College Career Services at Harvard University, suggests identifying up to 20 people who exemplify the interests, skills and values you admire. Ideally, you’ll want to corral a diverse assortment of men and women in different fields so you can get a broad perspective.

Once you’ve selected potential members of your 360 posse, it’s time to approach them. Melcher suggests making it clear that you want them to set aside time, but not for friendly chitchat. “If you tell your friends you’ll be interviewing them, they’ll take it much more seriously,” he says. Explain that you’ll be spending about 20 minutes asking them about your personal brand so you can see how you’re perceived.

(Related reading: Why Delay Your Dream Job?)

The Face-to-Face Advantage

Face-to-face interviews often yield better responses than phone calls, emails or Skype chats because they let you probe answers further. But they’re not always possible. You might be in Miami and the interviewee in Mumbai, for instance. Or the person you want may be so busy that the best you’ll get is an email pecked out on a smartphone between layovers.

However, be prepared. You’ll need a thick skin to conduct face-to-face interviews. Sometimes the truth can be painful. So if your poker face isn’t up to snuff, you might just want to stick to doing your Personal 360 electronically.

No matter how you conduct the interviews, be sure the people you’re talking with agree to be brutally honest. New York–based career coach Alisa Cohn says you almost have to be forceful about this with friends because their desire to protect you is often so strong.

“Say, ‘I’m trying to develop myself and I know you love me, but I’d appreciate your candid feedback about my limitations,’” Cohn recommends. If your friend says, ‘You don’t have any,’ insist he or she takes your request more seriously.

How to Prompt Honest Answers

One trick, she says, is to bring up negatives about yourself so your 360 team doesn’t have to do so. “You can say: ‘I’ve gotten feedback in the past that I’m a tactical thinker — not strategic. I wonder if you’ve seen that and what you think?’” Cohn says. “When you rat yourself out first, they can add on.”

Conducting a Group 360 Interview

In addition to (or instead of) one-on-one conversations, another possibility is hosting a group gathering in your living room with 8-10 trusted friends and colleagues, assuming your network lives nearby. The benefit of this is that you can leverage the wisdom of crowds when one person’s idea sparks another. Think of it as a focus group where the focus is you.

Make sure you have enough comfortable chairs and, just as in real focus groups, bribe people with dinner and/or copious, high-quality snacks. If you’re able, it’s a classy gesture to provide each attendee with a small token of your appreciation, like a gift card for a coffee shop or bookstore. Keep the whole shebang to 90 minutes max, with 30 of those minutes upfront for mingling and to accommodate late arrivals.

Essential Jobs for a Group Interview

Two roles are critical: the facilitator and the scribe. If you’re a terrific moderator — you can keep meetings going efficiently, politely hush ramblers, probe interesting statements — take on the facilitator role yourself. But for most people, this can be a tricky assignment when the subject is you. So you may want to ask a friend or co-worker to fill the role. Just be sure to coordinate in advance with the moderator so you’ll be able to slip him or her notes for follow-up questions.

You might, however, be comfortable as the scribe. If so, sit silently in the back, don’t interrupt and just take notes. It’s a good idea, with your group’s permission, to record the session so you can play it back and review it in the future.

You may want to set aside five minutes at the end of the session to ask attendees to write down a short summary of their perceptions — three words that describe you, the most important skill you should develop and so on. Since some participants may be too shy to offer their thoughts out loud, this is a good way to ensure you’ve captured their insights.

It could also be useful to supplement your 360 interviews by reading over previous performance reviews and recommendation letters you’ve received at work, as well as by seeing what people have said about you online — positively and negatively. (A Google search can help you accomplish the latter).

(Related reading: A CEO’s Advice for the Third Chapter of Your Career)

How to Interpret What People Say

Once you’ve gathered all the input, it’s time to synthesize that information. Be sure you’re assigning the appropriate weight to what you’ve heard. Rather than obsessing about something one person mentioned in a 360 review, look for consistent patterns across comments you’ve received.

