Brand You: The Problem with Resumes

Resumes.  Ah.  Now that’s a tricky one.


Because resumes label and most people can’t see past labels.  So if your label doesn’t precisely match the one the organization is searching for, then you’ll get dismissed, straight out-of-the-gate.

It takes an out-of-the-box thinker to see that what you’ve done or where you’ve studied doesn’t equate to who you are.  It takes an innovator to understand that a person’s past (or lack of one) does not mentor their future.

But the real hurdle is not the question of whether the resume handler has the chops to get past your past…it’s whether or not you do.

Can you see how your film school background makes you uniquely qualified to manage new media initiatives?  Or that those CPA initials don’t forever brand you as a non-creative?  Because if you can’t, it’s a certainty that no one else will.

Re-branding yourself is not simply about dusting off and polishing up an old resume.  It’s more than that:  It’s about reinvention.  And reinvention ain’t for sissies.  It takes courage.  The courage to shed the labels of your past and redefine yourself for the future.  The courage to stand steady under fire.  The courage to act with fearless determination no matter how many times you hear the word ‘no.’

So before you begin to sell yourself, make sure you believe in what you’re selling.  And remember, the only devil at the gate is you.

Wobbly Legs and Wisdom: Finding Your Way Through Change

Growth Strategies.  New Business.  Divorce.  Second Chapters.  Reinvention.  Kids Gone.  Mid-Life.  New Life.

Transitions:  Unpredictable.  Exciting. Terrifying.

Especially when most everyone around you is shaking their heads and thinking you’ve gone crazy.  You mean you’re going to quit that high six-figure job to…..what?….did you say write a novel?… you know no one gets published?  Cutting a demo? Uh, huh. Sure.  You want to…what did you say….let go our largest customer and change market strategy…now?…..uh, how exactly do you expect to make payroll?

Big and bold.  The only changes that really matter;  the ones hardest to make.

So how do you know you haven’t lost your mind; that you aren’t quixotically chasing windmills and showing the first telltale  signs of self-delusional mania?  Well…I hate to tell you…but in the beginning, you often don’t….But you go forward anyway because you just know there’s no other option for you.

But what do you do when you’re not so sure?  When you feel like you’re about to risk it all and the only thing you know for sure is that you don’t know anything for sure?

Well; you begin at the beginning.  You search and investigate; read and ask; experiment and fail; in short, you seek.  You assemble a team: Coaches and mentors, boards and advisers, therapists and healers, psychics and tarot card readers–––whatever suits your fancy and floats your yet-to-be honed internal wisdom boat. You ask for feedback; you gather reference points; you take it all in.

And you do all that…only….if you are also willing to cast it all aside.  To take that which resonates and find your own way.  And that’s tricky in the beginning.  Tricky and majorly scary.  But trust me, over time those wobbly legs of internal wisdom develop enough heft to support even the weightiest of all your big, bold moves.

But warning! wisdom newbies…as with any tale of heroics, there’s a cautionary one here as well.  And it’s important so please, listen-up–––Because of anything, this is the one thing that can capsize that adventure-seeking boat of yours before it’s even left the dock:

When you’re about to do something new and exciting; something that is a departure from everything you’ve ever done; the big thing that will undoubtedly redefine who you are and who you are destined to become: It’s often the people who love you most whose advice will matter the least.  Paradoxically, and sometimes even tragically.

And why? Because the people who love you most, have a vested interest in who you are today; in preserving the status quo.  They’re the people who’ve paid for your education; who’ve met you at the end of the aisle; loaned you the money; have known you since you were ‘knee-high to a grasshopper.’  If you change; a part of them is forced to change as well.  Ooh.  Talk about scary….and threatening.

Which is not to say you secretly take out a loan without your spouse knowing, or quit a job with no way of paying the rent, or blow up the landscape around you so that it is as empty and barren as a moonscape.  Nope.  That would be foolish.

But sometimes, you will find that there are people in your life you will have no choice but to leave behind.  Who refuse to see you in any other way than how you used to be; who for whatever reasons of their own, can’t let go.  So when those naysayers and fear mongers surround you, smile at them and forgive them….and let them go.

And remember, at some point, you’ll need to quiet all those external voices anyway. You’ll need to go deep inside yourself to look for the answers on your own.  And you’ll find that they are there–––where they’ve always been–––right from the very beginning.

Good luck,  pioneers!


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