Posts Tagged ‘Randi Bussin’

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Tips for Creating a Compelling Brand Bio

Thursday, August 8th, 2013

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Tips for Creating a Compelling Brand Bio

Summer is a fabulous time to revisit your career marketing documents and get them ready for the Fall. If you have not dusted off your bio for a while, consider writing a branded bio (yes, it’s different!) and using all or parts of it on LinkedIn, and other social media sites. Here are some quick tips for crafting a compelling branded bio:

  • Inject your personality into your bio. Look at your 360Reach results, identify those traits that are most unique and compelling to you and incorporate them in your bio. Don’t be afraid to let the authentic you shine through.
  • Give people a feel for who you are, what drives you, what’s important to you. Create that much needed chemistry to “hook” the reader.
  • Let your softer skills come through-what makes you a great leader? It is your ability to mentor and coach employees? Is it your persuasive communications?
  • Include the whole YOU- your work, community and life. These are not three separate people but one holistic, integrated you!!!
  • Include a quote or testimonial from a client, industry expert, or subject matter expert. Get someone else to speak on your behalf and to validate your expertise.

In an effort to practice what I preach, I have hired Deb Dib, co-author of Ditch. Dare. Do! to help me with mine. We have been having fun this summer revisiting some of the basics of the Extract phase. Here is the link to my current and somewhat “dusty” brand bio.

Deb and I are working on my new brand bio this summer, and I’d be happy to share the results in an upcoming post.

Stay tuned….

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Corporate Culture and Personal Branding

Thursday, June 6th, 2013
Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Corporate Culture and Personal Branding

Corporate culture can be described as an organization’s “personality” and “how things are done around here.” Corporate culture is a broad term, and indicates how employees, think, act, feel, and behave. It is used to describe the unique personality and behavior of a company or organization, and can include such elements as core values, mission, beliefs, ethics, and rules of behavior.

So why then is this important? Corporate culture is important because it can affect you in many ways, such as the hours you work, the availability of options such as flextime and telecommuting, how people interact (or don’t), how people dress, the benefits offered to employees, office layout, training, and professional development. Corporate culture affects just about everything that relates to your work.

And culture ties strongly to and can impact your personal brand and how you are perceived professionally. Your personal brand is a combination of how you feel internally (values, passions, strengths, vision, purpose etc.) and how you are perceived by the external world and those who need to know about you.

If you are working in a professional environment that is a cultural mismatch for your ideals and values, then you might behave and come across in a way that does not represent who you truly are. Not only can this impact your external perception but it can leave you quite unfulfilled and miserable. And since branding is based in authenticity, this can be a real problem.

Here are some quick tips for assessing corporate culture:

  1. Know yourself well and to know what matters most to you (your values).
  2. Research the company’s corporate culture/values through networking meetings and online research.
  3. Pay attention to details as you are walking around the office during your interviews. Notice what people were doing and if they were interacting with one another. Observe the cafeteria lunchtime? Were there key phrases that the interviewers used frequently that would give you a clue as to what the company values/does not value?
  4. Ask good questions when you go on job interviews:
  • What three words or phrases would you use to describe the company/department culture? (Pay attention to the adjectives that are used to see if they fit with your values.)
  • Does the company have a stated set of cultural norms? (Often, a mission statement is a good place to start to gather insights in this area.)
  • Can you describe the environment here? (Pay attention to the words used and the aspects of the work environment the employer talks about, such as camaraderie, career-development opportunities, and work-life initiatives.)
  • What is the company’s attitude toward educational and professional development? (See if the company places a value on lifelong learning and advancement.)
  • What type of employee achievements are recognized by the employer? (Pay attention to what the company values, and whether any special awards are given for outstanding customer service, sales, etc.)
  • In what type of sponsorships or philanthropic activities does the company participate? (Does the company partner with the United Way, or support programs such as Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day? Do company employees volunteer for local charities?)

Finding the right corporate culture is key to your career and personal branding success. Do your homework and make sure you honor what is near and dear to you.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Mentoring and Your Personal Brand – Part 2

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Mentoring and Your Personal Brand – Part 2

In the first article, I discussed the importance of mentoring to career/life success and for extending your brand. In this article, I explore the essential skills and behaviors a mentor should possess and that you might want to look for when you evaluate someone as a potential mentor. This will ensure that you have a satisfying and productive mentoring relationship.

