Blog - The Winding Road

Blog

Should We “Brand” Ourselves Professionally?

I’ve been thinking a lot about brand marketing, brands, and the concept of personal (or professional) brands. In the past, I’ve ignored branding and brand marketing because I didn’t think I was creative enough to be involved with it. Now I’m starting to realize that branding isn’t about being witty and creative in that way.  It’s about crafting a story in a way to shape people’s perception of your products or services. It’s like a guiding hand in helping them form their own stories about your brand. It’s why storytelling is such a valuable skill to have and to practice.  …

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What does it mean to ‘make the most of each day’?

Making the Most of Each Day? Are we really making the most of each day? When you hear someone say that, what does it even mean?  Does it mean we’re effectively utilizing every minute of each day?  Or, does it mean have we properly prioritized the things in our life and then focusing our energy on getting the highest priority things done? Or, does it mean if we had a chance to take a break that we didn’t take because that would mean we’re ‘lazy’ or unfocused? Does it mean we sat at our desk for 8 straight hours today …

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The irrationality of fear

It’s been nearly a year since I spun up my site The Winding Road to talk about careers. I didn’t quite know exactly what I was going to talk about but I knew it would have something to do with our careers and the non-linear trajectory that’s the reality for so many of us.  One of the first things I wrote about was fear.  Little did I know that fear would be such a prevalent feeling or so many of us a year later and not only as it relates to our careers and willingness to try new things, but …

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Who’s it for?

Who’s it for? That’s what was on my mind as I was running this morning.  This is an important element of any marketing strategy or campaign. I’ve always thought of it as complementary to the question of “what’s it for?” Usually putting more emphasis on the latter question, probably because it’s usually easier to figure out.  That’s what I’ve done with the writing and content creation I’ve been focused on over the past year.  This is on my mind because I don’t think it just applies to my content or marketing projects. It applies to nearly everything we do. It’s …

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Your Harshest Critic

We’re our own harshest critic. That’s a fact. Sometimes the criticism is more stinging than at other times. Sometimes we brush it off, but usually, that’s when the stakes are low.  The higher the stakes, the bigger the critic.  If we’re stretching our capabilities, learning something new, the nasty critic will show up again. Always trying to talk us out of whatever it is we’re doing.  It’s a big reason people don’t learn new things – adults at least.  We’re afraid to look like a failure at something we’ve never done and have zero experience doing.  Think about that for …

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Changing the Game – Without a Resume

How can you get noticed without a resume or a LinkedIn profile? If you’re a software engineer and have a LinkedIn profile it’s like throwing bread out to hungry pigeons. It doesn’t take long before the flock of recruiters sending you messages grows and grows and grows.  LinkedIn has all kinds of fancy filters that recruiters can use that make discriminating against people pretty easy. Things like filtering results by graduation date making it nearly impossible for older employees to even show up in some search results. That’s why you won’t find my graduation dates anywhere on my LinkedIn profile. …

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8 Reasons to Start Networking- Even if You’re Not Looking for Another Role

If you never visit LinkedIn because you aren’t looking for another role you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to build a strong, intentional network that will pay dividends well into the future. Making the right connections is, in my opinion, more important than what you know at any given time. Back when I was a corporate recruiter, LinkedIn was an integral part of my day. I spent more time on LinkedIn than anything else throughout the day. It’s been nearly five years (I was actually shocked when I realized how long it’s been) since I’ve done any recruiting on …

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Inbound vs Outbound Marketing and Your Career

I’m currently reading From Impossible to Inevitable by Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin. You might think it’s strange that a marketing person is reading a book about sales. Prior to marketing, I was in sales roles. Both legit sales roles and recruiting, which is mostly a sales role. If great marketers make change, they also are connecting buyers with sellers. Buyers don’t always have to be physically purchasing something. It could also mean creating buy-in to a concept, idea, or in the case of your career, buying into your skills and experience. Great marketing bookends the sales process. It creates …

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Our Narratives and the Stories We Tell Ourselves

It’s all invented. Those three words have changed the way I view the world. A few months ago I read the book The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. The very first chapter is titled “It’s All Invented.” It’s a great book and I would highly recommend it. However, I probably could have stopped reading after Chapter 1 because that phase was all I needed to understand. It was a game-changer for me. The premise is so much of the world around us is and has been invented. Invented by humans. We invent things every day. …

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My Promise: To Become a Power Connector During This Crisis

I’ve been wracking my brain over the past week about how I can help people during this time of crisis. I’m fortunate to have a job and work for a company that is in a good financial position to weather this storm- at least for some time.  As I hear about those who have gone from a seemingly secure job to no job overnight, I can’t help but think about how difficult that has to be.  It seems as though more companies are laying people off than are hiring, but that doesn’t mean you have to stop trying, give up, …

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