The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

196: Best of Episode: Stop Pitching! (Tips to Help You Shape Your Unique Professional Value)

October 31, 2023 John Neral Season 3
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
196: Best of Episode: Stop Pitching! (Tips to Help You Shape Your Unique Professional Value)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Imagine turning the tables in your professional conversations and interviews, approaching them from a position of value and service rather than pitching yourself, much like you're on Shark Tank. That's the transformative shift we explore in this enriching episode. We delve into the art of crafting a unique professional value statement, guiding you to leverage your skills and talents effectively. This episode is all about empowering you, the professional, to make a lasting impression without appearing needy or desperate. We challenge the conventional wisdom of 'selling yourself' and discuss a mindset shift that will revolutionize how you network and interview.

Building on this, we share useful strategies for developing your unique professional value, helping you connect with your motivations and passion for the work you do. This isn't just about getting hired; it's about becoming invaluable. We also discuss resources and tips specifically tailored for mid-career professionals, showing you how to take full advantage of your network and the resources at your disposal. Finally, you're invited to join our private Facebook group and download free resources to bolster your career journey. Connect with us on LinkedIn and social media to remain plugged into this value-based revolution in professional networking and interviewing. This is your invitation to approach your career with renewed confidence and authenticity.

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Speaker 1:

Hey there, I am continuing to recover from my surgery. Things are going well. Thank you so much for the thoughts and prayers and well wishes. Please keep them coming and, if all goes well, I look forward to being back with you next week with new episodes. But before I get into this best of episode, I wanna tell you about my dear friend, rhonda Schur. Rhonda is known as your LinkedIn consultant and I owe so much about what I know on LinkedIn to Rhonda's help and expertise. I hired her several years ago to revamp and optimize my LinkedIn profile, and the way I play and I show up on LinkedIn is in large part due to what I have learned from Rhonda. So it makes sense that, as Rhonda is getting ready to launch her brand new bootcamp next week, I wanted to have her on the podcast to share more information about it. Unfortunately, that didn't happen, but I'm gonna link up in the show notes to her brand new bootcamp. It is called the Perfect your Profile Bootcamp. She is doing five days of live sessions from November 6th through the 10th, and while this bootcamp is specifically geared toward entrepreneurs and business owners who use LinkedIn as a way to generate leads, I'd be remiss to tell you that if I didn't tell you, rather, that there are so many great things in her bootcamp about optimizing your profile and how to leverage LinkedIn as an active job seeker, that I guarantee you you will get wonderful things from her bootcamp. So check the show notes. Click on the link to learn more about Rhonda Shers Perfect your Profile Bootcamp and I look forward to seeing you there. So with that, I am gonna take you today all the way back to April 5th 2022, episode 93,. It is called Stop Pitching and it aligns very nicely in terms of how we show up and play on LinkedIn. I know so many of you as active job seekers think you can get on LinkedIn and just connect to somebody and say are you hiring? Don't do that. There is a time and a place to do that, and so in this episode, which ranks in the top 10 of all of my episodes I've produced, the goal behind Stop Pitching is to show up from a place of value and service, to build your connections over time and to do them very genuinely and authentically. So, my friends, it is my pleasure to give you this best of episode called Stop Pitching and, fingers Crossed and Prayer Said, I look forward to being back with you with new content next week. Take care and enjoy this best of episode. Over the weekend, I was watching an episode of Shark Tank. Admittedly, I enjoy watching it, but I'm not as much of an avid watcher as I was when the series first began. And if you haven't seen it, it's the show where entrepreneurs come to pitch their products to a group of wealthy investors. It absolutely makes for great TV. But the problem is that many career professionals watch this show and they think that they have to pitch themselves. They have to pitch who they are and what they do in order to get their next job. And I'm here to tell you it could not be further from the truth. In today's episode, I am gonna help you stop pitching and approach any network conversation or interview from a much different place, and that place is gonna help get more people interested in who you are and what you do, so they can start seeing you as somebody who can fill that position and be a valuable new talent acquisition to their company or organization. So, as I talked about at the beginning, there is this common notion that, as career professionals, we have to pitch. We have to pitch who we are. We need to have that elevator