Recently, I've touched on what it means to be an Occupreneur™ while leaving your old "Employee" title behind. An Occupreneur™ is anyone who is (or wants to be) employed by someone else but who approaches his or her career as deliberately as an entrepreneur. Classic mistake #3 that people make when looking for jobs is ignoring their personal brand. This is probably not the first time you've heard this but what I've found is that most people find this concept complicated and even overwhelming. To simplify it, your brand is who you are, not something you create. Recently, I heard a human resources professional say (and I'm paraphrasing), that in the old days we called it a reputation; today we call it a personal brand. Just because you don't acknowledge yours doesn't mean you don't have one. It's not about creating something that you are not, but rather about being clear about who you are and what you have to offer. Also know, that your brand will evolve over time as you grow and your career advances. Here are five questions to answer to help you. The sum total is your brand!
1. What are your goals? It's best to keep your goals broad and specific at the same time. This approach keeps you focused but leaves you open to unconventional opportunities. If your goals are too specific, you won't be prepared to deal with obstacles that pop up along the way. An obstacle isn't a dead-end but rather an opportunity to tweak your approach.
2. What are your strengths & what areas would it benefit you to partner with someone? No one is good at everything. Understanding what you are good at is vital to success; however, so is understanding what you're not good at. Partnering with others with the intention of complementing each other professionally makes you a valuable employee and even a leader.
3. Who do you serve in the work that you do (or want to do)? If you don't identify your clientele, you don't know who to target in your job search. Your clientele can be a list of companies that provide services that align with your professional goals.
4. What do you have to offer? This can be a good or a service. However, even if you're providing a good you are still also providing a service so understand what service you provide.
5. What makes you, and the way you provide that good or service, unique? You and I can provide the same service but how we provide that service is unique in some way.
Make sure you go through this process deliberately and write down your answers. If you're struggling with this, as many people do, start by asking friends, family & colleagues for help or hire a professional coach to assist you through this process.