In the last 3 months, I’ve been assisting many professionals in transition to identify and land their ideal jobs. As millions of Americans had lost their jobs due to the pandemic, being on a job campaign is a challenging and competitive space.
One of the key elements to having a successful job search strategy is to create a strong personal branding statement describing areas of expertise, differentiators, and value proposition. I notice that my male clients go right into it without hesitation. In contrast, my female clients struggle to identify their unique talents. I frequently hear: “This is difficult for me, I don’t want to create the impression that I’m bragging about myself”. My response to these reactions has been to create a space of validation, explaining that it is ok to do so in the context of a job search because recruiters and hiring managers are exploring fit. They value more candidates who can clearly articulate their strengths confidently.
Sally Helgesen, a women’s leadership expert, addresses this tendency in her book How Women Rise. Using some of her words, “If you as a woman, struggle to claim credit for your achievements, it may cost you”. In the context of a job search, it might cost you not landing your ideal role.
Sally points out that recruiters already notice that men are more assertive when it comes to articulating their achievements and strengths. If you are a woman reading these lines knowing that you also struggle in this area, the good news is that you can unpack this tendency and overcome it.
I’m sharing three-pointers to guide you toward promoting your skills, talents, and gifts effectively:
1) Identify and release your self-limiting beliefs. Realize that it is ok to ‘blow your own horn’. In many contexts, it is desirable to be able to speak about your strengths. This is particularly critical in your job campaign.
2) Own your Achievements. Make an inventory of your strengths, successes, and accomplishments. Quantify the impact and be ready to share a compelling story about what, why, and how you created a positive impact.
3) Dare to Aspire Better Jobs. Many women wrestle with the prospect of claiming the organizational ladder. They tend to settle with lateral moves vs aspiring more strategic roles when in transition. Realize that by raising in the organization you can increase your impact to a larger reach.
Creating and confidently articulating a compelling branding are two critical factors to you landing your ideal job or making the career change that is best for you.
It’s possible to overcome your reluctance to claim your achievements. Be willing to notice and value your strengths, contributions, and talents. Create a branding statement that speaks about the unique you, your talents, contributions, and values. You are a positive difference-maker who has so much to offer. If you notice it, others will!