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Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand by Working for Free

Build Your Personal Brand

    After reading that headline, you may think I’m insane or tell yourself that working for free is out of the question. 

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      There have been millions of layoffs since the end of 2007 up until now and for college graduates, the competition might make you comatose.  The NACE reports that 41% of students haven’t even started the job search and 27% of graduates are going to graduate school because of the bad economy.  Of course, going to graduate school is going to put you in more debt and you’re betting on the economy coming back in two years.  If you’re trying to get a job right now, you’ll notice that many employers are cutting down salaries of current employees and offers to new hires.  Although, your education is a factor in you getting a job, what’s more important is your work experience.  Just like content is king on the internet, your experience is king when it comes to getting a job. Today, I’m going to explain why you might need to work for free for at least part of your time each week.

      When interviewing, experience trumps income

        Have you ever noticed how resumes don’t have salaries next to each job you’ve had?  You’ll ies ever find a resume that lists salaries or internship compensation.  Salaries are negotiated if there’s a job offer that doesn’t meet the applicants standards.  Corporate salaries are based on job title and you can salaries at various companies by doing to Glassdoor.com.  Since, salaries aren’t listed on resumes, your experience becomes the most important element in getting a job, aside from how you present yourself online and in an interview.  I took two non-paid internships while in college to gain more experience, thus building my personal brand to become a stronger applicant.

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        When I applied for jobs, the experience I gained at those companies really made a difference and it was well worth the compensation sacrifice.  Since it’s hard to get a job right now, start focusing on building your credentials, enhancing your resume and acquiring skills that can help you in future job searches.  It will pay off and you’ll forget that you had to sacrifice compensation.

        Work for free so you remain active

          The worst thing you can do right now is sulk on your couch, with some potato chips, and a coke.  Well, there could be worse, but the point is that you need to stay active at all times.  Recruiters don’t want to talk to people that have been out of the job market for a while, without remaining relevant to their industry or at least trying to acquire some experience. You never want to get into a situation, where you’re in an interview and you’re asked “so what have you been doing recently, I noticed that your last job ended six months ago,” and then not have a good answer.

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          Find people in your network that can help you stay active, by working for them for free if they can’t pay you.  Also, you can do community service or start your own company to at least make it seem like you haven’t given up and that you are aggressive and actually care about your career.

          Work for free while having a side job

            If you work for free to gain experience, you’ll still need a side job to make money.  Work for a company for free part-time to gain experience and also work for another company to get paid.  If you want to get money, and things are getting tough, then it’s not a bad decision to do retail or work at a restaurant to pay the bills.

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            If you do that, and you invest time in building your personal brand online, gaining experience by working for free part-time and job searching constantly, you should be in a good position to get a job when it becomes available.  A lot of college students are making these hard decisions right now because they realize that they don’t have a choice.  If you want to stay ontop during tough times, you’ll have to make tough decisions, but you’ll want to make them before everyone else does for yo.

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            Last Updated on February 15, 2019

            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

            How to Achieve Goals and Increase Your Chance of Success

            Does it ever feel like the things you want to accomplish always end up on the back burner? If the answer to that question is “yes,” you’re not alone. Only about 33% of people consistently work toward their goals. In some cases, their goals may seem too lofty to accomplish, or else they aren’t sure how to make a plan for them.

            If you don’t come up with concrete steps to take toward your goals, they’ll remain dreams. There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer, but being able to turn your dreams into goals you can realize will help you lead a happier and more fulfilling life.

            Luckily, you can realize almost any dream when you harness the right goal-setting methods.

            In this article, I’ll show you how to achieve goals and get closer you success.

            1. Break your dreams down into specific and measurable steps

            We couldn’t talk about goal-setting without mentioning SMART goals.

            SMART goals are specific, measurable, assignable, realistic, and time-related.

            Specific and measurable steps are so important because if we don’t know what our target it, how can we ever hit it?

            Take all those beautiful dreams you have for yourself and make them into things you can actually do. If you want to be an entrepreneur, for example, a step toward realizing your dream might be researching what you’ll need to start your business.

            Find out more tips about utilizing SMART goals here:

            How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

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            2. Have at least one clearly defined goal for every interest and role in your life

            It’s so easy to become complacent or stagnate. We often think that our careers are the only places where we need to set goals, but we aren’t only what we do.

            To make the most of your life, take the approach that you’re always learning and growing in everything you do. Anything worth doing is worth doing well after all.

            Set goals whether you’re sponsoring an activity for your child, taking up guitar lessons or trying to prove your worth at work.

            You’ll notice that this approach forces you to constantly develop new skills. It can also be fulfilling to put more focus and value into all areas of your life— not just the ones related to our careers.

