UPDATED ON 12/28/2021
Staying memorable not only strengthens relationships, but also gains leads that builds legacies when done the right way.
In the thick of the pandemic and political turmoil, we are forced to pivot away from careers we have known, perhaps even all our lives. Overnight, family and friends becomes the only items on our priority list.
Now, after a year of unemployment struggles for millions of us, we have wisely spent the time contemplating what we truly want to do with our careers. We have dubbed this the Great Resignation.
The unemployed and the unsatisfied have flooded the job market with higher demands than ever before. Despite hiring desperations, employers just could not keep up with them.
Regardless, with an unprecedented number of people in the market, competition has skyrocketed to record highs for coveted positions. This means we need to stay memorable to those with the power to hire, probably more than ever.
But we all know there is a right way and a very wrong way to network with professionals. Let’s take a look at what it takes to be fabulously unforgettable.
Starts with Self
Every morning after breakfast, I scroll through my LinkedIn newsfeed for five minutes to see what’s happening.
Every morning for the past two months, I am bound to encounter one post of someone begging for a job.
I know what it feels like to experience long-term unemployment. Check my LinkedIn profile if you wish.
When we need income, we quickly become desperate. How can we not?
But it is counterproductive to project a public image of desperation, especially now, because it negatively affects our mental health and trustworthiness.
So the very first thing we need to do is get rid of our desperation. If not, at least reduce it.
Similar to Suzy Orman’s famous 8-month emergency fund, we need to salvage our energy and emotions.
Be grateful for what we have.
Be proud of our past accomplishments.
Be compassionate to ourselves for all our misfortunes.
And most importantly, be generous.
Sadly, this is easier said than done for many, so if we ever feel like we cannot handle it, we must throw our ego out the window and seek professional help. Even simply talking to other people like members of my Action Call Group will ease the pain twofold.
Work on Personal Branding
Once we feel like basking in our goodness, it is time to turn our attention to personal branding.
How do we want others to perceive us?
Most of us have worked on this once in the past and never again.
What we do not realize is that our personal brand evolves throughout our lifetime.
So while we are not preoccupied with work, indulge in a makeover.
In fact, if we replace work with zooming friends and family, involve those people in this creative process by asking for their input. Ask them what they think are our strengths. Sometimes, other people know as better than we do ourselves.
Now, if we google personal branding these days, websites often emphasize social media. They will go on-and-on about how to take advantage of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. By all means, optimize all those platforms if we want to be online influencers. Otherwise, at least use LinkedIn and make sure others are not smearing our name.
What we want to do is build the foundation for our personal brand so that we can eventually create our personal branding statement, which we can use in our resume summary and as an elevator pitch.
By foundation, I am talking about explicitly writing down your core values, passions, and strengths. For me, this is the most difficult part of the process, but, like I said, our family and friends are there to help us with this.
One big reason desperation is so distasteful is because it is thoughtlessly selfish. Being desperate is a sign that we only care about our own unfortunate situations even when our family depends on us.
Desperation usually prompts us to ask and wait for something good to happen.
However, we have heard of countless occasions when desperation catapulted someone from rags to riches. Matt LeBlanc had only $11 to his name when he got the news that he would become Joey on Friends. Chris Gardner went from living in a homeless shelter as a single father to selling his multi-million dollar brokerage firm. Sara Blakely turned her last $5000 savings into a billion-dollar hosiery company.
What’s the difference?
These three top dogs had faith and used their desperation as fuel to hustle on their own.
To hustle does not include begging others for opportunity. It involves being proactive despite everything.
Observe and learn what our situations need.
Be active in seeking out and engaging people.
Pull the trigger on a well-thought out project or even business idea.
Market and create buy-in.
This translates to having an energetic entrepreneurial mindset, and we do not have to be an entrepreneur to have one.
Last week, while I was searching for more insights on David Epstein’s book, Range, I came across Dorie Clark.
In her TED Talk and she pointed out something that is so obvious and somehow no one else has dared to put it in words.
It has been common advice that when we network — whether it is on LinkedIn or otherwise — the “best” way to learn about someone or about his/her company is to ask for an information interview, perhaps over coffee or over the phone.
That may seem like a good idea at first, but if we have ever been on the receiving end of this request, we know at the end of the day that this conversation is about gaining a lead for a job. And to many people, this is, again, a turn-off.
Clark suggests that rather than asking for a short interview, a better approach would be to offer the person something of value to him or her.
She provides examples such as asking the person to be on our podcast (which is how The Art of Charm podcast has developed its audience) or requesting an interview to put in a newsletter.
Oh, and how about conducting a conversation with this person so that you can post it as a LinkedIn post?
That way, you can ask for advice from the expert, and the expert can gain visibility and publicity.
Of course, this is not the only method to attract attention. If we understand the challenges that people and industries are going through, then we can conjure up solutions to offer them. No one would ever ignore possible solutions to a problem.
To be memorable to other people, we must know what we want them to remember us for.
Do we want to be remembered for our values and passions?
Do we want to be remembered for being a go-getter?
Do we want to be remembered for helping them out?
And the more those with the hiring power remember us, the higher the chances are that they will follow-through later.
In the meantime, be compassionate to ourselves and to others. Strengthen our resilience. And proactively work in our own terms.
Build your legacy with your personal brand once and for all with my proven method.