So far we have discussed the importance of doing your research and how to properly reach out and network. There’s been a lot of talk about new learning up until this point, which might have you wondering where the replication part comes in. This is the part. Now we start implementing what you have learned.
Distil down everything you’ve gathered thus far and make a core list. Include skills and values that you can expect will be necessary to become successful in your transition. Now, do the same for what’s gotten you to where you are now.
Does anything on your two lists overlap?
For the things that don’t overlap, then you know those new items are skills and values you’ll need to continue working on and learning. That can happen through more research, more conversations with people in the know, and books/videos/blogs that talk about these things.
For the things on the list that do overlap, you have your transferable skills and the values to define your personal brand. First, the transferable skills:
Transferable skills are skills you have in your current or past roles that are also expected in your desired new role. It could be as simple as customer service or product design – no matter what company you work for, the role is still the same. But it’s often not that simple. What you’re more likely to see is a case where you skills doing one thing for a project at your current role could enable you to do another type of project at your desired role.
For example, if you’ve work in the past as a community manager, you had to deal with social media, community building, and communicating with people for your brand. If the new role you want is 100% focused on developing relationships with customers, then the skills you needed to develop as a community manager can help you build the skills as a relationship manager.
When you’re building your list of transferable skills, these are going to be your main bullet points on your resume. You’ll want the future hiring managers to see all the things you have in common with what they need and focus less on what makes you different than what they need.
Then there’s personal branding. If you’re new to this term, it probably sounds a lot like nothing. It’s one of those easy to say, hard to implement or even fully understand terms. So don’t feel bad if it sounds like fluff to you – but understand that it’s not.
Personal branding is basically giving yourself the company treatment. If you were a company or product, what values, practices, and qualities define you? What do you as a product bring to the table and why? This thinking can help you develop an elevator pitch. Just like a new company has to develop an elevator pitch if they want people to understand what they have to offer.
Your personal brand is made up of all the choices you’ve made thus far and all the qualities that define you. Your work ethic and your work product.
It’s basically connecting the dots of your experience, digging for the reasons why you’ve made the choices that led you to this point, and honing that all down to a message about who you are. This will enable you to clearly explain what you can bring to the table. No matter what company or industry you work for. It will make it easier for the person on the other end of the table to understand the same.