In recent weeks we have seen two very different brand stories when it comes to the latest smartphones.
The launch of the iPhone 7 has been accompanied by all the pre-launch build up that Apple does so well and that leads to increased demand. We have seen images of the ‘Apple Junkies’, who have already secured their new phone by pre-order, but still queue up overnight to be one of the first to physically have their phone.
Contrast this with the total product recall of Samsung’s Galaxy Note 7. There have been reports of a risk of it exploding and airlines have even advised passengers not to get on the plane in possession of one.
These events are accompanied by Apple dropping the price of its 'older' models, Samsung having to dispose of whole technology divisions to pay the expected $1 billion+ in compensation, and of course Apple’s share price rising.
Until the next launch or product recall.
After all, it seems like never a week goes by without another new phone hitting the market. Apparently the lifespan for a smartphone, before it becomes 'obsolete' and overtaken by a faster, sleeker, more buttons and gadgets phone from someone else, is between 3 and 6 months.
Is this same risk of obsolescence happening for you in your career?
Dan Pink in his book ‘A Whole New Mind’ said that if your job can be done faster by a machine or software, or cheaper somewhere else in the world, then you need to differentiate yourself right now, otherwise that job won’t exist.
We have seen this in particular post recession, where organizations are not needing to hire the same numbers of people so there is competition amongst workers to remain useful and employed. Even if the economy is showing spluttering signs of recovery, the demand for different skills and experience continues to evolve and you need to be constantly working at maintaining your relevance through training and education. It’s like adding the latest useful productivity apps to your new smartphone.
Most importantly, remain visible to those making decisions about your career.
So how can you ensure your value rises at work?
- Make sure you get involved in the projects at work that are going to have an impact on the future success of the company and are endorsed and supported by senior management.
- Look to raise your profile by attending meetings that are not directly in your function area, but might give you interaction and exposure with other teams. If you are in finance, go to a marketing meeting and if you are in marketing get along to operations or logistics. Step out of your bubble and perhaps comfort zone.
- Keep your boss up to date with what you are working on and keep track of the measures of success. What is the direct impact you are having on the business? Make sure you know and then make sure others do too.
If you are currently unemployed how can you enter the competition and get hired?
1. Construct a 'brag' sheet that speaks to your top 5 strengths and how you have used each one of those in a specific situation with a measurable result. Use that as your intro career marketing document, not the boring resume. Stand out, be different, get noticed.
2. Be very clear about the value you can bring to an organization. They do not really care what you want (if you have ‘objective’ still on your resume REMOVE IT NOW!). What can you do for them? Again this needs to be as measurable and relevant as possible. There are too many others out there claiming to have similar skills, experience and education to you.
3. Go where the competition is not going. Get in front of the senior managers who work with the people that might hire you. If you are in finance don’t just go to finance networking meetings because all your competitors will be there. Instead , go to the marketing networking meeting, after all the VP of Marketing knows the VP of Finance and might be open to introducing you.
Not sure where your personal brand stands right now? Grab a copy of the Personal Brand Checklist in the box on the right hand side of this page.