Do you want to create opportunities with a personal brand?
A personal brand is what people say about you when you are not in the room.
It is also the grativas you have when you enter that same room.
It is more than the conscious and intentional effort to create and influence public perception. Personal branding is positioning yourself as an authority in your industry. It elevating your credibility. It is how you are differentiating yourself from the colleague next to you. All this to ultimately advance your career, network, making a larger impact to your industry and creating your own opportunities.
Your personal brand should be about being authentic, showing up consistently and empowering yourself and others.
Believe it or not, but you already have a personal brand (of sorts) which you have been building overtime. Take a look at your feedback from PDPs over the years, what do you notice? Both good and bad.
‘Good communicator?’ ‘Often doubts herself?’ – It has been there right in front of you all this time. Is it what you expected? Is it good, great, excellent or needs improvements? Does it give you opportunities or is it hindering you?
In Your Words
Working on YOU, well, it is an ongoing process of developing and maintaining a reputation. But first you need a foundation.
Whereas some self-help practices focus on self-improvement, personal branding defines success within your career.
Your personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want (and need) the world to see. It is the telling of your story. Sharing your narrative. And, the impression people gain from your reputation.
The key to your professional success as it revolves around how you present yourself. It gives you the chance to emphasise your strengths and passions to help set you apart from everyone else and make sure that people see you in the way you want them to see you. It also helps people to feel as if they know you better which helps to increase your trustworthiness (even if they have not even met you in person).
ACE Personal Brand
Being authentic matters. Although a great place to start is by doing research, reviewing how others show up to the world. It is important that you uncover your own overarching personal brand and image! Aim to get the big-picture clarity on who you truly are and where you would like to be.
Underlying consistency is the secret behind creating a successful personal brand. Consistently showing up at work, online and with friends will start to build that ‘what people say when you are not in the room.’
Empowering yourself will create the opportunities. Once you know who are, where you are going and what people say – be ready for the opportunities that will be coming your way.
In conclusion, this is about your reputation. Each interaction you have with others has the opportunity to create a memorable experience, teaching them what they can expect from you. When you’re consistent in delivering those experiences, you build a strong reputation. Delivering your brand clearly and consistently across a wide audience helps open doors to opportunities. Your brand becomes your personal calling card—a unique promise of value; a distinct and authentic representation of you. In building your personal brand, you will define your individuality, maximise your strengths and manage your choices now to create future opportunities.
10 questions to get you started
What are my values?
List of strengths?
What are the things I am interested in?
Why should someone hire me?
Where do I need to approve on?
What object could I use to give a visual to my meaning?
What other brands do I like? Why?
What brands do I hate? Why?
If someone looked at your LinkedIn page, what would they know about you?
Does how you dress mirror who you are?
ACE Personal Brand Coaching Programme
Together, we will uncover your true personal brand, reveal your goals and create an authentic, consistent and empowering personal, powerful, purposeful brand!
The programme is designed to help you uncover your overarching personal brand and image! The aim is to get the big-picture clarity on who you truly are and where you would like to be, so we can build a strong and powerful ACE Personal Brand.
Have you ever wondered what coaching is all about?
The demand for coaching has grown in recent years and continues to do so. To start with, I want to ask you a question – What is your understanding of coaching?
The ICF defines coaching as ‘partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential.’
Thus, coaching is a conversation, or a series of conversations, that one person has with another. What makes the conversation different is the impact the conversation has on the person being coached. An effective coaching conversation challenges, guides and encourages someone’s understanding, learning, behaviour and progression.
Working collaboratively at the same pace.
Conversations with purpose.⠀
Breaking new ground which can be challenging yet encourages a deeper conversation (& outcome). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Change the way you think (e.g. remove limiting beliefs that could be holding you back). ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀
Coaching is not: Mentoring, Counselling, Training, Management and Consulting. These are very different things.
“Problems cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”
These words can hold some importance, especially for those of us who currently feel a bit stuck, need a new approach, a change in direction, find a purpose, or are not getting the results they want. When faced with such situations, working with a coach can help clients make significant changes in their life, and start to achieve the results they desire.
