It seems everyone you speak to today is in some form of “transition.” Some people are changing jobs, some are changing relationships, others are refocusing their life in ways that cause everything around them to shift.
Transition is a big part of the personal branding journey. Many people wrongly assume that someone seeking to realign their personal brand (or “reinvent themselves”) is a “job seeker.” Here are a couple of examples of some of the clients I’ve helped through personal branding and transition:
– Brenda is taking her business from a small, local interior design practice to a national home staging and redesign offer, including online training, products and services;
– Rick is moving from CEO of a nationally-recognized software company to the leader of a non-profit focused on helping American adolescents feel empowered to own their future;
– Charles has realized that his business is growing, things are fine, but he wants more. He wants to find ways to help the community thrive for generations to come.
– Christine has an up and coming career in a growing company. Unfortunately, through her actions and behavior, she has earned the nickname “The Party Queen.” For her to move to the next career level, she needs to shed this unprofessional title.
Do any of these sound like you?
In my personal branding programs, I give you the power, motivation and tools to own the responsibility and accountability to be intentional and authentic in all you do. Simultaneously, you take on the burden of helping others to see you the way you want to be seen.
Whenever you are in transition, it is easy to expect others to see your changes and appreciate the work you are doing to direct their perception of you. I call this “Perception Reengineering.” We often mistakenly believe that because we are putting in the effort, others will change how they judge us and begin to assign us opportunity, as if by magic.
Transition brings wonderful opportunity, as well as fear, frustration and sometimes challenge. As you approach whatever transition you are in, here are some tips to managing your personal brand and keep your values in check:
1. Realize that you feel under a microscope now. Others likely are not noticing how much you are changing, but you feel the spotlight immensely. Be patient and solicit feedback often. Listen for indications that you are making progress towards your desired goals.
2. Look at integrating everything in your transition. Do you want to be seen as more laid back and casual – then leave the business suit at home. Are you moving from one relationship to another? Then, stop talking about the old relationship so much. This helps others make that transition with you. From the language you speak, to the tone of your voice, to the people you associate with, transitioning from one reputation to another means consistency and integration across the board.
3. When making a job transition, you must it easy for the person interviewing you or reviewing your resume to understand the transition. Why now? Why you? Job seekers changing careers need to do their homework and make it completely obvious for recruiters to understand why this new direction makes sense. Don’t expect your audiences to connect the dots for you.
4. Accept that transition takes time. Moving from one industry, or reputation, to another too quickly builds distrust and appears opportunistic. If you are truly transitioning your personal brand, it takes strategy and careful timing. Setting goals and benchmarks along the way enable you to check in on your progress.
5. Seek advice. Ask people around you who have successfully endured a transition for guidance, advice and counsel. Ask them what worked best for them and what didn’t. Learn from others. Then, show appreciation for every bit of advice you are offered – it may help today, it may help years from now.
Transition, like personal branding, is a lifelong journey. Pay attention to every step you take. Embrace the ones that feel authentic and “right” and disregard the ones that make your stomach hurt and feel inauthentic.