It’s easy for something negative to stick in your craw. But the power of one harsh appraisal can cloud your understanding of how you’re perceived in general. Remember, you’re trying to find patterns. To uncover them, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What adjectives did people use to describe me?
  • What skills did they say I possess or lack?
  • What aspects of me or my brand were most frequently mentioned?
  • Were any of those aspects cited as unique or unusual?

Now you have to determine what it all means. Be careful not to confuse kind words with traits that will serve you well in your career reinvention. “People may say, ‘I see you as thoughtful, methodical, and nice,’” Cohn says. “Those are lovely professional qualities, but they aren’t describing a leadership brand like the word ‘decisive.’ They’re not going to get you to the C-suite.”

Dorie Clark headshot(Author Profile: Dorie Clark is the author of “Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future.” She is an adjunct professor at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business, and is a consultant and speaker for clients such as Google, Fidelity, and the World Bank. She also contributes frequently to Harvard Business Review and Forbes. Learn more about Dorie at and follow her on Twitter @dorieclark.)

Editorial Note: Reprinted with permission by Harvard Business Review Press and Adapted from “Reinventing You,” copyright 2013 Dorie Clark. All rights reserved.

Read the original post at Next Avenue. articles:
Career Shift: ‘You’re Never Too Old’ Success Stories
4 Ways to Make Your Career Last Longer
The Key to a Successful Career Shift: Asking for Help

Image credit: Pixabayi

You 2.0: Reinventing a Personal Brand #TChat Preview

(Editor’s Note: Looking for a complete review of the week’s events and resources? Read the #TChat Recap: “Will the Real You Please Stand Up?”)

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

Most of us are familiar with the concept of personal branding. We understand how important it is to put our “best face forward,” especially during a job search. (Our mothers told us about that long ago.) And you don’t have to be Kim Kardashian to see that social media shines a constant spotlight on our lives, for better or worse. So…why don’t more of us cultivate our personal brands as carefully as a marketing manager would?

Creating a Fresh Perspective

Reinventing You

Learn more about “Reinventing You”

Is your online presence incomplete or out-of-date? Do you suspect it sends the wrong message? Are you considering a career change, but struggling with how to reposition yourself for a new role? What’s the best way to recombine all the elements for a message that is accurate, authentic and attracts the right kind of attention?

That’s our focus this week in the TalentCulture community, as we continue our “summer restart” series with the author of of Reinventing You, Dorie Clark. Dorie is a communications and brand management expert who has written extensively about this topic. And we’re fortunate that she’s sharing her insights with us throughout the week.

To set the stage, Dorie joined me for a brief G+ Hangout to discuss why personal brand management matters, not just during a job search, but on a continuous basis:

The article Dorie mentions is great preparation for this week’s #TChat discussions. Check it out at Harvard Business Review: It’s Not a Job Search, It’s a Campaign. Also, if you’d like to read related articles from the TalentCulture archives, see “Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand” and “Personal Re-Branding For Chareer Changers.”

#TChat Events: Reinventing Your Brand

Don’t forget to save the date — Wednesday July 17 — for a #TChat double-header that is designed to change your professional life for the better. Bring your questions, concerns, ideas and suggestions, and let’s talk!

#TChat Radio — Wed, July 17 at 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

Dorie joins our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman for a closer look at why and how professionals can benefit from personal branding. Listen live and dial-in with your questions and feedback!

#TChat Twitter — Wed, July 17 at 7pmET / 4pmPT

Immediately following the radio show, our conversation with Dorie opens wide, as she moderates our community discussion on the #TChat stream. We welcome anyone with a Twitter account to join us, as we discuss these questions:

Q1:  You are the captains of your own career destiny. Why or why not?
Q2:  What should your first priorities be when reinventing your personal brand?
Q3:  Does it make a difference if you’re a full-time, part-time or contract worker? Why/why not?
Q4:  How can business leaders facilitate ongoing career development, inside and out?
Q5:  What technologies today help us reinvent ourselves? How/why?

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed and on our new LinkedIn Discussion Group. So please join us share your questions, ideas and opinions.

We’ll see you on the stream!