Employment is something on which we all rely. It’s a mutually beneficial relationship between employer and employee. Over the years, the dynamics of this relationship has evolved. The onset of the Internet, social media and technology, jobs become few and far between for some and plentiful for others. Regardless of the field of work, everyone has a wandering eye. In Jobvite's annual Social Recruiting Survey, they found that 61% of employees are open to or actively looking for a new job and more than 30% of employers expect new hires to stay two years or less. Think about the repercussions of this data for a minute. If every employee transitioned in and out of your company every two years, what would happen? Fast Company recently deemed these workers as “Generation Flux.” This means that companies need to rise above the competition in their respective industries as well as in the job market. An employment brand becomes more and more important; and driving these initiatives requires more strategic thinking. Related: Does Facebook Have a Better Employer Brand than Google (Infographic)?
In traditional branding, the goal is to position your product in the premium segment. When you achieve this you can increase the price of the product and the demand will stay constant. In personal branding, you can do the same thing – you can become an expert.
Who is an expert anyway?An expert is someone that knows their stuff better than anyone else in their field. When you start a job, you are likely to look up to your seniors and ask them for advice. One of these senior colleagues will be an expert, the person that basically has the best subject matter knowledge and can tell the others how to do things. An expert is not necessarily a people manager, oftentimes they prefer hone their own skills than managing others. Whenever you see traditional titles like professor, chief architect, field marshal or anything else pompous you can expect the person to be an expert. Nowadays, you get the ‘new’ titles such as ninja or guru to denote an expert. Thought leader is another popular label used liberally across the Internet. Some would argue that you can only earn your expert status from your customers and peers, never by simply saying that you are one.
Why should you want to become an expert?It may sound a bit dull but there are a number of advantages to being an expert. Two of these stand out with clear benefits. The fist one is that everyone wants to work with or buy from the person who has the reputation, credibility and knowledge of an expert. This means there is an increase in demand but not in supply; the person only has so much time to do their work. The first benefit of being an expert is that with more demand, you can choose which customers to take on as opposed to engaging with everyone. The second clear benefit of being an expert is one of classic economics. I just mentioned that demand goes up but the supply stays the same; this means the supplier can set a higher price for their product or service. Again, instead of catering for the masses and competing on price like everyone else, the expert can choose who to work with and request a higher fee.
How you can become an expert in your fieldThere are probably as many ways to becoming one as there are experts out there. Some of these ways keep being mentioned and to me they are the top three. The three activities you have to be doing to become an expert are: listening, communicating and creating.
1. Let's start with listeningListening is the first one, by this I mean picking up information from all corners of your industry. Read blogs, magazines, books, go to seminars and workshops, watch and listen to the right programmes on TV and radio. When you listen and take onboard all that information, you will by default be improving your skills and getting closer to being the expert every day. Information is power as the old saying goes. Related: Top 10 Books About Networking Effectively.
2. Communicate with your target audienceCommunicating is all about being out there and talking to the people that matter in your industry. Whether it’s a client meeting, a networking event or you are commenting on a blog – it’s all interaction with your target audience. When you are engaging with the community, you will notice exactly what problems they are looking to solve – allowing you to adjust your service offering accordingly.
3. Create something interestingCreating finally is where you produce content that secures you that expert status. Choose your channel wisely here according to what fits your audience. You could for instance write blog posts, newspaper articles, record podcast or produce video content. If you are really serious about becoming an expert, try your hand at writing a book. Whatever you choose to do, the results of your creative output will lead to further promotion of your personal brand and increased interest from customers. Related: How Blogging Can Boost Your Personal Brand.
The expert's advicecharging top dollar as an expert.
Bottom lineIt may sound a bit odd but becoming an expert has many benefits to it. If you are into personal branding, blogging, social media and networking you will have seen that some people enjoy a lot of attention and can exert a great deal of influence. If you are serious about your business or career, becoming the expert is the way forward. Do you create content of some sort in order to be an expert? Related post: 5 Kick-Ass Reasons to Boost Your Personal Brand Today. Image credit Angelo Gonzales
Do you have what it takes to be a victor in your job search? Like 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who fought her way to victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, unemployed job seekers are widely regarded by hiring managers as underdogs in today’s job search. With unemployment at 8.3 percent, the lucky few who are called to participate in a job interview find that they have a lot to prove in the fight for one coveted position. Let’s face it, in our current economic climate, if you’ve got gaps in your resume, went to a lower-tier school or are too old/young, you are not as likely as other job seekers to be called in for an interview. Job seekers must make sure that the odds of obtaining that interview are “ever in your favor” by using all of the tools at your disposal to stand out to potential employers. Keep reading for job search survival tips:
Katniss volunteers to participate in the Hunger Games in place of her sister, Prim. She is the first-ever volunteer from District 12, and her selflessness endears her to the Capitol. There is some debate among employers regarding whether or not it pays to work for free, but many experts believe that volunteering at a company provides important connections, experience and encouragement to discouraged job seekers.
2. Become the “Girl on Fire.”
Katniss becomes “The Girl on Fire” after making a powerful first impression with potential sponsors at the opening ceremony of the Hunger Games. An interview is your first opportunity to present yourself to a potential employer dynamically. Make sure that you remain confident and you dress appropriately. You want people to remember you.
3. Shoot a squirrel in the eye.
Peeta can throw a heavy bag of flour over his head as a result of working at a bakery for his whole life. Katniss is an expert with a bow and arrow – shooting her prey in the eye to make a clean kill. Make sure that you, too, are emphasizing your unique skills in the job search. What can you bring to a potential employer that no one else can?
4. Remember they already love you; just be yourself.
Katniss’ mentor, Haymitch, cannot decide how to present her to the public. In response, her stylist tells her just to be herself. As your job search progresses, you may find yourself frustrated by the specific demands of potential employers – and you may feel obligated to start applying for jobs that are not an exact fit for your skill set. Keep in mind that the best job for you is one that is challenging, that makes use of your skill set, and that allows you to learn and excel. Wait for that job – or create it for yourself and pitch the benefit to your favorite companies. You’ve probably already heard that The Hunger Games grossed $152.5 million during its opening weekend – making it Hollywood's third-biggest opener of all time. And if you saw the movie, you probably cheered for Katniss as she worked to perfect her image, navigate a seemingly impossible situation and to survive. As a job seeker, that is the trick to an effective job search – to perfect your image, to cheerfully navigate a seemingly impossible situation, and to survive. May the odds be ever in your favor. Related: 7 Key Tips to Boost Your Chances of Getting a Job. Suki Shah is the CEO and co-founder of @GetHiredInc. Image credit Lionsgate
We use writing skills to engage, inspire or persuade people in our personal and work lives. In a career transition or active job search, writing skills are under sharp scrutiny. Each transition task, whether it is completing self-assessment exercises, creating a resume, crafting a cover letter or preparing additional marketing tools requires focused writing – one that is targeted, has meaning for your reader and clearly outlines your value to the potential opportunity.