And you now find yourself stuck in Middle Earth either in a job that is not getting you where you want to be, or in a search that is interminably long.
You have a personal PR crisis.
What does that look like? You're either spending a lot of time working in a way that is not aligned with who you are, or everything you do is driven by some external circumstance.
This impacts your personal energy, your message, and what you have to offer. Furthermore, you're not addressing the communication needs of your real stakeholders.
Your chances of moving up or laterally and finding the right fit both are impacted by this misalignment.
What can you do? Warning, a lot of this advice involves a good look at what you want from the inside, experimentation, willingness to learn (particularly the use of digital media), and letting go of the fears/habits that hold you back.
I'm asking a lot of you.
Learn to think like a free agent
You may not have the entrepreneurial bug. However, to succeed in the new marketplace, you need to think like an independent contractor. Part of that is developing the ability to find work, scope a project, and execute it profitably.
There are so many resources available online that you could literally do your personal MBA for free today. Two excellent resources from my network:
- how to run a profitable freelance business through your blog by Skellie
- 10 surefire ways to land more customers by David Brim
This week, we'll drill down on one further resource for those of you who are entrepreneurs, because I really want to spend time on it.
Put skin in the game
Networking is not about you, it's about the other person. On the phone, at an event or a conference, by email, are you listening? Of course, you have an end in mind and are working hard to get there -- learning about digital, social, your industry, etc.
With the wealth of information you can glean about a person or a company by doing a simple search, you have no excuses to be on point. Action steps:
- learn more than anyone else about the industry you want to be in
- become savvy about the tools, this is the one area where being a user is a plus
- share what you know, show your expertise, be helpful to others
- optimize your business card
It would be foolish not to have a goal. However, recognize that your resume and profile are supporting actors, not the main characters in this conversation. When it's time for your information to be shared make sure it's well crafted.
Go from here to what's next
My friend Jonathan Fields says if you really want to become great at something, you’ve got to be willing to examine where you are now, deconstruct it, learn from it, then integrate what you’ve learned into future opportunities.
Business today is about building momentum, innovation, and being useful in a very dynamic marketplace where connections are key -- and so is your career. Where do you go from here?
- learn to become autonomous, driven by your own purpose
- develop your appetite for collaboration
- innovate with your awesomeness
Solving your personal PR crisis is about doing, not hoping to have. It's about finding the passion in your belly, and working on understanding how to build an ecosystem around it to make it happen. Here's how you know if you're moving in the right direction:
- are you taking on new challenges?
- do you have a plan, an exit strategy?
- are you surrounding yourself with people who can help you stay the course?
[image of Total Crisis Panic button. See the story here]
© 2010 Valeria Maltoni. All rights reserved.