FROM THE ARCHIVES
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter discusses the basic rules of job hunting and how branding contributes to that.
Yesterday, I received an email from someone who asked a wonderful question. The question was, "Are we seeing careers that are more profitable than ever with people acting as their own temp agencies and, if you don't brand yourself, you get left in the dust?
I want to start with the 2nd question first (If you don't brand yourself do you get left in the dust). Simply, the answer is no. It helps, but if you don't brand yourself you won't necessarily be left in the dust. People who have branded themselves are clearly advantaged of people who haven't branded themselves.
Let me take a minute and talk about the rules of job hunting these days. The basic rule of job hunting is to remain marketable. Marketable doesn't mean that you have great skills or that you are the most competent, although those are great experiences to have. Marketable really translates into "salable." You possess something that is salable. Skills and competence are only one aspect of this.
Do you have a charismatic quality about you?
Do you have a way of engendering trust that causes other people to want to take chances with you ?
As you can see, there are other factors beyond skills competency that come into play when we are looking at marketability.
How do people find jobs back in the stone ages? I start recruiting in 1972 and worked for company that had a great brand. Having a great brand made it a lot easier because we had a halo by association.
These days, that still exists. If I said that someone worked for Google, you probably have a very positive association about them. You might think that they were smart, that they had a great degree, very intelligent… A number of other factors that comes with the Google brand.
In days of old, people used to find jobs through the "old boys club," that is now been joined by the, "all the girls club" plus other organizations that are advocacy groups for other types of individuals that provide mentorship and advocacy, as well as, development.
Recruiters existed then and now. Trade groups existed then and now. Professional associations existed then and now… These were all factors back in the stone ages and beyond.
The real change that has developed is social networking and the idea of branding oneself, apart from your organization. How do you do that? Why is that particularly important?
It starts up with the philosophy that relates to that 1st question about people being successful by running their own temp agency. I don't want to think of it as being a temp agency; I would rather speak of it as being responsible for their own careers, instead of surrendering responsibility for one's career to an employer.
You see, back in the 50s, 60s, 70s in the US, it was pretty clear that if you went to work for a big company at age 20, you expected to work there until you got "the gold watch." That, obviously, doesn't exist anymore. So why would you want to surrender responsibility for your life and the health and welfare of your family to an organization whose goals may be very different than yours, who, at times, may have to make very specific business decisions in order to protect their firm that may impact your family? Clearly, we have learned that over the past few recessions, yet we are back here again talking about the same issues.
What personal branding does is allow you to develop a reputation apart from your organization. For example, I used to be associated with the recruiting firm back in New YorkBut I clearly developed the brand of The Big Game Hunter by writing a number of books, blogging, developing videos and much more. As a result of all the things I've done, people would think of me, apart from the organization I was associated with.That can exist for you as well because 1 of the things that you need to do to promote your career is develop a personal brand.
What that allows you to do is, basically, look for work. Why would you want to do that if a basically happy doing what you are already doing?The answer is pretty clear in that people who get ahead Orient always the smartest or work the hardes t, although there is a great qualities to have. People tend to get ahead by being alert to opportunities.Sometimes, they are internal to an organization; more often than not, they are external.
So what personal branding and social media allow you to do Is develop a reputation in an image of being an expert. Now, more often than not, what I'm talking about is a white collar phenomena. I'm not sure how this would work for someone who's doing tree work, construction, . . . How they would develop a personal brand In the way that I am talking about.It may be of work reputation of reliability and excellence but how you would develop that reputation, except by doing a good job. . . I don't know.
In the white-collar marketplaces it is a lot easier to develop a brand for your blogging, videos, social networking that allows recruiters, both third-party and corporate recruiters to find you. , There are times when you are going to receive an email or the phone is going to ring.
Do you really think employers are trying to help you?
You already know you can’t trust recruiters—they tell you as much as they think you need to know to take the job they after representing so they collect their payday.
The skills needed to find a job are different yet complement the skills needed to do a job.
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter has been a career coach and recruiter for what seems like one hundred years.
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