I was approached last week by John, a friend who wants to change careers. He asked me to help him update his LinkedIn profile. If brevity was a specialty, he would be master. His profile showed almost nothing about him, other than his job title, current employer and location.
John said he didn’t know what his goals were or what he wanted to do, he just didn’t feel fulfilled.
I asked him a series of questions: if he woke up on Saturday with no obligations, what would he do? Would he prefer to work inside or outside, sitting down or moving, with others or solo? If he could volunteer with any organization, what would it be and what would he do for them?
John’s answers highlighted what he wanted to do and the essence of who he is.
He wants to help people, to have an active job that reflects his sports-filled life style. He wants to work around others while doing his “own thing”. Everything he described to me was the opposite of what he is currently doing: working alone in a cubicle, sitting and making phone calls and sending emails all day.
Once we figured out what he wants to do, we could look at setting up goals to help him get there, and develop a brand for him. John’s brand needs to represent him while supporting his efforts to help him achieve his goals.
If his brand was “wall flower telemarketer” he would have a hard time attaining a position that allows him to put the phone down and interact with people face to face. Even more so, wallflower implies shyness or anti-social, so a company would be hard pressed to hire him for a position that required an element of social skills.
We started building John’s brand: a high achiever with leadership qualities and a “get it done” attitude.
The brand isn’t complete and will likely continue to evolve as John learns more about who he is and what he wants to do. However, he is headed in the right direction and his LinkedIn profile is getting more views than ever.