Coaches are great in identifying when a client can be shying away from the wider picture and pointing out (with the client’s permission) any limiting beliefs that may be keeping them back from achieving what they want. A good coach will push individuals to the limits and will help them grow and get what they really want out of their life as a whole.
As an individual, you may work really hard in your life, however at some point we all hit certain walls and have blind spots. A good coach can help you recognise and address them.
Unfortunately, the coaching industry is not as regulated as other “helping” professions such as, therapy and NHS Mental Health related support. Many people call themselves coaches but they have no idea what coaching is and some have never been trained by a credentialed coach and course. This can be problematic, as due to the lack of such regulation, the quality of coaches will vary as well as give the coaching profession a bad name and reputation.
So, when looking for a coach, be prepared to interview a number of professionals, review their background and experience, and check out their qualifications. A good starting point is to identify whether the coach has been accredited by the International Coaching Federation (ICF). Don’t be shy in asking for testimonials, reviewing their LinkedIn pages and checking out other social media profiles like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. You can also ask to see proof of insurance and even look them up on Companies House.
While the coach is not your colleague, friend or mentor, they will support and help you to succeed and reach your desired goal. The right coach will hold you accountable and challenge you in ways that may feel uncomfortable at times. However, with their support you can grow, learn and succeed. An experience coach will never tell you what to do or even offer advice. Instead, the role of the coach will help you identify your options and come up with the best choices based on the goals you want to achieve.
Coaching is about using the right type of questions. Questions hold the power to cause us to think, create answers from ourselves, that we believe in and act on our ideas. Asking questions moves us beyond passive acceptance of what others say and do. Questions honour you as a person and communicate your values as an equal.
It is important to note, that coaching is confidential, safe and is proven to work.
I will end this piece, with how I started. By asking you a question – (and now you know about coaching…) What would you do, if you knew you couldn’t fail? What would you try to achieve?
Would you like to find our more about coaching? Maybe a little bit about me? Or perhaps you are just intrigued. You can schedule a virtual coffee with me or visit my website www.lucygrimwade.com
At the start of 2020, you probably stepped into the year bright eyed and bushy tailed. You had planned to upskill and take time off to do a face-to-face course. You had strategically thought about your career and prepared to apply for a promotion, that next level in your job and career. Or maybe, you had decided to switch careers, as scary as it might have been.
But your course was cancelled. The next level job role was made redundant and it was just safer to stay put than to jump ship.
Your 2020 plans to work on your career was stifled, locked down, then tiered… then locked down again.
Frustrated, you gave up and continued to the ride the wave of the disaster movie of 2020. But where did that get you?
Does the above resonate with you? If you are nodding your head in agreement, then read on to find out how you can work on your career during zombie apocalyptic times.
Continue reading this piece on LinkedIn – Every month I write a new article covering a number of topics, so don’t miss it!
I am talking about the ‘urgh ‘😖 as you roll over to turn off your alarm. The lack of motivation, something I like to call the ‘can’t evens’ 😞 and, perhaps worst of all, the ‘I hate my job’ is turning into ‘FMLs’ and ‘I hate my life’
… and, did I mention, it is Wednesday?
In fact, you have the MONDAY MORNING DREAD daily, Monday to Friday and then the Sunday BLUES!
The truth is, you spend most of your life working. So, don’t you deserve to be in a career that fulfils your values, abilities and aspirations? Have a mindset that propels you, instead of hinders you?
Now for some harsh truths – being unhappy, unfulfilled and underpaid in your career will over time manifest itself into something pretty ugly. It will start to impact other aspects of your life, from your relationships to your mental wellbeing to the ability to step up in other areas, such as travel and buying a house.
I get it. You bury your head in the sand and hope for the best. But where does that get you?
In this article I take you through the areas that you can explore to pull yourself out of the CAREER SLUMP, so you can propel yourself forward – turning the CAREER SLUMP into a CAREER SLAY! (Well it is December after all…)
Overcome the career slump
We’ve identified what a career slump is – it’s that lack of motivation, struggling to get up in the morning and having that constant nagging feeling that something isn’t quite right. You feel down in the dumps and stuck in the mud.