On the flip side, if someone asks you to become a mentor, you would want to exhibit these skills and behaviors as well.

What makes a good mentor?

  • Mentors are active listeners. A mentor listens well and demonstrates to their mentees that their concerns and issues have been heard and understood. This promotes confidence and builds trust, which is essential for any great mentoring relationship.
  • Build Trust. The more a mentee trusts you, the more committed he/she will be to the relationship. Be realistic and understand that trust develops over time, through spending quality time together, respecting your mentee’s boundaries, following through on your promises.
  • Identify Goals and Vision. A good mentor will help the mentee identify their goals, what’s important to them, their strengths and development needs.
  • Give Encouragement. Effective mentors encourage their mentees. It is as simple as complimenting your mentee on their accomplishments and positive traits, and commending them in front of others. Give them confidence to move forward despite their fears and doubts.
  • Be an informal teacher. As a mentor, you may need to do some informal teaching, so keep your eye out for teachable moments. Help your mentee find information and contacts. If appropriate, teach them new skills and help them acquire knowledge. Add model effective behavior.
  • Inspire Greatness. Do inspiring things yourself and model greatness; be a role model. Set a great example and help your mentees find other inspirational people and situations.
  • Provide Developmental Feedback. If you observe your mentee making mistakes, you should be direct with him or her and provide corrective feedback. Indicate some better ways to do something or how to act. Offer useful suggestions on what the mentee can do the next time.
  • Be A Door Opener. Try to provide visibility for your mentee and their strengths. If possible, open doors for them to meet new people and take on challenging assignments. Make sure their abilities and strengths are noticed by others.
  • Learn from Your Mentee. Don’t be too proud to learn from the protégé’s questions and experiences. The best mentoring is a two-way relationship in which people with various experiences and places in life learn from one another.
  • Build Your Brand. Walk the talk and show your mentee the importance of working ON their career and personal brand, and not just IN their career. Encourage them to get 360 feedback, engage in self-reflection, and determine what makes them unique, compelling, and differentiated.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Mentoring and Your Personal Brand

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Mentoring and Your Personal Brand

Having a mentor can provide a big boost to your career/life satisfaction meter as well as enhance and extend your personal brand. But most people don’t engage mentors, despite the huge benefits. Perhaps this stems, in part, from the definition of mentoring that many people carry around in their head. In the old world of work when I was coming up the corporate ranks, mentoring was rare and truly a one-way street. Typically a mentee or protégé had a single relationship with an individual, who was hierarchically superior to the mentee, and usually in the same organization.

Turn the clock ahead to present day and you’ll notice that mentoring has a very different feel to it. Those who are successful in career and life typically engage in multiple mentoring relationships at any given time, both formal and informal. These relationships tend to occur in many forms and with a wide variety of people, including subordinates, peers, superiors and people outside your company. Think of it as your own personal Board of Directors or Advisors.

Another reason individuals don’t engage mentors is that they do not understand the value that a mentor can offer them. Mentors offer different types of guidance and assistance:

  • Career assistance, such as coaching, providing exposure to new and challenging opportunities, enhanced brand visibility, and protection from damaging or tricky political situations
  • Social assistance, such as role modeling, counseling, advice on work-life balance, and friendship
  • Technical assistance, such as entering the new world of social media, training on an IT tool, and the nuts and bolts of a particular industry or role

As you think about your own career goals, take a moment to step back and evaluate your own developmental network/mentors.

  1. What patterns do you see in your network?
  2. What type of relationships would you like to cultivate?
  3. How might you improve the quality and quantity of your relationships?
  4. How might you increase the diversity of your network?
  5. How has your network changed over the course of your career?
  6. What opportunities exist for you to become a mentor to someone else?