pitch. You've got 15 seconds go, and what I know is that, for many heart-centered leaders and professionals, they struggle with this. The idea of pitching, where they have to talk about themselves and why you need them and why you want them in your organization, causes a lot of mind drama for them, because they feel like talking about themselves doesn't seem very authentic or genuine in the way that they're taught to pitch. When we pitch, we're coming from a place of want or need. In referencing the Shark Tank example at the beginning of the episode, those entrepreneurs that come into the Shark Tank, they want something. They want a shark to invest in their business and help them grow and scale their business. So, yes, they can reach more people, but they're also going to go make a ton of money, they believe, by doing this. What happens, though, when we go to pitch, is that we can come across as being very grassy or needy, honestly, even a little desperate, and you and I both know that when we are in this space of energy where somebody is feeling a little needy or desperate, it's very easy for us to get turned off. If you've ever been in a store where someone has walked up to you and they want to talk to you about your cell phone provider or if you need a new roof on your house or you need a new windows. There is that element where they pitch and it can be very off-putting for a lot of people. Now I always try to approach those situations with a lot of kindness, because that person is doing a job and they're doing their best and they're going to talk to a lot of people that day and hopefully they're going to get a sale or two. But that's where it can get awkward, especially if you're so desperate that you need to get that sale and come from that place of energy where it really is this sense of lack, and that's what I want to emphasize here. When you are pitching, you have to make sure that you're not coming from this place of lack, and that is where this mind shift around. Coming from this place of value and service that I have worked so hard to develop and develop with my clients on makes a much better impression for the people whom they're connecting with. Now there is a place where you are going to pitch If you have that 15 or 30 seconds, if you are in a spot where you don't have a lot of time and you have to get to the point. Pitching can help you in that regard. I know there are people out there and many of you who might be listening to this who don't want to abandon this idea of a pitch because you've worked so hard at that. So what I want to offer you here is there is a way to compartmentalize the components of the pitch, because that is that place where you're in and you find it very helpful. But I also want to offer you there is a different way to pitch that isn't really a pitch at all. It is why I talk so much about how do you come from this place of value and service, and that is why creating a unique professional value statement has not only been a game changer for me, but a game changer for my clients as well. So there are three components to creating a unique professional value statement. If you are listening to this at your desk or you're nearby with some pen and paper, then by all means you may want to take a couple notes here. If you are driving or you're listening to me while you're out on a run or a walk, just come back to this later on. Don't. Don't try to write anything down while you're driving or running, please. Here are the three components. First, you need to identify who it is that you help. Many times, heart-centered leaders and professionals, when they are looking for a new job, want to help everybody or they want to impact the larger organization, and that is impossible. You can have an impact in a small component of that organization or to a specific population. That will ripple effect out, but you can't help everyone. So the clearer you can be with who it is that you help, the better your unique professional value statement can be. For example, you may want to help medical professionals. Well, what type Are you helping? Surgeons, general practitioners, registered nurses, anesthesiologists who are you specifically helping? Now, at the beginning of my podcast, you always hear me mention that I help mid-career professionals. For a podcast introduction, that works very, very well. But when I am talking to people or I am talking to an audience, if I'm doing a keynote or a workshop or we're doing something around my books, I will fine-tune that unique professional value statement to go even further. I will say something like I help mid-career professionals who are feeling undervalued and underutilized. I put a descriptor in there that makes it even more specific to them. Maybe you're somebody who helps businesses, be it with their efficiency or their quality control. Maybe you help them with their financials. What kind of businesses do you help? Do you help small businesses, medium-sized businesses, large businesses? Are you B2B? Are you B2C? Business to consumer, business to business? The more specific you can be with who you help, the better your unique professional value statement is. What I would suggest is that you, as you are starting to write your unique professional value statement, get more specific as you go back and write it. You start off with a group and then there's some kind of descriptor for that group. Now the second