Let’s say you’ve reached a moment of truth in your career, one where the next move NEEDS to be a big “level up” over where you’re currently at.
How do you go about making this a reality?
And even more important: how do you make sure that this is one of those New Year’s Resolutions that actually sticks around for the long-term, instead of simply being discarded in late January?
STEP 1: Identify Your Core Stories
The greatest heroes aren’t defined by their accomplishments, but their stories.
We don’t think about the millions of dollars and accolades that someone like Tony Robbins has, but rather the incredible rags-to-riches story which turned him into the motivational force he is today.
It’s important to start thinking about your own career in this way. Not just because it’ll help you remember the WHY behind this career move you wish to make, but also because stories are the raw currency behind an amazing career platform.
There are 3 ways to identify Core Stories.
The first is from the Inside Out.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
-What’s the biggest career accomplishment you’ve accrued over the past 1-2 years?
-What’s a “small win” that holds real meaning for you?
-Did you ever go completely against established wisdom to pull something off? Why, and what happened?
The second method is from the Outside In.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself:
-What’s a story that demonstrates how you lead?
-What’s a story that demonstrates how you bounce back from failure?
-What’s a story that demonstrates your ability to make tough decisions?
The third method is called Progressive Granularity.
Which is another way of saying turn a SINGLE big accomplishment into multiple accomplishments.
Here’s a “Before” example:
I built strategic partnerships with major Healthcare providers and Security vendors to speed up the rate of adoption of our digital technology platform.
And here’s an “After” example:
Opened new horizons in business growth and adoption of digital technology platform through:
-Pursuing and establishing strategic partnerships with COMPANY X, COMPANY Y and COMPANY Z. Achieved game-changing results through the “OneX” initiative executed across U.S., UK, and Asia markets.
-Prioritizing the Security market as a high-value growth opportunity, expertly tailoring brand messaging and positioning to fit within this niche, and securing agreements with COMPANY A and COMPANY B. Security projected to account for nearly 20% of all platform growth in the coming year.
STEP 2: Promote Your Core Stories Across Your Platform
Now that you’ve taken the time to identify your big Core Stories, let’s make sure you get the credit for them you deserve! The key elements of your career platform can be boiled down to the Resume, the LinkedIn Profile, and the Interview. Here are ways to think about integrating your Core Stories within these unique channels:
-Think Result- Actions- Challenge (R-A-C) when it comes to Resume Accomplishments.
Always start by highlighting the bottom-line result of what you did, and then fill in the blanks. Here’s an example:
Launched DRUG PRODUCT B within highly compressed 8-month window and surpassed sales target by 15% within first year, managing review and approval process, production, and development of multiple communication vehicles to enable a viable launch strategy. Navigated highly complex marketing challenges related to targeting 6 separate audiences.
-Keep the tone upbeat and conversational on LinkedIn.
Your LinkedIn Profile should not be a carbon copy of the resume. Rather, it should be a place to spark dialogue and establish your passion and credibility in the field.
Here’s an example:
My life’s work revolves around the creation of best-in-class learning and talent development solutions that deliver incredible results for our users, and enable business growth in the most competitive markets. It’s more than a profession for me: it’s a calling.
-Take the initiative when sharing Core Stories during the Interview.
If you feel like an interview’s at risk of going off the rails, bring it back on track by saying something along the lines of, “I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention, because of how big a role Cybersecurity plays in this position, that I just completed a major initiative on this front at XYZ Company. Here’s what happened…”
STEP 3: Enlist Members of Your Tribe
Now is the time to turn those who already know you, like you, and trust you into advocates for your career efforts. Take the time to send them a customized message that hews to the following structure:
I hope you’re doing well!
As you may have known, I’ve been [FILL THIS PERSON IN ON YOUR LAST ROLE]. It’s been a great job and I’ve loved gaining exposure to [MENTION A SPECIFIC EXAMPLE HERE]. I’m looking to leverage this experience towards [YOUR BIG CAREER GOAL] and am reaching out to ask for your help.
To give you a better idea of what this role may look like, here are a few job titles that have really piqued my interest:
Job Title 1
Job Title 2
Job Title 3
I’m primarily interested in [NAME INDUSTRY or INDUSTRIES] companies. Here are a few examples:
And here are the skills that I’d really love to engage in a deep way at my next role:
I would be incredibly grateful if you could share any leads you may have that fit the bill, or, if you have a specific contact at a company, if you could make an introduction via LinkedIn. Let me know, and of course, know that I’m ALWAYS happy to answer questions or forward my resume or any other career materials as-needed.