Career Advice Archives - The Winding Road

Imposter Syndrome’s Kryptonite

Imposter Syndrome and Curiosity Recently, I was talking with a friend about imposter syndrome and making career pivots. We explored a lot of different angles and examples of this topic. I’m not big on the term “superpower” to describe our core strengths, but I’m warming up to it. During our conversation, I came to realize that one of my core strengths or “superpowers” is actually not knowing what I’m doing. At least the feeling of not knowing what I’m doing or the feeling of not knowing enough. One thing I know about myself is that I’m extremely curious and love …

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What Do Brand Line Extensions Have to Do with Your Career?

You may be asking, what are line extensions? Well, the next time you go to the grocery store or Walgreens, take a look at the toothpaste aisle. What do you see? The reason I picked toothpaste is that I had to buy some a few weeks ago, and I was left confused and overwhelmed. Crest had three rows, Colgate had two rows, and the bottom row was every other brand. There were more choices of Crest toothpaste than I have teeth in my mouth. I’m not sure how many different kinds of fresh taste combined with whitening most people need, …

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It’s a Side Project, Not a Side Hustle

They’re Projects, Not Hustles Recently I’ve been hearing more buzz and conversations around side gigs or “side hustles.” Personally, I hate the term “side hustle,” and I don’t particularly like “side gig” either. Side projects or just projects would be better. As the economy (and world) changes, the way we work will also change. The way companies hire is myopic and transactional. It’s nearly impossible to pivot your career at any point if you feel it’s not going down the path you’d like. Networking, Not Applying Especially if you don’t know anyone working at one of your target companies – …

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Are You Seeking a Career or a Job?

Seeking a Job vs. Seeking a Career A few days ago I posted the following on LinkedIn and Twitter: If you’re "spraying and praying" and applying to jobs without any curiosity or interest in the company that posted it, you’re looking for a job, not the next step in your career.And that’s fine. #careers #CareerDevelopment— Travis L. Scott (@509marketer) July 7, 2020 Some people confuse a job as being part of their career, but I disagree. After watching Elizabeth Gilbert break down the difference between a career, job, hobby, and vocation, it all became more clear for me. Here’s the …

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Everything You Do is Branding

This title isn’t just meant to get your attention or pique your curiosity. It’s an assertion I stand behind. Over the past several months, I’ve been exploring the concept of branding and brand marketing since most of my professional experience has been in direct marketing. Last week I wrote about something similar in my post Brands Make Promises, So Should You. Direct marketing is what you do when you send an email campaign or create Google Ads (aka paid search) and send them out into the world. Both of those things can be measured by saying we spent $X and …

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Brands Make Promises, So Should You

Marketing is a Promise   I’m in the beginning phase of writing a book about marketing and, more specifically, recruitment marketing.  In the beginning, I’m providing background and building a foundation based on what marketing is (and what it isn’t).  This morning I wrote (in my book) about the promises that marketing makes, and it made me think about how we extend that to our careers. Every day, every bit of communication we have with people – email, phone calls, Zoom meetings, conversations at a conference – is part of building others’ perception of who you are and what you’re …

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Career Capital – The Best Investment in Yourself You Can Make

In his book So Good They Can’t Ignore You, author Cal Newport talks a lot about something he calls “career capital.” [1] Simply put, career capital is nothing more than building and acquiring rare and valuable skills over time. The term rare can be subjective. Rare skills don’t necessarily have to be a single rare skill. You could take several skills that a lot of people have and combine them into a portfolio or combination that is rare. Take my experience, for example. I have sales experience, technical recruiting experience, project management experience, marketing experience (and education), and leadership and management …

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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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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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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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