question you're going to answer is what do you help them do specifically here? This is where I implement one of my show-up six strategies, which is using your genius, which is that thing that you do better than anybody else. Think of it as your secret sauce or your superpower, but it is that thing that you are going to do to help that specific group you've identified very specifically. Going back to my introduction, you hear me say that I help mid-career professionals show up to find a job they love, or love the job they have. They help them do that by using my proven four-step formula that is about building their mid-career GPS when you think about what you're helping them do specifically. This is where the networking conversation or the interview can go sideways. Here's an example. Let's say that you're interviewing for a managerial or senior managerial type role and you get asked that question about what's your strength as a manager, or why should we hire you. You say something like well, you hire me because I'm really good at communication. Yeah, everybody should be really good at communication. You have told the hiring manager nothing about why you're a great communicator. Now if you were to say something like I know that one of the common leadership skills is about communication, but where I excel and where I can help you is I can help you manage those difficult conversations that need to be had with team members, and to do it professionally and gracefully. So we are always moving towards improvement. The more specific you can be about that skill, trait, quality that you bring to the workplace, that ties into your value. Because, let's face it, if someone's looking to hire you, the more valuable you are to them is solely based on the need you are going to fill within that organization. I have this thing about project managers Now. I have worked with a number of project managers. I have served them as their coach. I love working with project managers. Here's the thing I love about project managers I have never, ever in my life or career, met a mediocre project manager. You're either really good or you suck. There's just no other way. I'm sorry, there is just no other way around it. An exceptional project manager does things that make them stand out and lead the project, improve the processes, increase quality, get the project in on time, under budget, and they move everybody along while developing that entire team as they do it. If that is you, I need you to figure out exactly what that thing is that allows you to do the job so exceptionally that any company or organization on this planet would want you as their PM. This is where creating that unique professional value statement gets difficult, and that's okay. It's not designed to be an easy exercise. What do you help them do specifically? Now, the third piece here is something which you may or may not share in how you initially communicate your unique professional value statement. The third question is why is this work important to you? There is something that intrinsically drives you because you are called to do the work you are doing. Maybe you've been mistreated in the workplace where you didn't get the support you needed. Maybe you have always wanted to bring a people-centered focus to organizations because you saw it, too many people left out. Maybe you're somebody who really appreciates structure and organization and that's why having process documents inside your company is vital, so anybody who comes into that role knows exactly the step-by-step instructions they're called to do. There is a reason why the work you do, or you want to do, is important for you right now, whether you're networking or you're interviewing. This is the part where you build the relationship even further. You can call it your mission. You can refer to it as your why, your passion, whatever that is. This reason is what is driving you right now to do the work you want to do. So the part that you don't hear in my podcast introduction is this the reason why this work is so important to me. The reason why I help mid-career professionals who are feeling undervalued and underutilized show up to find the job they love, or love the job they have, is because, throughout my career, there have been pivotal moments where I have either felt as if I wasn't seen, I wasn't heard, I wasn't utilized in the way that my skills and talents could be best leveraged, and I never want that to happen to anybody again. If you are serving on a team, you need to be seen. You're not just another cog in the wheel. If you are in a leadership role, you need to have everything in your toolkit necessary for you to lead as effectively and efficiently as possible. Just because you're quote unquote a manager doesn't mean you're not important. Just because you take time to check in with your employees doesn't mean that you're too kind or too soft or you don't get the work done. It's none of that, because what you have is desperately needed somewhere. If it's not where you're currently working and it bothers you enough, then it is up to you to figure out where that better fit is. Your unique professional value is that thing you bring better than anybody else. There are a lot of accountants out there, but there is something you do that differentiates you from all the other accountants. If you're a recruiter listening to this podcast, there is a way you handle your