So how can you overcome the slump?
Time to do some self-reflection
Start by thinking about your current situation – but first take yourself away to a neutral place with no distractions. I’m thinking a Coffee Shop, your bedroom or even your garden. Grab yourself a pen & paper and answer the following questions:
What aspects of my job do I enjoy?
What aspects of my role, do I just HATE? (Be honest)
What needs to change?
Who can help me?
How could I approach this with my manager?
Is there a specific individual that is causing me issues?
How do I actually feel about the job?
Am I happy with my benefit package?
Do I feel fulfilled?
How did you feel in other job roles?
It may take you a few days to answer the above, so don’t be put off. Similar to when you journal – let the first words that come to you, flow onto the page. And if you can, once you have gone through the questions, ask a friend or a relative to hear what you have to say – talking about your thoughts and feelings will help clarify the current situation.
Tip: Do you see any themes? Is there something missing? Is there something you can do?
What do you value?
Your values are the things that you believe are important. Both with your personal and professional life. They ideally should determine your priorities and they also act as a good measure to help understand where your life is going. As an insight, when the things that you do and the way you behave matches your values, life is usually great, meaning you’re satisfied and happy. But when these don’t align with your personal values, that’s when things just don’t feel right and you may feel dissatisfied and unhappy.
To find your values start by answering the below questions:
Think about a time when something bothered you. What was it exactly? And Why?
Think about a time when you have been fulfilled and happy. What was the situation? How did you feel?
Think about a time when you have been proud. When was it? What feedback did you receive?
Now start to pull out value words or find value words from answers. (Theses could be: compassion, community, family and independence, see the table below) You ideally should find around 8 to hit the sweet spot.
A little something extra to consider: How do your values match up with your managers? Or even organisation? Do they align?
What’s your personality type?
Something else I like to explore with clients, is looking at personality types. Now it is important to not get too hung up on the results however it can be interesting to explore and establish…
I like to use 16 PERSONALITIES The Myers Briggs test consists of 16 possible personality types, and even lists the career you’re suited for based on your type. It is free. It is informative. And results will give you options to do a little deep dive further, if you so wish to.
Fun fact: The 16 personality types were created by Isabel Myers and Katharine Briggs, developers of the MBTI® assessment. Myers and Briggs created their personality typology to help people discover their own strengths and gain a better understanding of how people are different.
If you are manager of a team or even just work as part of a close collaborative workforce – this will be a great team exercise – as you will be able to understand all your different personality types, how you all like to work and what strengths are in the team.
So how will all this, help you to overcome the career slump?
Doing the exercises above, is a great place to establish who are, how you feel and what you value.
Perhaps you have uncovered that you actually really love your job, the company culture and actually you just need something more challenging. So the action here, well is simple – schedule a 1:1 with your manager and let them know. If this is the case, make sure you go to your boss with an idea of what you could do and how you would approach it.
Maybe you figured out, you are feeling undervalued. You work so hard but there is no recognition. My question to you is, WHAT DOES RECOGNITION MEAN TO YOU? It isn’t always money or time off – it could be a simple ‘well done.’ Once you have figured out the meaning to you, speak with your manager … Now, if you don’t get it from them – it is worth thinking where else you can get it from.
After completing the exercises, you have a ‘OMG’ moment. You realise, oh goodness, you are not in the right job/career/company…
If it is career/job – before you jump ship make sure you explore your options. Is there an opportunity for you to do a different role in your current organisation? Is there someone who can reach out to? How about someone in HR? A different team? A different manager?
If it is everything and the company… and you are not too sure on which direction to go or you might have an idea but not sure how to take it forward – then career coaching is a great option.
And you’re in luck! Because I am a Career & Mindset Coach.
The aim of Career Coaching is to help you understand what you want, the skills you need and how you can develop. As your career coach, I will support you in making these initial step as well as:
I will look and focus on the current situation and create action goals to help you move forward.
I will assess where you are and encourage and challenge you.
Together, we will define outcomes, results and accomplishments.
I will never tell you what to do, but will support you through decision making, and give you the time and space to talk about how you’re feelings and establishing your goals.
