Sunday, January 25, 2009

Resolution New You #21 - Start to Brand Yourself.

What happens when the children start growing up and start moving out?  You've raised them to be self-sufficient human beings who can do it on their own.  They don't need you anymore. (Excuse me while I wipe away my tears.) What are you going to do then? 

Many of my college friends graduated with a degree and the intent to become the next great teacher, acclaimed artist, or respected doctor.   While the intent was feasible, other events occurred, namely marriage and parenthood.  In exchange for climbing a corporate ladder, they chose to be a stay-at-home mom.   Instead of joining the workforce to teach others, they stayed home to teach, heal, and create with their own children.  I will say they, and I, have been blessed. 
But in this day and age, it is important to create a distinctive, marketable role for yourself, just in case you have to reenter the workforce.  So, to be clear, start branding yourself now before the kids move out.  Just becuase you haven't received a paycheck, doesn't mean you haven't been working and acquiring valued skills. If you organize and throw great parties - take pictures, and document the planning process.  If you are a volunteer with your childs PTA, consider that a job and put your responsibilities on your resume.  If you are a board member with your association, what did you accomplish?
The trick is, find an expertise and identity that will make you valuable. You can also do this by taking online courses, or getting certified annually in courses of interest to you.  Find what you love to do and set yourself up to become an expert at it.  But do it now and plan it out.
I have heard we should update our resumes every year with a new skill.  Using the new online website, Linkedin, makes this easier than before.  And sometimes knowing what NOT to do, helps us confirm what we should do.  Look at these tips of how NOT to brand yourself.
Letters of recommendation are a must as well.  In the pharmaceutical industry, if you don't have a brag book at least 2 1/2 inches thick, you better know somebody in the business. When you accomplish something for someone or for a group, ask them for a letter stating what you did. Do not be humble or shy.  Be proud.  Be you.  Be proud of you.


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Thanks for sharing!