Is Your Career Like an Apple iPhone, Blackberry or other Smartphone?

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This blog post originally appeared in mid-year and has just come on a Top 10 Personal Branding Articles of 2009 list compiled by William Arruda over at Reach – so I thought I would post again to serve as a reminder for some actions to take in 2010 – wishing all a happy and successful new year!

The new iPhone 3GS recent launch saw two impacts – Apple dropping the price of it's 'older' model and more significantly Palm's share price dropping by 7%!

It seem's like never a week goes by without another new phone hitting the market – I heard that the lifespan for a smartphone before it becomes 'obselete' and overtaken by a faster, sleeker, more buttons and gadgets phone is about 3 months.

Is the same 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 cheaper somewhere else then you need to differentiate yourself right now.

This is particularly relevant now in a tight job market and where competition to remain useful and employed is becoming key. Even if the economy is showing some signs of recovery you will see it's impact for months to come – the commercial real estate bubble has not burst yet!

So if you are employed how can you have an impact at work so that your value rises?

1. 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 have some senior management sponsors.

2. Look to raise your profile by attending meetings that are not directly your area, but you have interaction with those 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.

3. 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 impact 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 what value you bring to an organization. They do not care what you want (if you have objective still on your resume GET IT OFF 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 with similar skills, experience and education – it's not enough anymore.

3. Go where the competition is not going. Get in front of the senior managers who work with the peole that might hire you. If you are in finance do not go to all the finance networking meetings – all your competitors are doing that – get to the marketing networking meeting.


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