In the second part of this series, we’ll explore what makes a good mentor and mentee.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Take Stock of the Old Before Making Room for the New

Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Take Stock of the Old Before Making Room for the New

With the holiday shopping season in full boom and the New Year just around the corner, I am sure you are already thinking about your goals for 2013. And, perhaps HR and your boss are asking you to put together your professional plan for 2013. Looking forward is certainly one way to define success. I would like to be controversial and suggest another way to close out the year that can be equally rewarding. How about getting closure on where you have been before making room for the new? Noting and owning your accomplishments for the past year sets the foundation for what’s next. It gives your brain a sense of closure and success rather than feeling like you are constantly running against the clock. Here is a quick exercise you can do:

  1. Grab a piece of paper, journal, or recorder and reflect upon the last year.
  2. Review your calendar and jog your memory of what you did and when.
  3. List any accomplishments or personal successes, no matter how small it may seem to you.
  4. Be sure to view your life holistically—your career, family, community service activities, finances, etc.
  5. Now review your list and dig deeper. Can you think of any accomplishments that go beyond the traditional way of thinking (major work projects, awards, raises)? Did you learn to communicate more effectively with your boss or team? Did you earn a new professional license? Did you step out of your comfort zone and express your brand in a new way? Are you receiving support from someone new?
  6. Ask for input. Find a close friend, spouse, or colleague and ask them to review the list with you. Ask them to add any successes you may have forgotten.
  7. Separate the work success, and draft a few lines on each accomplishment, noting the value you added to your firm. Did you help your firm increase revenues, save money, improve a process, develop a new program, or improve customer relationships? Be specific when you jot down these work accomplishments. Here is a quick formula you can use.
    1. Challenge – This is the background of your story. What was the particular situation that you faced?
    2. Actions – What actions did you take to tackle the problem, task, or opportunity?
    3. Results – What were the results of your actions? What outcomes did you achieve? Be sure to use numbers, percentages, and bottom-line results to quantify your results.
  8. Save these work accomplishments so if you have to update your résumé later in the year, you’ll have all the information you’ll need at your fingertips. Scrambling to remember these success six months later is always more difficult.
  9. Celebrate your accomplishments with a glass of egg nog, champagne, or homemade hot chocolate with whipped cream. Whatever will help you relish in your successes.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Road Testing Your New Career

Thursday, September 13th, 2012

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin

Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Road Testing Your New Career

If you have already narrowed down your potential career reinvention choices, you are probably thinking what’s next? After you have earmarked a field in which you want to work, it might be helpful to get some real world experience. Here are several low-risk ways to road test a career.

  • Volunteer. Volunteering is a great way to try out a new occupation. It will provide you with an unlimited view into how this type of work or organization fits your interests, passions, and goals. And, it will provide you with insight as to whether your skills match with this type of position. At the same time, volunteering can open up new networking avenues for you, which may be useful later if you decide to pursue this field.
  • Work Part Time. A similar approach would be to keep your current job (or a reduced hour version of your current job), and then start working part-time in a new area. So much work is contracted out that you can get experience working in a prospective career through free-lance work or temp work.
  • Transfer. If you like your company but just don’t like your job (i.e. the skills you use on a daily basis), consider an internal transfer. You could first take on additional duties to demonstrate that you are capable of doing more, willing to assume more responsibilities, and ready to move up or laterally to a new position. Letting supervisors know that you would be interested in a certain type of job builds an avenue of communication that could help lead to an effective job transfer or promotion.
  • Update Your Skills and Broaden Your Knowledge. Another method of shifting career directions involves formal education and or additional professional development. If you know your future direction and can afford it, you can go back to college (full time or part-time) to see if you like the subject area. Other options include enrollment in a certification program offered by a professional association, or take individual courses, classes, and seminars in an adult community education program.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Brainstorming Career Options

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Brainstorming Career Options

Once you have had a chance to assess your career likes, dislikes, motivated skills, values and passions, it is time to brainstorm potential career options where you can meet most of the criteria you have identified.

One way to go about this is to recruit several brainstorming partners. The expression, “more heads are better than one” definitely applies in this case! A good brainstorming partner is someone who is a good “out of the box” thinker, has worked in a variety of different career settings and does not have their own “agenda” about what you should or should not do.

Once you have recruited your candidates, send them a document outlining everything you have discovered about yourself – career likes, dislikes, passions, values, etc. Add in any additional notes that you think would be relevant, such as not wanting to go back to school, or geographical limitations. Then ask them if they would take 30 minutes of their time and brainstorm as many possible career options. Give people about a week to complete this assignment.

