Tips and stories to add value to you and your organisation
Last week we were thinking about the question Is It Ok To Think At Work? And, given that the answer is ‘Yes!’ I’ve been doing some thinking of my own.
More specifically I’ve been thinking more about my book/personal brand, as Marshall Cavendish have been pushing me towards becoming a ‘careers guru’ and those are two words I loathe.
For me ‘careers’ meant a shabby office at the end of the main school corridor, inhabited by an even shabbier teacher, who presumably was bullied into it by the other teachers. He knew nothing about life outside school and I wasn’t able to explain to him that what I really wanted to do was take up a job that hadn’t been invented yet and specialise in something called Transactional Analysis, that I had no idea existed. And I’ve yet to meet anyone from my generation who hasn’t had a similarly depressing experience.
And who wants to be a ‘guru’? …a vastly overused epithet, much loved by social media wannabees and people with more ambition than talent and less charisma than a piece of toast.
Alan Sugar famously pointed out that ‘You don’t call yourself an entrepreneur. You earn that title. I’ll decide if you’re an entrepreneur!’
And so it is with gurudom. I’m not a guru and I loathe the idea of ‘career’, given how the notion of a steady climb through one organisation for 40 years has been largely wiped off the map.
We have to be known for something. We have to have a brand-peg other people can hang their hats on, when they think of us, or when we’re selling our expertise to them.
Earlier in the Summer I shot some videos for YouTube, which will go live soon (nothing racy I promise) and I needed an intro. On the spur of the moment and under intense pressure I just blurted out:
‘I’m interested in Modern Careers and what we have to do survive and thrive in organisations.’
The term ‘Modern Careers’ neatly spans the pick and mix world of jobs, contracting, self-employment and all the transferable skills needed to do well, be resilient and keep earning money.
I’ve now started telling people that I’m a leading UK writer and exec coach, specialising in Modern Careers. And it’s true… I’ve written 4 books on the subject and Job Hunting 3.0 is about to be reprinted. I’m a visiting fellow to one of the top 10 universities in the world for management development. And I’ve coached 100+ people to get a job, keep a job, lead a team, solve problems, go networking, reduce pressure and manage themselves. I’m an ace coach and a good guy to know… I know my stuff.
…And my personal brand has been given shape and focus. At last!
And then maybe take some time for yourself and answer the questions:
1) What do I do?
2) What am I ace at?
3) How would I define myself in 10 words or less?
4) What’s my brand niche?
My biggest learning point has been this: I fought being boxed into a brand for some years. And now that I’ve found the right words I love it… and it’s opening up new opportunities for books and client-facing work. I knew it would, it just took a bit of time to get the words that fitted me properly.
You can find the right words for you and you can create new opportunities for success – in the world of Modern Careers your brand could be your best ally.
So… Go Me! And Go You too!
Tags: Modern Careers
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Brilliant ways to increase performance, stay employed and keep the money rolling in
Published 2011 Marshall Cavendish
Secrets and skills to sell yourself effectively in the Modern Age
Published 2010 Marshall Cavendish
An insider's guide to working for yourself
Published 2007 Cyan Books and Marshall Cavendish