Considering a career change in 2013?
New Year’s resolutions have been made. You’ve have had a chance to reflect on your 2012 year and you’ve decided you want a change in 2013. Perhaps you’re looking to find a different position in your current organization or maybe you want to look elsewhere. Maybe you’re even considering changing industries completely or going out on your own. Whatever the case, you need to consider how you will ensure that people take you seriously in a new role. Building your personal brand ahead of a career change is critically important for success in your new venture.
Planning a career change is a massive decision, whether you’re pursuing a different line of work or heading out on your own to do something you’ve always dreamed of doing. Like any big change, it presents challenges, but by planning ahead and thinking about your personal brand, you can make the transition as smooth as possible.
Here are my top tips for personal branding for a career change:
- Create a vision for where you want your personal brand to be and position it there. It’s much easier to get somewhere if you have a clear idea of what exactly you want to achieve. It also makes the journey there far easier to plot. What is your goal? What do you want to pop up in other people’s minds when they think of you? Define these things and then think of ways to build your personal brand that support them.
- If you’re job-hunting in a new field, ensure you understand how others perceive your personal brand. This is especially important if other people are going to give you references. You need to ensure you know what your colleagues are going to say.
- Think about ‘legacy’ you are leaving in your old career. Be sure to end things well. Write personal letters of gratitude to colleagues; highlight what you have learnt and the difference you have made through your projects.
- Package your strengths effectively. Maybe you don’t have a huge amount of experience in the area in which you’re planning to work, but you can be clever about showcasing the skills you do have that you will make use of in the new position. Define what makes you unique and list your skills and strengths and come up with ways to demonstrate these consistently. Consider building a personal branded bio. As you go for interviews and when you start a new job, remember your unique selling proposition (USP) and your awesome projects. These are what will sell you to new employers and give you confidence to tackle new challenges.