Once you get back all of your brainstorming information, sit down with a trusted colleague/friend and look at the choices. Try to narrow them down to 2-3 career options that you seem really interested in and that you would like to research. Once you begin researching options, you can always go back and modify this initial list. For example, suppose you select “fundraising” as one of your 2-3 career choices. If, after some initial web research and some informational meetings, you decide it is not something you want to pursue at this point in time, you can always take it off your list and add in another career option.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Getting a Handle on Your Finances for Career Change

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Getting a Handle on Your Finances for Career Change

Career change can require additional expenditures for professional development, joining professional associations, technical equipment, resume development and a myriad of other items. Add to that the worry about not knowing where you are heading, what type of salary you can make, and when you actually land and start collecting a paycheck. Here are a few things to do to help you prepare for the financial effects of this time of transition:

  1. Know what you’re getting into: Find out how much you can make in your new career by checking www.salary.com, www.salaryexpert.com, and www.payscale.com. Also, talk to professionals in your desired field to determine what salaries are available and what the long-term prospects are for compensation and advancement.
  2. Make a realistic budget: Start tracking your current expenses, and determine where you could tighten your belt. Then, start working at accumulating a three- to six-months cash cushion. Consider setting aside additional funds in case your reinvention period takes longer than expected. Taking on extra work (overtime, part-time job) could help you build up your savings.
  3. Plan for training expenses: Estimate how much you’ll need to spend for training and professional development. Ask those in your target field how much they spent on training, and research professional associations in your new field to determine how much they charge for training and certificate programs.
  4. Don’t overlook additional expenses: Membership in professional associations, attending professional conferences, and technology equipment and training all are potential extra expenses that you must plan for, as they can be essential for transitioning to that new occupation. Make sure you haven’t forgotten to plan for medical expenses that can be costly if you are between careers and coverage.
  5. Take some extra credit: Consider obtaining a line of credit while you are employed in your present job and have steady income. This might help relieve some stress and will help you feel more comfortable knowing that you have emergency funds available.

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: 10 Questions to Help You Tap into Your Interests and Passions

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

10 Questions to Help You Tap into Your Interests and Passions

1. Think about what energizes you – do you enjoy working with people, data, animals or things?

2. Are you more of a thinker or a doer?

3. Are there any particular industries that attract you?

4. What do you love to do in your free time?

5. What were the classes or specific subjects you enjoyed the most in school? (These do not need to be the classes in which you received the highest grade!)

6. If you could go back to school to study a new field, what classes or topics are of interest to you now?

7. If you could do any job in your life, what would you most enjoy doing?

8. Is there an activity or a cause you have been involved in or with on a personal level?

9. Are there areas where your friends and family perceive you as an expert?

10. When you go to a bookstore, what types of books and magazines do you gravitate towards?

Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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Career REinvention – Dream BIG!: Successful Goal Setting Strategies

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

Career REinvention – Dream BIG!
By Randi Bussin
Looking for your dream job? Ready to try something new? Helpful tips and tools to move you from one career to another.

Successful Goal Setting Strategies

Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy, happy and prosperous 2012!

The beginning of the New Year is a perfect time to reflect on where you have been, your successes and where you are going. This month, as you step back into the workplace or continue with a job search/career change, take a moment to reflect and do some serious career planning.

Goal setting is key to a successful search or reinvention. It helps you get crystal clear on what you want, the distractions that might block your success and helps motivate you to be successful. But, goal setting is hard- you have to stop, think and get specific. Here are some quick tips for writing and achieving your goals:

  1. Be specific – Don’t just say I want a new job. Answer the who, what, where, when and why questions.
  2. Measure for success – How will you know if you reach your goal? How will progress be measured?
  3. Stretch yourself – Set a goal that is realistic, but that will also get you to stretch, learn, stay motivated and grow.
  4. Urgency counts – A goal should always have a time frame associated with it, otherwise you’ll flounder.
  5. Have a support team – Identify a list of family members, work colleagues, and mentors you need to achieve your goal.
  6. Celebrate Wins – Treat yourself to mark the final accomplishment, or small steps of progress along the way.
  7. Take baby steps – Break your goal down into smaller steps, but do something every day. Keep the momentum going.
  8. Tweak for success – Review your progress and tweak and adjust the goal to stay motivated.

Good luck!
Randi Bussin, a Career Reinvention strategist, guides executives and business owners towards a renewed sense of direction, an actionable career reinvention and personal branding plan.

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