            3. Align your goals with your life’s mission, purpose and passion

            Take the opportunity to do some soul-searching. What is it that you want to do with this precious life of yours?

            Anything that conflicts with your life’s purpose is bound to cause discontent. Staying in a bad relationship, doing a job that goes against your values, or maintaining the status quo just because it’s comfortable are not options for you.

            Thinking about your goals in this way can help you eliminate things in your life that don’t serve you. This frees up mental space that you can use to do the things you care about the most.

            Many of us struggle to find the time to work on our goals, but this strategy enables you to make more time.

            4. Create goals that ignite your spirit and inspire you to take action

            If you can’t be fired up about your goals from the start, they might not be good goals for you.

            The road to success is often tough. You’re going to have times when you might feel tired or discouraged.

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            You need to feel inspired enough that you’ll be able to overcome obstacles as you encounter them.

            If what you’re doing motivates you to be the greatest version of yourself, you’ll be much more resilient.

            5. Write down all your goals in specific, measurable detail

            This is your road map for what success will look like. The more you define what you want the finished product to be, the greater the chance that you’ll reach that vision.

            When you write down your goals, you’re creating a document that you can revisit to make sure you’re on track.

            When you’re in the middle of trying to achieve a big goal, it can be hard to see what’s working for you. The things you write in this step will help you stay on-message as you take your goals out of your mind and into the real world.

            Don’t just write down your goals and stash them away in a folder somewhere. Take the extra step to put them somewhere where you’ll see them.[1]

            If you have too many goals to post on your desk, write a summary or choose one or two steps to work on for the day. Just seeing them will keep them in the front of your mind.

            6. Commit to hitting each of your targets without exception

            You wouldn’t have created the target if you didn’t think it was necessary. Hold yourself accountable for taking the steps to succeed.

            You can always adapt your strategy or break your targets into smaller steps if you find that they aren’t attainable as you originally wrote them.

            Hitting even the smallest target is cause for a celebration. It’s a step in the positive direction. Your success will make you crave more success.

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            We often make excuses when we get tired or overwhelmed. Take away the option to make excuses. You will only be satisfied with the best effort from yourself.

            7. Share your goals with others to motivate each other

            There’s something so powerful about people sharing their goals and dreams with one another. Doing so gives voice to some part of us that could remain hidden (and therefore never be accomplished).

            When other people know about your goals, they can cheer you on and hold you accountable. When people share their vision with you, you can do the same for them.

            This strategy is particularly beneficial when you’re trying to develop healthy habits. Post about your workout on social media, or do a healthy eating challenge with your best friend. You’ll be less likely to slack when temptation arises, and you’ll probably encourage someone else to reach for their goals too.

            8. Set a series of daily, weekly and long-term goals, complete with starting times and deadlines

            Many goals never reach realization simply because the goal-setter doesn’t check their progress. People tend to forget what they set out to do, or their goal gets crowded out by other obligations.

            Forcing yourself to revisit your goals at regular intervals breaks them into smaller steps and it reminds you to think about them.

            Giving yourself regular deadlines for smaller tasks related to your goals also helps you reflect on your strategy. You’ll figure out what works for you, whether your timeline is realistic, and whether or not you need additional help to stay on track.

            In addition, celebrating small wins helps you stay motivated. Here’s how:

            How To Celebrate Small Wins To Achieve Big Goals

            9. Take 10 minutes every day to imagine how great it will feel to achieve your goals

            Visualization is such a powerful tool. Some of the most successful athletes, celebrities and business people take time each day to think about how success looks and feels for them.[2] Imagining that feeling of satisfaction can be a great motivator.

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            When you do meet your goals, take some time to be grateful. Thank yourself for showing up and doing the work. Be grateful when the stars align properly to help you advance to the next step.

            It’s not just getting to the destination of your goals that matters. How you take the journey is important too.

            10. Take an action step toward reaching your goals every day

            Your goals can easily get buried in the hustle and the bustle. Even the smallest step in the right direction is still moving you forward.

            Keep chipping away at the work every day and before long, you’ll start to see those dreams come to life.

            Maybe you didn’t start your business today but you designed the logo that’s going to go on your website and business cards. Doing that task well is going to help you so much in the long run.

            Concrete actions day by day draw your dreams out of obscurity and into the realm of possibility.

            The Bottom Line

            Dreams can inspire and overwhelm us. By turning our dreams into goals that we can work toward, we increase our chances of success. Things that once seemed impossible are suddenly within reach.

            It’s time to start turning your dreams into goals and your goals into realities. Change begins today.

            More Resources About Setting & Achieving Goals

            Featured photo credit: Andrew Neel via unsplash.com

            Reference

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