You feel ready for your next career move, you’ve worked hard and you even have some ideas about the ideal next role. You’ve set up some networking meetings with key people who can help you get to the next level and after the small talk you get down to what your heart desires which is a shiny, interesting and challenging new job. Then you lead out with something like this….
“Ideally I would have more experience in…(insert your choice of words) under my belt before I applied for another role”
And right there and then you’ve just dropped on the table your weakness and potentially signaled that you feel you are not quite ready. Maybe you were just buffering yourself from disappointment in case you were not seen as ready for the next role or you were worried about appearing too bigheaded if you said that you felt really confident. Whatever the reason, leave it behind and reboot your thinking as I help you think about another way of positioning yourself; one which also increases your professional currency (reputation).
Impression Management 101 – don’t declare any weaknesses or negatives when positioning yourself for a career move, however, do be super ready to address this should the question be asked of you.
Every conversation you have in your organization or industry provides people with an impression of you, whether you like it or not. So it follows that how you present yourself at work is always important. Only now, when you are seeking to move to the next level and you want someone to take a chance on you or endorse you to someone else who will take a chance on you, the stakes are higher.
Let’s look at something bolder that has people sit up and take notice of your intention to tackle the next career challenge.
Answer any questions about your readiness or suitability for the next role honestly and succinctly. If someone points out that you do not have the experience required for the next role, be prepared to address the perceived gap. Remember at this stage any gap that is presented to you is only another’s perception; your ability in the next role is competently untested at this point.
Focus on the things which you genuinely believe will contribute to you being successful and back it up with something from the past that substantiates this. Something along these lines….
“I bring (insert your key skill) and (insert your relevant experience) and in the past I have always chosen positions that are a stretch for me so that I’m growing and developing in every new role. I will give this everything I have, that’s what I do and it has always worked out.”
“One of my strategies is to quickly identify the key advisors and mentors who will help me and I build the relationships that are critical while I’m learning and gaining experience.”
Notice the optimism in the above statement, not blind optimism, your stating that optimism has a great track record! You’ll be sending the impression about who you are, how you’ve approached things before and how you roll.
A few quick tips to summarise how to increase your professional currency:
Find your own level of authenticity and speak from that level.
Back yourself completely, people will be impressed by this.
Be prepared to address any perception of gaps in your experience or competence however do not be the one who raises them first.
Present yourself with optimism and exuberance, these qualities are contagious.
Helping people connect to their best careers and lives is why I do what I do; I hope this helps you connect to yours.
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