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Be the captain of your career - stc14


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Do you feel like you are the captain of your career, or more like a galley slave—chained to a job that you don’t like, or perhaps one that pays slave wages?

In this meeting, professional recruiter and STC Fellow Jack Molisani will discuss short-term tactics and long-term strategies for increasing your corporate value—and thus your standard of living.

“My career has had its highs, its lows, and everything in between. I learned from each win and each challenge, and I’ll share my life- and career-changing realizations with you in this entertaining and informative session.

As a mentor once told me: ‘Learn from the success and failures of others—it’s faster than making them yourself!’”

Do you want a better job? To make more money? To work fewer hours?

Be the Captain of your Career

Published in: Technology, Business, Career

Be the captain of your career - stc14

  1. 1. Be The Captain of Your Career! Jack Molisani Twitter: @JackMolisani
  2. 2. About the Speaker • President, ProSpring Technical Staffing • Executive Director, The LavaCon Conference on Content Strategy and User Experience • Author, Be The Captain of Your Career: A New Approach to Career Planning and Advancement
  3. 3. In this Session • Advancing your Career Using Branding and Positioning • Five Steps to Financial Stress Reduction
  4. 4. • I recently went to a conference where attendees’ name tags included the phrase, “Ask me about… [then an answer we provided when registering].” • From this came a major career realization: Introduction
  5. 5. The whole concept of personal branding can be summarized by that simple phrase, “Ask me about…” Introduction
  6. 6. • Before we look at some examples, let’s define some terms. Introduction
  7. 7. Branding vs. Positioning • A brand is: “a unique design, sign, symbol, words, or a combination of these, employed in creating an image that identifies a product and differentiates it from its competitors.”
  8. 8. Branding vs. Positioning • Companies spend billions of dollars advertising and building brand recognition. • Why? • So people will remember and buy their products.
  9. 9. Branding vs. Positioning • Often a name-brand product and a no-name (or store brand) generic product are the same product produced by the same manufacture
  10. 10. Branding vs. Positioning • What matters is that consumers perceive that a brand is better and therefore buy it (usually at a higher price than a non- branded generic equivalent)
  11. 11. Positioning • Positioning: to communicate about a product or service by comparing it to a better-known product or service • “Stronger than steel,” “Faster than FedEx,” “Cheaper than Walmart” • Each phase above identifies what makes the product different (quality, speed, price) and then a better-known product (or company) against which the item is positioned
  12. 12. Personal Branding • Branding and positioning obviously apply to selling shoes or laundry soap, but what do they have to do with you, the technical communicator? • That’s where personal branding comes in.
  13. 13. Personal Branding Just as a company creates a brand and promotes why people should buy the product or service, so should you create a personal brand and promote why people should buy your product or service.
  14. 14. Personal Branding In Tech Comm 2.0: Reinventing Our Relevance in the 2000s (Intercom, Feb 2012) I asserted that technical communicators are in danger of becoming a commodity, a product or service to be acquired for the lowest possible price given an acceptable level of quality.
  15. 15. Personal Branding • Why? • Because many companies do not perceive the value that individual technical communicators bring to their organizations • And why not? • Lack of personal branding!
  16. 16. Personal Branding • Personal branding and proper positioning communicate why companies should buy your services and pay the rate or salary you want to be paid.
  17. 17. Personal Branding • Example: • STC fellow Andrea Ames, when asked what she does for a living, answers, “I solve business problems.” • Not, “I’m a technical writer.” • Not, “I write release notes.”
  18. 18. Personal Branding • While she may actually do those things as part of her job, they’re not the way she approaches her job, and they’re certainly not how she defines her corporate mission. • “I solve business problems.” • What a great personal brand! It instantly communicates what she does and why she is valuable!
  19. 19. Responding to Market Changes • In their book Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, James Collins and Jerry Porras state that of the visionary companies they studied, all had a history of responding to market changes while staying true to their core values. • Content Strategist Sharon Burton’s rebranding story illustrates this beautifully.
  20. 20. Responding to Market Changes • “The whole reason I got into tech comm was not because I loved to write, it was because I loved being at the crossroads of people and technology and I could make a difference. That’s why I do what I do. • When the recession hit and I got laid off, it forced me to reexamine what drives me in this field, what excites me. I realized what was true when I started is just as true today: I love being at the intersection of people and technology.
  21. 21. Responding to Market Changes • Unfortunately, writing online help topics just doesn’t excite me anymore. But helping companies adopt a content strategy that gives people the information they need so they can go out and change the world? • That excites me!
  22. 22. Responding to Market Changes • Our industry is changing. We’re in a content development revolution. Companies don’t need just user manuals anymore, they need social media and webinars, YouTube videos and multi-channel publishing. • These are the areas on which companies are spending money, and they need help to do it right.
  23. 23. Responding to Market Changes • So the process of rebranding wasn’t just calling myself by a new title, it included reeducating myself and repositioning myself so I could effectively offer the services that companies need as the very ground beneath them changes.”
  24. 24. Responding to Market Changes • Alvin Toffler, an American writer known for his works discussing the digital revolution, takes the concept of reeducation a step further: “The illiterate of the twenty-first century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn.”
  25. 25. Ask Me About… • How can you respond to market changes while staying true to your core values? • What can you do well that you can promote as a specialized service for which you should be handsomely paid?
  26. 26. Ask Me About… • Are you expert in content management systems? A specialist in Simplified English? A wiz at creating cascading style sheets? • Or perhaps you make software easier to use through embedded user assistance, or increase sales though better marketing collateral?
  27. 27. Ask Me About… • What should people ask you about?”
  28. 28. Five Steps to Financial Stress Reduction • Chellie Campbell in her book The Wealthy Spirit says there are five step to achieving financial stress reduction: – Think positive – Send out ships – Count your money – Survive the storms – Seek balance and enlightenment
  29. 29. • Mind over matter • Do daily positive money affirmations: – “People love to give me money!” – “I win often, and I win big!” – “Money flows to me like water from a faucet!” • I believe you don’t only choose the path you walk in life, you create the path you walk Think Positive
  30. 30. Send Out Ships • Most people have heard the phrase, “When my ship comes in” • Do you know where that term originated? • Back in the 19th century, merchants in Europe would mortgage everything they owned to build clipper ships and send them off to the New World.
  31. 31. • When (if) they returned loaded with rum and furs and spices, and the owner would become rich beyond their imagination. • But there were no ship-to-shore radios in the 19th century, so merchants would never know exactly when their ship would return. • They were literally waiting for their ship to come in. Send Out Ships
  32. 32. • I know plenty of people who are waiting for their ship to come in. • The problem is, they’re not sending out any ships! • You have to send out ships! Send Out Ships
  33. 33. • Create a ships log • Run basic financial reports, create graphs • In the game Making Money, that’s how you keep score Count Your Money
  34. 34. • There will be ups and downs in the economy • Companies are bought and sold and people get laid off • Put money away so you can survive the lean times Survive the Storms
  35. 35. • All work and no play is no way to live • Neither is having no money to pay the rent • Seek a balance – Work vs. family time – Saving money vs. splurging a little – Don’t neglect your physical, mental or spiritual health Seek Balance and Enlightenment
  36. 36. • Think positive • Send out ships • Count your money • Survive the storms • Seek balance and enlightenment Recap
  37. 37. Recommended Reading
  38. 38. Reach the Speaker – – Twitter: JackMolisani – The LavaCon Conference: