Note from Jimmy Hua: Not being pigeonholed is very important. Especially if you don’t want to. As professionals and humans we should be continually learning and growing. Make sure you are being acknowledged for your work and that other’s know what you.
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Are you being pigeonholed in your career?
Posted by Robin Fisher Roffer
It’s really true what your mother said: “You have only one chance to make a first impression.” In the workplace we tend to categorize people, make snap judgments, and that’s it. Those first impressions are lasting and very hard to change.
So what if you’ve been pigeonholed, whether intentionally or otherwise, in a way that doesn’t reflect who you really are? The solution lies in embracing the values and attributes that make you you. By making a list of your talents, passions, and unique abilities, and then paying attention to the ways you act in accordance with (and contrary to) those traits, you will begin to reinvent yourself and the way others perceive you.
Through helping clients reinvent themselves and their brands, I’ve learned that you have to dig deep to unearth your soul and your real reason for being. Great brands pour all of this into a verbal and visual container that defines who they are, in a very clear, consistent, and authentic way.
Yes. I said authentic. Don’t make the mistake of branding yourself (as so many women do) as a caretaker, people pleaser, or tough cookie. These are all inauthentic masks. You’re better off peeling away all these layers to reveal your true nature. That’s how you’re going to succeed.
Some of the greatest personal brands in the world aren’t slick. Think about Steve Jobs, Ellen Degeneres, Olympic snowboarder Shawn White. They’re authentic, innovative, and passionate. Their appeal and magnetism has nothing to do with being someone they’re not.
These super-charged brands never let someone else define them. They do that for themselves, and so can you! Being a brand is all about discovering what’s positively unique about you and turning those talents and strengths into your advantage so you can thrive in your career and perform at your highest potential.
Remember, business is a talent show, and no one knows what’s special about you better than you do. So, don’t squander it … focus on it! Climb out of your pigeonhole by planting your flag in the ground and declaring who you are and what you’re good at. If you haven’t already done this, I promise that your co-workers, bosses, and clients have done it for you. But they might have gotten it wrong—and that’s the danger.
The good news is that it’s not too late. Every day is a chance to reinvent yourself and become brand new. To get started, take out a pad and paper and follow these three steps.
1. Examine Your Values and Passions
Make a list of your core values and ask yourself how your actions reflect those values and how they go against them. Then list what gets you out of bed in the morning and makes time fly at work.
2. Get Clear On Your Expertise
What do you do really well? What are you praised for in the workplace? What do you do better than your competitors?
3. Define What You Want to Be Known For
Out of all these talents and strengths, what would you like to be known for that sets you apart? Write a descriptive paragraph that’s loaded with the benefits of working with you. Make sure they support your specialty.
This is the beginning of taking charge of how you’re perceived. By creating a powerful language around how you position yourself, you can align with the types of projects and people you want to attract. And your clients/customers/employers will understand exactly what you do, why you do it better than anyone else, and why they need you to do it for them.
Watch for my post next week, in which I’ll help you create realistic goals toward defining your dreams and making them happen.