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No matter what industry you’re working in – or want to work in – my career advice is simple: Be empowered and approach your career as if you were an entrepreneur. In other words, be an Empowered Career Seeker (ECS).
For more than 12 years, I have been a talent leader in the healthcare industry and can tell you that Empowered Career Seekers are in high demand. Companies are willing to invest in the development of an ECS. Why? Because an empowered, entrepreneurial employee is more engaged and will succeed in his/her own career path, enabling the overall success of their team, department, and company. They possess the extremely valuable qualities of being accountable, innovative and resilient.
Does driving your own career path and finding an employer that is supportive of your success sound good to you? Well, don’t wait any longer. Here are 9 ways you can become an Empowered Career Seeker in your job search – or role – starting today.
9 Ways to Become an Empowered Career Seeker
- Identify your personal brand and create an elevator speech to showcase it. Just as entrepreneurs identify and market the brand of their business, an Empowered Career Seeker should have a clearly defined personal brand. Knowing who you are will help you find an employer that will allow you to shine and have the greatest impact.
- Know what are you looking for in an employer. When a company posts a job position, they are searching for certain qualities and skills in their candidates. A good company will invest in whomever they hire, so they will take their time to find the best person they can. Do the same. Empowered Career Seekers will invest themselves in their work, so make sure you know what will keep you motivated or break your stride. Take time to choose an employer that can provide you with the best work environment for your goals and aspirations.
- Make sure an employer’s mission means something to you. As an individual you are probably guided by a set of values. These values influence the way you see the world, treat others and approach your work. A company’s mission should be inline with your personal mission. This will contribute to your overall happiness and motivation in your career. If your mission in life is to help people live better, make sure your employer not only feels the same but also has programs/projects in place to put a mission into action.
- Allow yourself to be challenged. I still believe there are very hard working people in the world, but we’ve evolved as a society – thanks in large part to advancements in technology – to be a bit opposed to challenges. Quick and easy access to the Internet make some problem solving easier, but if a challenge can’t be solved within a 5 minute Google search we can lose our patience. As an ECS, however, you will welcome this challenge to push forward and find solutions working with your team and inspiring others who have given up. This will not only make you stand out in the workplace, but you will become a diligent and reliable resource to your team and employer.
- Find opportunities to change the world. You are in charge of your life and your career. Empowered Career Seekers don’t wait for opportunities: they create them. If you have an idea for a new project or process at work, put a plan together and present it to your boss. If you want to volunteer for a special cause, find a way to put a program together for your whole team or company to get involved in. The experience will be valuable to you and everyone around you.
- Be empowered to challenge the norm and status quo. Not allowed? See #7.
- Identify organizations that resonate with your personal brand. The culture or environment you operate in is an extension of you, so seek out companies that demonstrate an extension of your personal brand. As more and more companies “hire to values”, an ECS applies to values. For example, if you value innovation, find an employer that provide programs, such as Lean or Six Sigma, that allow you to be entrepreneurial and act on your innovative ideas. Participating in these types of programs allow you to bring value to your personal brand while contributing to your team, department and company.
- Network through social media, events, conferences, etc.
- Remember: an interview is for you and the employer. You want to see if they fit with your brand and vice-versa. Know your brand and do research ahead of time about the employer. Ask questions, be bold and highlight your entrepreneurial interests.
In what ways have you learned to be an empowered career seeker?