Rather than being in the same queue as every other job seeker and candidate, it makes a lot of sense to take a proactive approach to plan your own career change.
But it can be daunting to build some buzz with the constant barrage of noise on the internet and competition for the attention you want to attract from recruiters and hiring managers.
The good news is there are clever ways you can go about this. None of it has to be expensive.
The first and most critical step in promoting YOU as a product or brand for your next career move, is articulating your value.
In essence, no amount of buzz building tactics will save you if you cannot demonstrate value.
1. What impact or value do you provide? (Start thinking about this immediately.)
What value do you offer? What can you tell your likely target market (future employers) what you offer?
Answers to this question may be how you saved your employer money. Or how you made your employer money. Or how you improved their productivity. Or how you helped your employer grow their business.
Work out specific examples what impact you have made and be able to articulate this with clear outcomes.
This value step is core. It's your launch pad. Until you are clear about the value you create and for whom, then all other steps that follow do not matter.
In summary: Be clear. Articulate what you do, and clearly tie that to the value and impact you have created. This is the essence of your personal brand.
Once you have done this effectively, then your future employers will probably take notice. They may even get excited to meet you.
2. Your social proof strategy. (Commence working on this at least 6 months from when you want to create a pipeline of career move opportunities.)
So now that you have articulated the value you created, then it's time to let people know about you. This is called creating a buzz.
What are the right conditions to reach out and start letting people know that you might be looking around?
An important indicator might be how many quality LinkedIn and genuine networking connections you might have.
Ask yourself, how warm are your connections to you? How much social proof do you have from your connections?
Ensure you get social proof including recommendations, referrals, and testimonials attesting to the value and impact you created in your current and prior roles.
As a rule of thumb, with your LinkedIn profile alone, I'd suggest a minimum of 3 recommendations for your last 2 roles and your last 10 years.
3. Get connections and influencers on-board. (Commence working on this at least 4 months from when you want to create a pipeline of career move opportunities.)
It's important to rely on your own network. It also makes sense to share your value with "influencers". This creates even more buzz.
While you own connections are obvious, who are influencers? These are people who are known in their own fields or people who can open doors with their own connections.
You need to get your value or impact message in the minds of as many of your connections and influencers as possible who in turn have connections with your relevant target market of employers.
If you are wondering where to start, invest the time to search your connections on LinkedIn and in turn, who they might know. This will take time, but it's worth developing a warm connection base and influencer pool.
Approaching these connections and influencers requires panache, great interpersonal and written skills, and patience. Your agenda is a big one to you, but a small one to them.
As a suggestion, try posting an original article to your LinkedIn profile. Then via email or social media, link your connections and influencers to that piece.
Want to do even better, than this? Link your influencers to a piece where you were quoted in a trade publication or the general media.
In short, by creating a buzz through value in content, it separates you from other people and builds your personal brand.
Your goal is that when you meet face-to-face you will have warmer and fresher relationships with your connection base and influencer pool.
If you can, build solid momentum by personally connecting or meeting with at least two influencers or connections per week to ensure they are familiar with the value and impact you have to offer.
In summary: The more connections and influencers who know you well, the more likely it is that a lead funnel of career opportunities can be generated.
4. Getting others to believe your message.
You have to ensure that everyone you meet in your connection base or your influencer pool knows how to articulate your value and impact too.
The last thing you want is for someone to give a vague or lame recommendation because they really don’t understand the value and impact you make.
Spend time educating your target market and meet anyone who can leverage your personal brand and in turn refer you to what might become your next employer.
A word of advice: Getting the message out there is one thing, but also know your relative remuneration. Clearly the more value you can prove that you provided to your employers, through publishing original content, having recommendations, testimonials, etc., the more you may also be able to negotiate your remuneration package (within reason).
By being proactive, you can create buzz around you, enhance your personal brand, and create your own career opportunities, rather than wait in line like most other career movers and job seekers.
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About the author:
Greg Weiss is one of Australia’s most renowned career coaches. He is the author of “So You Got A Job, WTF Is Next”. The book prescribes a proven, practical 7 step guideline for new employees so they succeed, rather than fail their probation periods and beyond. Find out more about the book at https://www.wtfisnext.wtf/
He is the Founder and Director of Onboff an online training and coaching platform that helps HR specialists, coaches and recruiters to deliver exceptional onboarding and offboarding experiences for employees.
Greg also hosts The Keep: The Employee Experience podcast and runs CareerSupport365.