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Repositioning Your Personal Brand in This Economy

Repositioning Your Personal Brand in This Economy

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      The economy isn’t getting better anytime soon and tons of people are losing their jobs every second.  The number of unemployed persons increased by 851,000 to 12.5 million in February, and the unemployment rate rose to 8.1 percent.

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      When you get laid off, you have far more choices than you could possibly imagine.  The problem that most people have is that they freak out and quickly apply to as many jobs as possible, while spamming their network, praying to (insert person you worship here) and becoming extremely stressed out in the process.  I know things are tough right now, but it also means that there are enormous opportunities for you to either start over, rethink your career jobs and create the future you want! 

      That is why today I’m going to take you through a process you can use to reposition your brand in this economy, so that you can surface as a champion when we get out of it.  The first thing you want to do is to take a deep breath and stay as optimistic and open minded as you possibly can.  If you can’t do that, then it’s hard for any advice to work for you.

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      What are your options

        If you are one of the millions of people that are laid off, then you really need to understand what options you have before you start applying for jobs or launch a new company.  A good way to do this is to start conversations with the people that surround your life and those who have already lost their job and are in the same position as you.  If you’re an introvert, then doing this online is a wise idea.  You should join groups on Facebook, LinkedIn and Ning to locate people that are just like you and find out what they are doing right now.  This way, you won’t make job searching mistakes and you’ll have other people to support you during this tough time.

        Here are some options:

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        • Start a company: If you have a bright idea or a friend with a business plan, then just go for it because you have nothing to lose right now.  You can always have a few side jobs to have some cash flow to support you, while you build your company.  It will be hard to get venture capital money, unless you already have a personal brand with a history of success, but you can start something small right now and grow it when the economy turns around.  There is always money out there for great ideas!
        • Search for a new job: You can reposition yourself in a completely new field.  It helps to have transferrable skills though and a lot of passion.  Finding a new job is tricky if you haven’t built up a strong network of professionals.  Use all the social networks out there in your industry to either connect or reconnet with people that can help you.  Put less emphasis on applying for jobs through job boards and corporate websites and more on meeting hiring managers directly through social media websites.
        • Consult companies/individuals: Depending on your skill set and background, you’ll be able to get some clients during this recession or none at all.  Those who have get track records of results in a specific niche will have no problem finding clients.  Of course, if you don’t have much experience, this path won’t work well for you.
        • Go back to college: A lot of students right now are staying in college because they fear the current job market.  Also, people who are getting laid off are pursuing advanced degrees to stall out the recession.  Unless you have goals behind going to graduate school, don’t waste the money.  Spend 15 hours a day searching for a job instead.

        The bottom line is that you need to do something because employers frown upon slackers and every new person you meet will ask you “what do you do” and you better have a good answer.  If you do nothing, you’ll appear to be uninteresting and you’ll be ostracized as a result.

        A repositioning process

        1. Conduct an assessment of your current situation, including how much money you need to make each money to get by, what your family needs are and where you want to take your career in the future.
        2. Decide if you want to continue to pursue your current career or if you want to reposition your brand into a new market segment.
        3. Construct a new personal brand statement that tells the world what you do and who you do it for, while updating all of your marketing collateral to reflect this change, such as having a new “objective” in your resume.
        4. Research all the websites on the planet that have potential customers or hiring managers at companies you want to work for.
        5. Start creating content (blog/podcast, etc) on what you know and are passionate about.
        6. Research out to potential customers and hiring managers about your services/wanting to work there and direct them to your blog and other content that you’ve created.

        Some guidance from career experts

          “If you’re job hunting, or just trying to hold onto a job in this economy, your personal brand must demonstrate that you are hard-working, self-sufficient, loyal, positive, and most importantly, that you get results.  Everything from your website to the way you answer questions must communicate these characteristics.  Managers who have hundreds of resumes for every opening at their fingertips won’t waste time employing (or even interviewing) people who need too much hand-holding or think they are entitled to meaningful work.”

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          “To job hunt in a bad economy you need to be a specialist. In a good economy, people hire generalists. In a bad economy, hiring managers can be very picky and they look for a perfect fit. Specialists fit perfectly, not generalists. So talk about yourself as if you are specialized, and then people will think of you when a job that fits comes up. Also, retool your resume to look specialized. You don’t need to have everything you’ve ever done on your resume: It’s a marketing document, not your life story.”

          Right now a lot of people are scared and they are hoarding what (and who) they know. I recommend the opposite: When you give generously of your knowledge – career ideas, recommendations of resources, networking tips, etc. – you strengthen your image as a “go-to” person, someone others can rely on even in tough times. Share your knowledge by speaking on pro bono panels, commenting on blogs, sharing article links on Facebook or Twitter, answering questions on LinkedIn Answers, etc. The more you share your knowledge, the more knowledge (including networking contacts and job leads!) you’ll receive from others in return.

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          Last Updated on August 7, 2018

          10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

          10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

          Failure occurs everyday, in school, jobs, housework, and within families. It is unavoidable, irritating and causes pessimism.

          While the thought of flinging your hands in the air and walking away is all too appealing, take a second to connect with the people who have been there and survived.

          Here are 10 famous failures to success stories around the world that will inspire you to keep going and achieve greatness:

          1. J.K. Rowling

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            During a Harvard commencement speech, Harry Potter author J.K. Rowling outlined the importance and value of failure.[1]

            Why? Simply because she was once a failure too.

            A few short years after her graduation from college, her worst nightmares were realized. In her words,

            “I had failed on an epic scale. An exceptionally short-lived marriage had imploded, and I was jobless, a lone parent, and as poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless. The fears that my parents had had for me, and that I had had for myself, had both come to pass, and by every usual standard, I was the biggest failure I knew.”

