29 May THE BEST CAREER ADVICE I EVER GOT: CONVERSATIONS WITH A MOTORCYCLE MECHANIC.
I love motorcycles. Not just riding them but building and restoring them too. I love the smell of the oil, the grease on my hands and the feeling you get when you crank that engine for the first time after rebuilding it and it actually works!!!
When I started learning about fixing and rebuilding bikes in my student days, I used to hang out at my local bike shop and pick the brains of the mechanics. One of them took me under his wing when I was in my early 20’s and taught me a lot about bike repair.
But it wasn’t his bike-related advice that was the most important to me. It was his career advice!
I remember having a conversation with him one day and I dropped into the conversation, the ol’ ‘it’s not what you know that’s important, it’s who you know’.
‘No no, Johnathan’, he said, ‘It’s who know’s YOU’.
Wow! What a game changer that was for me. It was really my first lesson in how to build a strong Personal Brand and it’s a major strategy that I use today to help my clients get known.
You see, you could know hundred’s and thousands of people, which is great for them but what does it matter if no one knows you – who and what you are, what your expertise is, what problems you can solve and what value you bring?
When it comes to building a strong Personal Brand, it’s vital that people get to know you! And for this to happen, you need to GET VISIBLE alright! That’s the secret to attracting career opportunities.
Many people who have attended my presentations and workshops would have heard me say, ‘when you become visible, you become valuable’.
Now, I am not talking about getting up on a soap box in Federation Square and beating your chest, saying, ‘Look at me’. I’m saying there are so many ways that you can raise your visibility and get known. And the more people that really know you, the more opportunities you will encounter.
Here are 4 strategies that you can use to get known:
One of the best ways to raise your visibility and get noticed is to create content. All that great industry knowledge that you have floating around in your head has VALUE to others.
When you create and post content, your audience begins to perceive you as a Subject Matter Expert, Thought-leader and ‘Go-To’ person in your field, which raises your credibility and helps build trust. Creating content is also a great strategy if you are an introvert and enables you to remain front-of-mind.
So, get active on Social Media, there are so many platforms that you can use such as LinkedIn, YouTube, Medium, creating podcasts or blogging on your own website.
If you are looking to grow your brand and get known in your industry, then you need to been seen as an active player. By networking, you give people the opportunity to get to know you and what you do, which makes it a lot easier for them to refer career opportunities onto you. That’s leverage.
Whether you are a job seeker or a business owner, building a solid network is a great way to get known so that you can attract job or business opportunities. Show up to industry meetups and networking events, get in front of people because the best way to build visibility is literally to be seen in person.
To maximise your networking potential, you must be prepared to talk about yourself and that means being able to skilfully articulate your Personal Brand in an elevator pitch.
Have a Memorable Elevator Pitch
The fact that most people struggle to answer the question, ‘so, tell me about yourself’, can become your secret weapon. Once you learn how to deliver a great elevator pitch that effectively communicates your Personal Brand, you get the jump on your competition.
Not only do you stand out from the crowd with an effective elevator pitch, it also makes it easier for people to remember you, which is why it should be a key strategy for getting known.
So, take the time to strategically craft your message and practice it over and over again until it sounds natural.
It can be hard for people to get to know you if you just stay within the confines of your day-to-day job. If you want to raise your visibility and get known, then you need to extend your brand past your job, into the wider organisation and even further into your industry.
Look for opportunities within the business to get involved, put your hand up for projects that are outside your role, lead the charge on new initiatives and be seen as a leader, driver and a key person of influence. But more importantly, be seen as someone who can provide value.
If you are looking to accelerate your career and attract opportunities, then you need to get visible. Hiding behind your desk and waiting for opportunities to land in your lap, is a great way to get left behind.
Remember the words of the Sage Mechanic:
“It’s not what you know…
and it’s not who you know,
that’s as important as who knows YOU!”