recruiting that builds relationships with your potential hires better than anybody else. If you're a school teacher whether it be elementary, middle or high school, or you teach at the college level there is something you do as a teacher that makes students want them to keep coming back each and every day. If you're a housekeeper, look, if you hire a housekeeper, there's a reason why you hire them. They do a really, really good job. There's something they do that you've found better than anybody else. It doesn't matter the job. What matters is how you show up for it and how you show up to do the work you want to do each and every day, because it directly aligns with who you are and what you want to do. It tugs at that piece in your core or your heart that knows that we spend a lot of time at work. We have all been in jobs and maybe you are right now in a job where you feel miserable. Know that that is only temporary. You have the opportunity to change that, to take your career in any direction you want. If you love your job but you're not crazy about your relationship with your boss, you have an opportunity to show up for that, to either make the relationship better and have the intentional conversation, or to just accept the situation as it is, because that's the best you can do right now. It's not a meme, but there's a reel that's going around on Instagram. It is sometimes the way I detach I just put on Instagram reels and I watch them for a few minutes. There's this one where the dog is lying in bed and it comes up and says you know, what are you doing today? The dog goes my best, I'm doing my best. Sometimes doing our best is all we can do, especially if we're dealing with a difficult boss, a difficult colleague, a difficult client. Sometimes doing our best is all we can do. You know, when the pain gets to be too much, when you feel like you're not aligned to the work you are doing, because you are called to do something so much more and so much better than what you're doing now. The key is to develop your unique professional value statement so you can begin that way to start strategically positioning yourself in the marketplace. So, to wrap up, here's how you build your unique professional value statement. You answer who do you help? And when you go to build your unique professional value statement, you always want to start off with the words I help. Who do you help? What do you help them do specifically? And then the third or underlying question that you're going to answer there is why is this work important to you. So when I do this in workshop, this activity I often get asked can I put this on my LinkedIn profile? The answer is yes. Right under your headshot, where you have your profile information, is where you can put your unique professional value statement. If you go to my LinkedIn profile, you will see that I have a section there right under there, and it says helping mid-career professionals. And it goes on. You can absolutely do that. When I'm networking and people say to me, john, what do you do, I say to them I help mid-career professionals show up to find a job they love or love the job they have. You can use this when you're interviewing. When they say to you so, john, tell me about yourself, I help mid-career professionals show up to find a job they love or love the job they have. That is a far better way to start off your interview and I help coach my clients on the whole interview process as well. It is a far better way to start off your interview rather than saying well, I got my bachelor's degree at Loyola College in Maryland and I got my master's degree at Mammoth University. No, that's all in your resume or LinkedIn. They've already seen that. They want to know about you and they want to know about your value and how you are going to help them. And the best way, in my opinion, to communicate how you are going to help them is with your unique professional value statement. If you have any further questions on this, feel free to email me at john, at johnnarallcom. Hit me up on LinkedIn. Love to connect with you on LinkedIn. I hope this was helpful today. Also, remember my books for the month of April are currently price dropped on Amazon. Go over there. I do go into more detail about actually building out the unique professional value statement in my book, your Mid-Career GPS. You can find more about that there. And lastly, my friends, thank you for being along this journey with me. I am so excited to see what is coming up for the rest of the year and the work we get to do. And remember we build our mid-career GPS as one mile or one step at a time and how we show up matters. Make it a great rest of your day. If you enjoyed today's episode and don't want to miss another one, follow on Apple podcasts or wherever you usually listen, and kindly remember to rate and review. Visit johnnarallcom to download your free job search tracker and other free mid-career GPS resources right there on my homepage so you can start building your mid-career GPS. Come join my private Facebook group at your mid-career GPS and join an amazing community of people like you who are all working to figure out whatever is next for themselves and their careers. And don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at John Narall Coaching. I'll see you next time.

Stop Pitching
Developing Your Unique Professional Value
Promotion and Resources for Mid-Career Professionals