Position Yourself for Opportunities

Written By V.J. Niles

As seasoned professionals you have a vast amount of knowledge and skills and you may be really good at what you do, but no one knows it. You have to position yourself and your talents for people to know that you can help their organization succeed. This was something I figured out when I started changing careers. I had to be able to let someone know what I could do and make them see past my job title. Once I figured out what I needed to say to it became so much easier for me to change careers and I did it four times. Now, I teach my clients how to position their talents and not their titles to get the roles they desire. Here are three ways you can position yourself for success.

Build a professional brand
Who are you as a professional? How can people learn more about you? A professional brand is a great way to make yourself known. You can choose an online platform to build your professional reputation on and showcase your expertise. I would recommend LinkedIn because it’s a professional social media site, utilize it to build your reputation as a subject matter expert. Start conversations around topics in your industry, if you like to write then add articles on LinkedIn. If you’re not comfortable posting your own content then comment on other people’s posts and add value. People need to know you’re a professional they can come to for whatever it is you do. Pick your platform of choice, follow industry leaders and start adding to conversations around your areas of expertise.

Talk to the results you provide.
Most people struggle with talking about themselves because we are not taught to talk about ourselves or we’re narcissists, but we need to be able to talk about what we can do in order to move our careers forward. Don’t start or lead a conversation with your job title, tell someone the impact you have made and what kind you want to make in a new role. If you’re talking to a recruiter or someone in your network and you just say your title that person may not know what it is you actually do. Most parents had no idea what teachers went through and did on a regular basis prior to lockdown. It was not until they had to do the job that they understood it. So, think of your job title in the same way, tell someone what you can do by talking to an accomplishment or two that you have based on the type of role you are looking for. Write down two or three of your accomplishments and be able to speak to them when talking to recruiters, networking or interviewing. It will help you get connected to the right people and opportunities.

Create a marketing campaign for yourself.
This may sound strange, but create a marketing campaign. You need to market yourself to recruiters, your network and companies. Get creative and strategic in how you do that. Sending out generic messages is not going to work so create a marketing plan that you can implement over a two–four-week period. It should include what medium you want to use for communicating and networking then draft messages and start marketing yourself. You cannot hang in the shadows and except others to see your light.

It may seem uncomfortable to put yourself out there and use these steps, but what do you have to lose? Are you getting the results you want with the old methods? If no, then try something new. You’re not too old to change, you’re not too young, you’re not too anything. You can position your talent and find a great new role that you will thrive in.

About The Author:

Vakassia “VJ” Niles is founder of The Niles Group and a Strategist that helps midcareer professionals develop their careers with essential tools and strategies. With 20 plus years of experience across four industries, she is able to help professionals pivot in their careers, excel in their companies, build professional brands, and network effectively for business growth. She’s a contributing author in “Just Me: The Business Woman’s Personal Branding Guide” and frequently speaks on career and professional development, pivots, career support systems, sponsorship, and networking.  Her past speaking engagements include Panasonic, Tesla, GlaxoSmithKline, and WiseHER.