"A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do." - Bob Dylan
The Fall is a busy time for everyone. Many companies view the last 4 months of the year as an opportunity to spend the years budgets, or individuals look to make that all important career move, ready to start the new year in a new opportunity.
Recruiters are also very active, between now and the end of the year can make or break their commissions or bonus, and for some those payments can be significant. Unfortunately that can sometimes mean they lose sight of what is best for the candidate.
A word to the wise when you get that next headhunters call!!
I am reminded about a certain recruiter who I think only ever worked for one client and therefore when he was contacting people to talk about a great new opportunity he could really only have one 'sales pitch'.
One September he called a friend of mine who had, to that point, a successful career in sales in consumer goods and proceeded to tell him that industry was dying, no future, consolidation was happening everywhere - to an extent it was true. He went on to say Now if you want to get in to a growth industry do I have the opportunity for you - I'm thinking of you and I'm thinking - aluminum extrusions, was how he described it - we knew it was double glazing!
Three years later, again in September, my friend, who had by then switched to the medical industry, had a call one evening from the same recruiter - his opening line after finding out what my friend was doing was "That’s a dying industry, lots of consolidation - now if you want to get in to a growth industry do I have the opportunity for you - I'm thinking of you and I'm thinking - aluminum extrusions........!!!!!!"
You should not be leaving your next career move to the whims of anyone else, it’s up to you to own the definition of who you are.
Here are 5 ways to ensure you have better control of your career;
- Know exactly what it is you do to or for others.
At some point you are going to be asked “So why you?” You need to be able to express this in a very short, memorable sentence, so that when people have a particular issue that you can solve they immediately think of you. Most brand or marketing experts will tell you a good tagline has to be 12 or less words, some say 7, some say even 2 or 3. Whatever it ends up being make it impactful.
- Make it impossible for someone to say no to you after they have met you.
Marty Neumeir talks about a the charismatic brand, a brand for which people feel there is no substitute. The sale needs to apply to your personal brand. If you have managed to do all the hard work, break through all the clutter and gain someone’s attention, make sure that you provide them with enough that they feel they cannot leave the interaction without wanting more. That might mean another meeting, a request to follow up or to see more of your work or influence.
- Do not shy away from what you do and love what it does for others.
If you are not passionate about what it is you do, if you are embarrassed when people ask, then its draining and negatively impacting on all that you do. Find something that connects with your values and delivers a difference and lets you express your passions
- Do not be like the cobbler and his children.
Quite often I hear the phrase "Typical, its like the cobbler who's children never have shoes.....” I will admit, even I am guilty of this sometimes. But bottom line is that we should always be walking our talk - if you are in finance be sure your personal money is in order, if you are in IT don't have an overflowing inbox, if you are in marketing have a portfolio that wows.
- Do more of what you are good at, leverage your talents.
What are you particularly known for, your unique ability? How can this be weaved more consistently in to your everyday actions? Become known for something that proves to be invaluable, because then you are and you won’t have to be thinking aluminum extrusions.
What tips can you share when dealing with a recruiter? Please comment below.
If you need to better understand what your personal brand stands for download our free workbook - 7 Steps to Finding your Rebel Voice - Click here