4 Smart Strategies for Job Advancement

Smart executives know that in order to achieve job advancement, they cannot afford to take anything for granted. Performing well and bringing value is tantamount to success! However, you can be great at your job and never advance to the next level if you don’t make a conscious effort to plan for career growth. Those who decide to seek job advancement must leave nothing to chance.

To advance yourself to the next level, create a clear and concise roadmap that guides you through the process. Here are some specific strategies you will want to adopt in order to succeed:

Create Your Personal Brand

Creating a brand that is in high demand is one of the most powerful things you can do to fuel career advancement.  Once you establish the skills and characteristics that make you unique, employers will be more likely to pursue you.  To develop and implement a personal brandingstrategy, you must first assess your strengths, preferences, and differentiators. I often provide a DISC assessment as a first step in establishing a sound personal branding strategy.

Convey Your Value
Once you have a thorough picture of the image you wish to convey with your personal brand, you must continue to refine the brand and establish it as a common theme in all of your communications. You must BE your brand. Blogging, participating in discussions on social media sites, providing case studies, volunteering, and attending local networking events are all ways you can extend and grow brand recognition.

Update Your Career Documents
Smart executives recognize that part of positioning their brand includes creating outstanding career documents. A strong LinkedIn profile and the development of a professional biography can add value, and help with job advancement. It is no longer enough to have a basic résumé.  Your résumé must be polished and focused to reflect your brand image. It should include targeted and impactful wording that illustrates your most impressive accomplishments. Many executives are opting to include a multimedia VisualCV / Digital Résumé as part of their repertoire.

Public Speaking & Media Interaction
I know that people hate the thought of speaking publicly; but the more you get your face and name out in the world as a valued resource and industry expert, the more likely you are to be remembered for new and interesting opportunities. If you are quoted as a trusted resource in multiple publications, this will add clout to your brand, as well.

Most successful executives have worked hard to develop their reputation and nurture their brand value.  It is important to think about job advancement early in your career.  By planning a well-defined strategy and mapping out a specific path for growth, you will be one step ahead of the competition.

This post was written by Debra Wheatman, originally posted on Careers Done Write.

Debra Wheatman, CPRW, CPCC is President of Careers Done Write, a premier career services provider focused on developing highly personalized career roadmaps for senior leaders and executives across all verticals and industries.

5 Ways to Freshen Up Your Interviews

Going through the interview process can become tedious if you have to sift through too many candidates, so why not try some fresh interview techniques to liven up the process and find out who is really underneath that resume.

  1. Talk about their passions. You can discover a lot about someone when you hear what they are passionate about. You’ll find out if they love to volunteer, read and learn about new things, or just enjoy soaking up the sun.
  2. Where do they like to vacation? Beach, mountains, or do they never even take vacations? Do you have an adventurous person in front of you or someone who values family time?
  3. Let the staff who will be working with the new person do the interviewing first. Avoid having to interview everyone and find who will best fit in with the team by allowing the team to do the interviewing.
  4. Take them out to lunch. Instead of staying in the office all day and plowing through interviews, meet them out to breakfast, lunch, or coffee. People tend to relax a bit more when out of the office.
  5. Never underestimate the power of humor. While it should be used only in appropriate settings, humor can help people to relax and show a bit more of their “humanness” during the interview process. It’s often unexpected during an interview, but can take away some of the routine feelings of the questions.

There are plenty of ways that you can add a personal touch to your interview style, most importantly the interviewer should be relaxed and welcoming and allow for the interviewee to open up and be themselves as well.

Can you share your own experience with being yourself in your interview?

Beating Procrastination in Your Job Search

Procrastination is sure to seep in when your job search begins to take months longer than expected. It’s important to recognize when you are avoiding searching for jobs and getting down on any potential opportunities.

If you feel procrastination coming on and notice “avoidance” setting in, there are a few things you can do to overcome this feeling and move into better territory so when that new employer does call, you are ready, confident, and eager to answer the phone.

  1. Take a break. When you are avoiding looking for new jobs you have the sense that you “should” be doing something else and guilt can set in. Give yourself permission to take a break, that way you can avoid some guilt-free downtime. If you allow yourself to take a day off to get outside, have some fun, visit with family or just “veg” out, you won’t feel guilty about scouring the internet for the latest job postings and in turn you’ll feel more refreshed when you come back to it.
  2. Do something for someone else. You can always find people less fortunate than yourself, and during a time when you are feeling down the best thing that you can do to life your spirits is to help someone else in need. Find a place to volunteer and create a habit of showing up to serve others. The simple act of giving can get you back into a positive mood and right back into the swing of things.
  3. Change your routine. While it may be hard to muddle up the energy to get out of the house on some-days, it’s essential to your well being. A simple change of pace like looking for jobs at the local coffee shop or visiting the library to brush up on your interview skills can do a lot of good. Don’t get stuck in a routine that weighs you down, change things up a bit and keep them fresh and fun.

Can You Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

Work and life experiences tend to create patterns and habits that are often hard to break. While they are not impossible to break, at times they can be difficult. So what happens when you have an “old dog” on your team and it’s time for change?

Here are a few ways you can help to break the negative patterns in your team members:

  • Ask for their input. Most managers make the mistake of not including their team members in decisions and change, which leaves the individuals to resist the new changes even more. Be sure to include your team members and staff, ask for their input, and really listen. They just might have some great suggestions that could save or make you more money!
  • Go slow. Don’t expect change to happen overnight, let the change take time and allow it to process for the individual. Be patient with people and offer support along the way. Change isn’t easy for the majority of people – especially in the workplace.
  • Be consistent. If you want your employees to change, be an example and be consistent. If you consistently implement new ideas and systems but don’t follow through your people will soon realize that the change is temporary and they can go back to their old ways in just a few weeks.
  • Reward change. It’s critical that you don’t negatively reinforce the behaviors that you don’t want and instead reward those individuals that do change. Set up a reward system, publicly acknowledge, or monetarily reward those that do implement the new changes.