SUMMER’S OVER. TIME TO HEAD BACK-TO-CAREER-SUCCESS!

Self-Assessment Quiz  — TRUE  OR FALSE:

  1. My resume is up to date.
  2. I can recite my elevator pitch in my sleep.
  3. I regularly attend industry events.
  4. I have a game plan and a hit list when I get to the events.

The end of summer is fast approaching. Some kids have already started back to school. The days are getting shorter. Fall will be here shortly! I always think of Fall like it’s News Years’ Eve 2.0 – a time to get a fresh start. Maybe because in preparation for the new school year it’s when I always got a new wardrobe and sharp new #2 pencils and lots of blank white notebook paper. Everything was just brand spanking new. A clean slate. So, now that we’re all grown up – what does your clean slate look like? Are you itching to take on new challenges this fall? Beginning with your career? Launching a job search or getting a promotion is always daunting. But not so much when you’re fully prepped and ready to go! If you answered TRUE to most of the questions above, that’s great. Sounds like you’re ready to be a teachers’ pet.

How’s that resume of yours looking? When was the last time you updated it? Whether you are looking for a new job or not, your resume should always be tight and ready to go. We’re almost through the year – have you included all your most recent accomplishments on it? Have you taken the time to hire a resume writing firm to spice it up for you? It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (although there are some companies out there that will charge you a mint if you let them). Yes, you could just download a few templates and DIY. But if you’re serious about up-leveling to your next level of BEST – now ain’t the time to play it cheap honey. But be careful and do your due diligence – not all resume writing services are created equal.  TheLadders.com offers some really great tips on questions you should ask before you drop a dime on a service (BTW, you are following me on TheLadders.com every Wednesday, right?!).

Even if you’re not looking for a new gig, just want to get paid more at the one you’ve got, updating your resume at least once a year is always a good move. Twice a year is even mo’ better. Because it reminds you just how much ass you routinely kick on the job. Who doesn’t need that added burst of confidence when going in and asking the boss for a raise? Plus it gives you the supporting documentation you need. So yes, update, update, update.

How about your professional visibility? Now that summer tans are fading professional organizations usually hit the ground running with a stellar line up of professional speakers at their fall luncheons. You should be budgeting to attend at least one industry or organizational meeting a month. This keeps you visible. And abreast of breaking industry news. And gives you a chance to practice all your networking moves. Say, what now…you don’t have any networking moves?! *Sigh* I thought you said you were ready to get to your next level of BEST? How are you gonna do that, without networking? People can’t be buzzing about you if they don’t know you exist. And if you go to these industry luncheons and don’t say anything other than, “pass the butter” you er, umm, technically don’t exist! So before you head out create a plan. Why are you going to this event? What kind of people are you hoping to meet there? How many of them will you chat with while you are in the room? No really. Set a goal number. What’s your opening line? Your secret sauce for being memorable?

These are questions that you shouldn’t be asking yourself as you walk into the door. Nope, as soon as you plunk down the dollars for the ticket or registration fee you need to have a game plan. A strategy for working that room like Julia Roberts worked Richard Gear in Pretty Woman. She got to know him as a person first, before she did business with him. Ok, well technically in her line of business she didn’t get to know him first. But, that’s what I’m recommending for YOU in your line of work, which is – totally diff than Julia’s in the flick. Am I right? (Please nod your head yes). Really that’s all networking is about. Getting to know people and coming prepared with what you want them to know about you. The more you show up at these functions – and get involved by volunteering for them whenever you can – the more you raise your visibility game. That helps you not only with your job search, but also just improving your status as a Badass in your industry. Which could also help with that raise you’re going after too, if that’s your thing.

My point is – dive into New Year’s Eve 2.0 this season armed, loaded, locked, and ready to go to the head of the class with your fresh back-to-career-success strategy.

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