4 Steps to Rebrand for Successful Career Change

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Meet Casey Miller, mid-level manager who’s been in a career for more than 10 years. He called me because he was ready to make a career change, but wasn’t sure how to translate his skill set into the desired role. He discovered what many learn about themselves: He was pigeon-holed into a career but had greater aspirations, with no idea how to make the leap.

When Casey and I first spoke, he knew exactly what career he wanted to transition into, but was experiencing difficulty rebranding himself. He was not only making a career change, he was also changing industries and sectors. Wowee! That’s what I call a change trifecta!

If you’ve found yourself at a point where you may need to think about rebranding in preparation for a career change, are in the middle of a transition, or just need to freshen up your brand, follow the steps below to successfully reposition and transition.

1. Do a comprehensive career inventory

The career inventory is an exhaustive list of every milestone, achievement, award, honor, special recognition, publication, speaking engagement, degree, certification, and training spanning your entire career. That’s right, do what I call a data download. Get it all out of your head and into a spreadsheet or document, then save it and back it up. As you do this–and it will take some time– read through the compilation and identify recurring themes and patterns of skill sets and achievements. This will help you with your career story.
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Coaching Body Language in the C-Suite

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The senior vice president of a Fortune 500 company is speaking at a corporate communication conference. He’s a polished presenter with an impressive selection of organizational “war stories” delivered with a charming, self-deprecating sense of humor. The audience likes him. They like him a lot.

Then, as he finishes his comments, he folds his arms across his chest and says, “I’m open for questions. Please, ask me anything.”

Suddenly, there is a shift of energy in the room – from engagement to uncertainty. The audience that was so attentive only moments ago is now somehow disconnected and unable to think of anything to ask.

I was at that event. As one of the presenters scheduled to follow the executive, I was seated at a table onstage with a clear view of the entire room. And the minute I saw that single gesture, I knew exactly how the audience would react.

Later I talked with the speaker (who didn’t realize he’d crossed his arms) and interviewed members of the audience (none of whom recalled the gesture, but all of whom remembered struggling to come up with a question).

So what happened – how could a simple arm movement that none of the participants were even aware of have had such a potent impact?
And what does this mean to the executives you coach?

In preparing for an important meeting most executives concentrate on what to say, memorizing crucial points, and rehearsing their presentation so they will come across as credible and convincing.

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Leading as an Internal Communicator—The Power of Words and Connections

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When the word “internal communicator” comes up, most people in the business world don’t immediately think of the word “leader.”

But internal communicators do have real opportunities to lead and influence the course of events. Some involve the confident use of the role of writer and content generator, others reflect the ability of IC pros to suggest and influence organizational agendas, and still others come from the willingness of IC pros to connect people, ideas and resources.

Leadership through writing and content development is the most obvious angle—particularly when it involves winning the battle against excessive self-censorship.

Challenging the seductive safety of excessive self-censorship is where the communicator can move from being a stenographer to being a leader.

My own default position is clear. I start by asking myself: “What would I say if I were that person, in that situation, pursuing his or her own agenda and seeking maximum odds for success?”

I don’t get everything approved on that basis, but I have never been yelled at, either for being too outrageous or too timid, in more than 20 years.

There is some navigating to do with this stance. It requires real knowledge of the involved content and where possible, empathy with the “speaker.”

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Learning to inspire

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Mentoring is a powerful personal development and empowerment tool.

It’s an effective way of helping people to progress in their careers and is becoming increasing popular as its potential is realised. It is a helpful relationship between two people (mentor and mentee) based upon mutual trust and respect. The mentor guides the mentee in finding the right direction, helping them develop solutions to career issues and think about career options and progress.

Tessa O’Neill, IABC UK President talks about her experience of mentoring and inspiring others as well as the rewards of being a mentor.

You learn about yourself and realise you know a lot more than you probably think you did.

As a mentee, you get the chance to look more closely at yourself, your issues, opportunities and what you want in life.
Mentoring can help you:

  • Become more self aware about strengths and weaknesses
  • Take responsibility for your life
  • Direct your life in the direction you decide, rather than leaving it to chance.

Read more about 7 Habits of highly successful mentors and meentes

How IABC membership can help students

In a globalized world where a career can be pursued anywhere, it is crucial for one to have a strong business network of like-minded professionals. As a student, starting a career in a very tough and competitive environment, connections are what sets one apart.

London is a city of opportunities but also one of competition. Finding the start to a career and building a unique network can be a tough task.

However, joining the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) as student member made all the difference for me.

Not only did I meet some potential employers, I was also given a chance to progress within the organization and build a name for myself. With hard work and determination to get recognized, IABC members elected me to be on the Board of the UK Chapter, the biggest IABC chapter outside North America.

With this experience and the connections I made as a student member of IABC, my fear of professional life (getting a job) disappeared and I was ready to step into a professional World well ahead of my fellow postgraduates.

My professional career broadened up significantly due to the connections I’ve made and I feel now that the world is my oyster.

Article written by Jovan Radakovic