If you would like to find out more, you can visits the CAREER COACHING page and/or send me an email: email@example.com
From SLUMP to SLAY. I hope you have gained some inspiration from this post and found your own way forward.
The truth is, writing a CV is an art form. It can take many, many, many attempts before you have a coherent document, that recruiters run through a system to pick out key words before passing it on to the hiring manager.
But once you have mastered your CV, wow! The sense of achievement feels fantastic! And this document (your CV) will get you through the rest of your career.
It is always difficult to know where to start, but first, you need to know the No-Go Zones.
There are certain things that should not show up on a CV . In this piece I call out 10 areas that should never appear or be used in your CV:
1: Private and personal data. That is: your date of birth/age, gender, religious belief, national insurance number or sexual orientation. By including such information, you are opening yourself up to discrimination. And… never include your martial status. In fact, it’s now illegal to discuss a candidate’s marital status under the Equality Act in the UK.
2: Inappropriate contact information, with this I mean your email. If your email is firstname.lastname@example.org (or something far more unsavoury, and you know what I mean), which is fine to use to set up your social media, BUT not so fine for applying for a job. Get onto google and create a new FREE email: email@example.com – ✔ done.
3: Social media handles. Other than LinkedIn, there really is no need to include the others.
4: Every-single-damn-grade from any and every exam you have ever taken. After a few years your school grades become irrelevant. Especially if you’ve moved onto further education or have professional qualifications. The best way to include grades is to cover your most recent education first, such as professional qualifications. Then, move backwards including fewer details as you go.
5: Colours and funky formats. Now, this is really depends on the job you apply for. In a creative world, sure – Why don’t you stand out but putting your CV in a different format. For example, if you are applying to Innocent Smoothies, turn your CV into a label on virtual 3D bottle! Not only will you stand out but you are also showing off your skills. But make sure you attach the PDF/Word document as well. However, when I was talking to a recruitment friend of mine, she said how she wished that all candidates followed the black and white standard format, which makes it is easy for her (as recruitment consultant) to read. So don’t get rejected because you made your CV bright green.
6: Made up job titles. Another area my recruitment consultant friend mentioned, was how frustrating it can be when candidates make up their job roles, then when interviewing they realise, the candidate has not done the job before, or even have the skills and it wastes a lot of time.
7: Fake skills. Don’t get caught out on this one.
8: Your photo: I know in some countries its standard practice to include an up-to-date photograph of yourself on your CV/resume. However, in the UK, it’s one of a few personal details that you’re better off removing. not only does it take up valuable space and doesn’t add anything to show how well you perform. It can also open the recruiter up to unconscious bias.
9: Poor language, spelling and grammar. This immediately shows laziness and can make you look incompetent. A way around this, is by creating your CV in MS Word: go to Review > Read Aloud. Utter game changer.
10: Hobbies and Interests. Unless you do something remarkable as a hobby then don’t bother including any. We all like to read, go the gym and cook. These hobbies are not going to make you standout.
Now you know what not to do, why don’t you come and checkout the CV Surgery to learn what to do.
You can opt in for either a group session or 1-2-1 coaching session, it really depends what you need! To find out more, email me firstname.lastname@example.org
Imposter Syndrome, something we are all too familiar with.
Have you ever felt inadequate? Suffered from self-doubt? Feared a question in meeting? Felt like you shouldn’t be in the room? Questioned why you even stepped on the career path you are on?
Then you’re not alone.
Many women (and men) experience the constant, nagging feeling they’re going to be unmasked as a fraud at any minute. Despite overwhelming evidence saying otherwise. It’s a phenomenon that blights most people – and it’s called Imposter Syndrome.
Welcome to Imposter Syndrome – the data
The term Imposter Syndrome came into my vocabulary over the last few years. Perhaps unsurprisingly since I started to progress up the career ladder. I started seeing articles in magazines and recommended reads on Linkedin. Then this year at the Best You Expo, people offering coaching for Imposter Syndrome and most recently a podcast/instagram page called The Imposters Club (find them on insta @theimpostersclub).