            Coming out of this failure stronger and more determined was the key to her success.

            2. Steve Jobs

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              The now revolutionary Apple started off with two men in a garage. Years later we all know it as a $2 billion company with over 4000 employees.

              Yet, almost unbelievably, Steve Jobs was fired from the very company he began.

              The dismissal made him realize that his passion for his work exceeded the disappointment of failure. Further ventures such as NeXT and Pixar eventually led Jobs back to the CEO position at AppleJobs said in 2005:

              “I didn’t see it then, but it turned out that getting fired from Apple was the best thing that could have ever happened to me.”

              Lost your job today? Keep kicking and you could be just like this guy!

              3. Bill Gates
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                Bill Gates was a Harvard dropout. He co-owned a business called Traf-O-Data, which was a true failure.[2]

                However, skill and a passion for computer programming turned this failure into the pioneer of famous software company Microsoft, and the then 31-year-old into the world’s youngest self-made billionaire.

                In his own words:

                “It’s fine to celebrate success but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.”

                This isn’t to say that dropping out of Harvard will make you into a billionaire, but maybe that shiny degree isn’t worth as much as the drive and passion to succeed.

                4. Albert Einstein
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                  The word ‘Einstein’ is associated with intelligence and synonymous with genius. Yet it is a famous fact that the pioneer of the theory of general relativity, Albert Einstein himself, could not speak fluently until the age of nine. His rebellious nature led to expulsion from school, and he was refused admittance to the Zurich Polytechnic School.

                  His earlier setbacks did not stop him from winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921. After all, he believed that:

                  “Success is failure in progress.”

                  To this day, his research has influenced various aspects of life including culture, religion, art, and even late night TV.

                  Just because you haven’t achieved anything great yet, doesn’t mean you can’t be an Einstein yourself.

                  5. Abraham Lincoln

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                    Failing in business in 1831, suffering a nervous breakdown in 1836, defeated in his run for president in 1856, Abraham Lincoln was no stranger to rejection and failure. Rather than taking these signs as a motivation for surrender, he refused to stop trying his best.

                    In this great man’s words:

                    “My great concern is not whether you have failed, but whether you are content with your failure.”

                    Lincoln was elected in 1861 as the 16th President of the United States of America.

                    The amount of rejection you receive is not a defining factor. Success is still within your reach.

                    6. Michael Jordan

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                      “I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.”

                      This quote by retired basketball legend Michael Jordan in a Nike advertisement speaks for itself.

                      It would be an easy misconception that Jordan’s basketball skills revolve around natural talent. In fact, in his earlier years,  basketball coaches had trouble looking past the fact that Jordan didn’t reach the minimum height. It was years of effort, practice, and failure that made the star we know today.

                      7. Steven Spielberg

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                        Regarded as one of the most influential filmmakers of all time, Steven Spielberg is a familiar household name. It is surprising to realize therefore that the genius behind Jaws and E.T. had poor grades in high school, getting him rejected from the University of Southern California three times.

                        While he was in college, he caught the eye of executives at Universal, who signed him as a television director in 1969. This meant that he would not finish his college degree for another 33 years.

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                        Perseverance and acceptance of failure is the key to success, after all.

                        “Even though I get older, what I do never gets old, and that’s what I think keeps me hungry.”

                        Bad grades in high school aside, there is no questioning the genius involved.

                        To date, Spielberg has directed 51 films and has been awarded three Oscars.

                        8. Walt Disney

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                          Mickey Mouse creator Walt Disney dropped out of school at a young age in a failed attempt at joining the army.[3] One of his earlier ventures, Laugh-o-Gram Studios, went bankrupt due to his lack of ability to run a successful business. He was once fired from a Missouri newspaper for “not being creative enough.”

                          Yet today, The genius behind Disney studios is responsible for generations of childhood memories and dreams. From Snow White to Frozen, Disney will continue to entertain the world for generations to come.

                          The logic behind this is simple:

                          “We don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors, and doing new things, because we’re curious… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”

                          9. Vincent Van Gogh
                          vincent_van_gogh

                            During his lifetime, Vincent Van Gogh suffered mental illness, failed relationships, and committed suicide at the age of 37.

                            He only ever sold one painting in his life, pinning him a failure as an artist. However that did not put a damper on his enthusiasm and passion for art.

                            He would never know that years and years after his death he would become known as a key figure in the world of post-impressionism, and ultimately, one of the greatest artist that ever lived.

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                            He would never know that he became a hot topic in art classes and his image was going to be used in TV, books and other forms of popular culture.

                            In the words of this great, but tragic man:

                            “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced.”

                            10. Stephen King

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                              As a paranoid, troubled child, tormented by nightmares and raised in poverty, it is no surprise that Stephen King grew up to the title: “Master of Horror”.[4]

                              An addiction to drugs and alcohol were his mechanisms to cope with the unhappiness he felt with his life. The frustration he felt towards multiple rejections by publishers in combination with illicit substances caused him to mentally contemplate violence towards his own children.

                              These intense emotions were those that he focused onto his writing. And that’s why he said:

                              “We make up horros to help us cope with the real ones.”

                              Writing became his new coping mechanism, and this is how the master author we know today grew to success.

                              Fail more often in order to succeed

                              Like Albert Einstein said, failure really is just success in progress. If you’d rather not to fail, you will probably never succeed.

                              Success comes from moments of frustrations when you’ll be most uncomfortable with. But after you’ve gone through all those bitter times, you’ll become stronger and you’ll get closer to success.

                              Don’t be afraid to fail. In fact, start failing, and start failing often; that’s how you will succeed.

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                              Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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