Just because you haven’t landed your dream job yet doesn’t mean you never will.
The remedy for unemployment is working on your personal brand every single day.
Why, you ask?
Because you put yourself in position to take control of your future.
However, I nearly regretted those loans when I struggled to find a job for 1.5 years, but instead of getting upset, I got busy.
It wasn’t long before I realized that I had to work on myself before I sought out to work for somebody else. In other words: I needed to improve my personal brand.
Every single person has a brand. It’s your reputation based on your accomplishments, professionalism, work ethic and integrity, and it creates your professional image.
You want to attract people in the same way Nike shoes attract people, and you guessed it: better brand = bigger money.
The Remedy for Unemployment
When an employer hires you, they do so based on your perceived brand image, and improving that image is a never-ending process. Here are 5 tips for becoming someone any team would love to have:
1. Find 3 Things You Excel At
Don’t be overly critical of yourself.
I know how it feels to get bounced from interview to interview without as much as a call in return, but this isn’t the time to hang your head – you need to be honest with yourself.
What do you excel at? If you can’t think of anything, think again.
One of the ways to get an assessment of what you bring to the table is to ask your friends. They should give you some good feedback, assuming they’re not terrible people who want nothing more than to see you fail in spectacular fashion.
Once you’ve found your swagger again and determined your strengths, pat yourself on the back.
You’ve just taken the first step towards improving your personal brand by equipping yourself with the confidence necessary to succeed.
Now the fun begins.
2. Jump in the Deep End
The best way to gain experience and improve your skills is to do stuff.
Don’t worry if you’re not working in fashion design, running Silicon Valley or working on Wall Street at the moment. For now, stop looking for the perfect opportunity – make the most of what’s in front of you.
I never had an internship during college. While my classmates were improving their employment chances and building their resumes and personal brands, I was holding out for the perfect opportunity.
That was a big mistake.
By my junior year I realized how shoddy my resume looked and I decided to stop being so picky. I worked at a coffee shop for my work-study and when the position opened up, I angled myself to become the Manager of Financial Operations.
During my interviews for my first job out of college, this role was always discussed because it demonstrated a skill set that I wasn’t able to show at my previous jobs or in class.
If you see an opportunity to showcase yourself, take the initiative. If the opportunity never presents itself, create your own opportunity.
The most successful people are the ones welcoming change and making an impact in all walks of life. Your remedy for unemployment is right in front of you, and it’s time to start getting your hands dirty.
3. Focus Your Strengths on Making an Impact
The reason why I started Home at 30 was because I didn’t want another student to struggle with debt and unemployment like I did.
Being self-aware was a crucial aspect of that because it allowed me to focus my strengths on helping others.
Do you want to know a secret? That’s the secret! Creating value as an entrepreneur or employee starts with identifying a problem. The next step in the process is finding a way to solve that problem.
Doing stuff you’re good at is fun, don’t you think? Leverage your skills and strengths to solve problems the best way you know how.
Make an impact that nobody can deny – one which has your personal brand written all over it.
4. Tell People about Your Accomplishments
The only way people will come to know your value is if you tell them.
Every great product gets its start by displaying value and telling others about it. You need to become your own best marketer because if you don’t sell yourself, who will?
Sell Yourself in Person
It can be difficult to brag about yourself to someone else. Well, for some people it’s difficult.
Nevertheless, when it comes to your livelihood, it’s not only okay to do that, it’s encouraged. You need to show confidence when speaking with a hiring manager instead of blushing and speaking softly.
Tell them who you are, what you’ve done, and what you’ll do for them. You can add value to their team; you just need to tell them how.
Sell Yourself on Paper
I struggled to find a job in college because I waited too long to seek worthwhile accomplishments to put on my resume.
Believe me, it’s never too early to start building that bad boy. If you need to take unpaid internships to help get you started, go for it.
It’s always a good thing to have too much to put on your resume instead of not enough.
5. Ask for Opportunities
I got a huge boost in college when I became the Manager of Financial Operations. That position didn’t fall in my lap – I got the position because I asked for it.
People can do many things, but they can’t read minds. If you want something, let a decision-maker know about it. That goes for whether you’re seeking a promotion, a higher salary, or just more responsibility.
If you demonstrate a willingness to add value and put in extra work, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish.
Just like the remedy for unemployment, you’ll find that the keys to unlock your career lies within. Have you thought about yourself as a brand before? How do you plan to improve your brand? Start the conversation below!
All opinions expressed on this blog are solely those of Home at 30 and are in no way affiliated with any other organization or institution. The purpose of this blog is to give general education and information about investing, wealth, careers, and college; It is not intended to be professional advice.
After earning an undergraduate degree in Economics and a Master of Arts in Management at Wake Forest University, Josh has paid off over $80k in student loan debt in 3 years. Josh wants to help people make smarter decisions by sharing the lessons he’s learned about brand/career building, making the most of college, and pursuing financial independence.