Psychologists Pauline Clance and Suzanne Imes coined the “imposter syndrome” in 1978 when they were studying successful women who believed they were not worthy of their achievements. Their definition:
A feeling of “phoniness in people who believe that they are not intelligent, capable or creative despite evidence of high achievement.” These people also “live in fear of being ‘found out’ or exposed as frauds.”
The Independent study stated it found a third of millennials experience self-doubt at work, with 40% of women saying they felt intimidated by senior people, compared to 22% of men asked.
According to HR news ‘Imposter Syndrome has impacted a whopping 62% of people at work, according to a report by Access Commercial Finance. The survey of over 3000 adults in the UK shows over two-thirds of women (66%) have suffered from imposter syndrome compared to over half of men (56%) within the last 12 months’.
The Telegraph reported that research showed that 28% of working women feel like imposter syndrome has stopped them speaking in a meeting. It also found 21% have been prevented from suggesting a new or alternative idea at work, and 26% have failed to change career or role.
In a WITI article, it stated that research eventually showed a majority of people (70%) will experience imposter syndrome at some point in life, often during transitional times.
In 2011, a study published in Human Relations questioned 60,000 full-time workers on their attitudes toward male versus female bosses. 72% of those who expressed a bias towards gender, wanted a male manager. (That was back in 2011!).
In one of my most recent articles Please mind the (gender pay) gap I explored the well documented topic, of men being paid more than women. I refer to this, because I see a similar pattern. There does not seem to be an equal balance to the feelings towards Imposter Syndrome. With Women showing 10-20% higher results in feeling like a fraud then compared to men. Perhaps Human Relations has a point! Companies are very bias towards one gender, which could be impacting the behaviours and progression of women.
‘It is crucial to remember that women are not born feeling less-than. But if you are continually treated as though you are, you eventually internalise it. And this is not merely a synonym for low confidence – imposter syndrome is the logical outcome of a world that was never designed for women to be successful. It is time we stopped seeing the problem as being women’s refusal to believe in themselves and rather a world that actively refuses to believe in women’. *The Guardian Yomi Adegoke.
With the facts and figures of Imposter Syndrome explored, as a career coach I wanted to provide you with a some useful suggestions to help combat that feeling. That feeling of being a fraud.
6 Imposter Syndrome Hacks
Capture all your achievements and remember the positive results. A degree, a career change and/or running a 5K. Whether a photo around your house or on your desktop – make sure they are visible so you can see them.
Ask for feedback. Don’t be afraid to either. I like to ask for 360 feedback. It is a process where your manager, your peers and direct reports and sometimes even customers can evaluate you. Ask 3 simple questions – What should I start doing? (This will capture what you need to do) What should I stop doing? (This will give you something to work on) and What should I continue to do? (This is your positive feedback that you can save in your brag list).
Remember it is more than OK to ask questions, put your hand up and say ‘I don’t know’ – you are not expected to know everything.
Find ways to manage the Imposter Monster when it takes centre stage in your head. When you start hearing ‘You can’t’ find a way to turn that into a ‘CAN’.
Find allies both in work and in your friendship circles. When you start using self-doubting language ask your allies to use a code word like ‘pineapple’ 🍍 to bring you back in the room and capture the moment you started to doubt yourself? Perhaps at this point you may want to keep a diary so you can start to build any patterns and recognise any triggers.
Listen to podcasts, speak to friends, colleagues and family members about Imposter Syndrome. You will be surprised in how many people are willing to share their stories and you will truly realise you are not alone.
Do you have story of Imposter Syndrome? Have you been in combat with the fear of being found out? Or maybe you have suggestion on improving self doubt. Comment below your thoughts.
Would you like to explore more ways of beating the Imposter Syndrome dragon?
Working with me, as your career coach, we can build successful resilience methods to slay that dragon! I get it, I have encountered so many challenges within my career from lack of support or access to coaching, to bad company cultures with glass ceilings and, of course, the gender pay gap. All leading, to me, once experiencing and suffering imposter syndrome with self-doubt… Yet have found and grasped opportunities to slay, shine and progress.
Book your free 30 minute Discovery Call with me to find out more: