Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

Nailing Your 60 Seconds: Elevator Talent Pitch

When interviewers or anyone in a position to hire asks, “Tell us about yourself”, many people either wing it and end up talking way too long or they only mention their job title and a few unremarkable things they’ve done in the past. In a workshop I attended recently, the instructors outlined the ingredients for a perfect elevator talent pitch. It’s an opportunity to give brief but powerful information with a few “wow” achievements. In a sea of job applicants and the need to impress connections, being memorable is even more important. Knowing your skill set, passion and the value you can bring to an organization will lead to an elevator pitch that’s natural instead of contrived or boring.

This can also be an opportunity to explain where you see yourself in the future and why, especially if you’re planning on pivoting careers. Explaining why you took the leap into a different field by talking about your transferable skills helps people understand where you’re headed. The first step is to prepare a short pitch about yourself that outlines three talents and ties them to the proof of your accomplishments. Keeping it to three skills is one way to keep it short and memorable. Second, practice it several times before your next interview. Try it on someone you know and see what their response is to it. My friend, JoAnne, was able to tell her elevator talent pitch to someone she met on a plane and landed a new job a month later because of her career storytelling ability. 

6 Steps To Create Your Highlight Reel:

  1. Write It Down: Kerri Twig, a career story coach, recommends setting aside 5-10 minutes a day for a week in order to write out your most amazing achievements. This helps clarify which ones you want to highlight. She also recommends writing your own job description/ad that you want. Keep it to three talents at the most.
  2. Time Box It: Try two versions. One is 30 seconds and one is 60 seconds. It will come in handy when you actually only have :30 seconds to impress someone casually. You may also want to have a few different versions based on who you’re talking to at the time. It will be more relevant for them and because of that - will make you more relevant and memorable.
  3. What’s Compelling? Anyone can say they are awesome but few can prove it. Have one or two lines with the proof. Consider including hard numbers and goals achieved so the other person can visualize how you can contribute to their company or who they’d want to introduce you to in the future.
  4. You’re the Product: Treat yourself, business or product like a brand. What’s the one thing you or your business can offer than nobody else can? How are you different? Think about your unique value proposition and what you bring to the table.
  5. Keep It Fluid/Revise It: Your elevator talent pitch should be a living, breathing thing - just like your resume. As you learn more and upskill, it will evolve and become stronger.
  6. Add A Tagline: Including a phrase at the end of your elevator pitch can help solidify a positive first impression in the other person’s mind.  Examples could be the following:
    • Building X has taught me
    • Leadership has recognized X 
    • I help transform X
    • I’ve been passionate about X

Since your “loose connections” tend to be the strongest in terms of landing a position, it’s time well spent practicing your elevator talent pitch.

Reviewed & Recommended:

Kerri Twig is an expert in career storytelling and has recently written a book: The Career Stories Method: 11 Steps to Find Your Ideal Career—and Discover Your Awesome Self in the Process

Kerri also has a huge YouTube following with loads of content on career storytelling: Land a job without applying | Career Stories Live Episode 10

How to Answer Tell Me About Yourself - the opening line

Should You Be in a Paid Community?

Should You Be in a Paid Community?

Last week I was at a Zoom event hosted by a popular coach for older professionals. There were over 700 people on the call and she was primarily focused on the benefits of LinkedIn. While LinkedIn is the default social media platform for career information,  I had anticipated the topic of networking and developing deeper connections to be a bigger topic.  I began looking up people on LinkedIn who were on the call and I connected with someone who was also from Portland. During the presentation, we wrote back and forth about the content we were listening to and I said, “I’m surprised the speaker hasn’t mentioned paid communities as a way to network and land a job.” She responded, “What’s a paid community?” If a person’s background is not in technology or the startup world (and if they are not following any of those people), I can understand how they might not know about some of the terminology used.

Although digital communities have been around for awhile, paid communities have been on the rise since the pandemic as a way for people to connect on a national and global level. If you’ve taken an in depth course that includes workshops, live events and an area where people can post articles and respond to one another, you’ve most likely participated in a paid community. In the last year, I’ve been able to network through paid communities with people who are interested in social impact initiatives and building tech for good. These communities provide an area to discuss ideas, share articles and connect when it’s clear we have similar interests and goals and can help one another.

5 Benefits of Being A Paid Community Member:

  1. Provides a private and safe community for members - without any trolls.
  2. Opportunities to expand your network whether it’s to find a job or business partner or someone to connect with about ideas.
  3. Learn about resources that you didn’t know existed through other people who have similar interests.
  4. An opportunity to showcase your talents and thought leadership - whether it’s posting a blog you’ve written or providing a short video course on something you’ve learned that could help others.
  5. If you want a career pivot or want to learn more about a certain topic, this is the perfect way to gain insights about what to read, courses to take and the paths people have taken in order to achieve their professional goals. 

Building Your Own Community

Building your own community is another option. It’s a monthly financial investment and it will take time creating content to include on a community platform.  If you know you can gain an audience large enough for the numbers to work, it’s worth your time and effort. Making sure there are consistent and interesting people who are contributing will be critical. It’s also important to have extra products available within the community such an eBook that’s just for members. Many businesses have found success by testing a community concept (for free) by using Slack. That way, the person who wants to build their own community can gauge whether or not there’s enough interest to move forward with a community platform and charge a fee for it.  If you already have a significant following on Twitter or LinkedIn or even Facebook Groups, consider steering them over to your own community where you have more options to organize different topics and set up live events. As a community builder, paying for a community platform such as Circle or Mighty Networks or Kajabi might be worth it. There are also plenty of wordpress plugins that serve as an online community platform. Here are reviews of different platforms to check out. Building online communities saves time and resources—while being impactful when it’s filled with valuable information that people are unable to find elsewhere.

Direct to Community 

The new “direct to consumer “(DTC) terminology in marketing circles is now emphasizing the importance of a “direct to community” strategy. It’s one way for brands to engage with their audience and provide valuable content while also getting paid by their audience through memberships. The communities I belong to have rules of engagement and explain who they are and why they exist. It’s also a way for people to opt out who may not be a fit for a certain kind of community.

3 Tips When Building Your Community (by media cause)

  1. Understand the purpose of your community.
  2. Understand the rules of engagement.
  3. As a Community Builder, it’s important to be empowered and excited to contribute to the group.

The Benefits of an Online Community for Your Business:

Having a community can elevate your brand and be an additional revenue stream.

According to Software Advice, these are the top reasons to build a community in order for businesses to achieve their goals:

  • Provide a forum for discussion/feedback and better insights about your audience’s needs.
  • It can foster a unique community culture and purpose.
  • Most importantly, communities should provide value to the end user.

Whether you decide to join a community to expand your network and learn or build your own community focused on a particular niche, it’s another way to build amazing connections and help each other with career and life goals. 

Reviewed & Recommended:

How to Create an Online Community That People Will Pay For

Building a Community-Based Brand

How to build an online community (and why I'm all in on Circle)

The Rise of Side Hustle Platforms + 3 Ideas

The Rise of Side Hustle Platforms + 3 Ideas

There’s a wave of technology companies catering to people who want flexible work and projects that help fill in their salary gaps - and many of them were launched in 2020 and 2021. So right now it’s much easier to set up a side business because these platforms have the tools built into their platform to succeed. Many of them are not the typical side hustle business model and some focus on a specific niche. A few of them have a membership fee while others take a small percentage. Whichever one you choose, they all align with the future of work trends focused on giving more control and earning potential to the person providing the service. Some of these creators/service providers are earning on average $1,500 per month. Here are a few to check out and get started.

Curated: Expert Shopping Advice for Sports Enthusiasts

This platform matches consumers searching for the ideal sporting gear with a vetted expert in the sport they want to pursue. Instead of combing through loads of reviews for a pair of ski boots and skis, for example, you’re matched with an expert who not only knows the right questions to ask but can also be discerning about which products are best for a certain skill level. Becoming an expert on Curated is where you can make some money. Are you considered an expert skier, tennis player, golfer, or maybe you’ve recently earned your wine sommelier certificate? A friend of mine played golf for the PGA and has won several golf tournaments. In his 50s, he works in insurance and works part-time for a golf store at a resort. His background is perfectly suited to serve as an expert and help consumers looking for golf gear. Curated is expanding into different areas such as being matched with wine experts so check out the site and see what other experts will be needed in the future.

Dumpling: Grocery Delivery

Becoming a member of dumpling is a way to run your own grocery shopping & delivery business from your phone and become your own LLC. There is a membership of $20 per month for people who do the grocery shopping. Although each order only garners an average of $33, it’s not bad income if you’re already going to grocery stores during the week anyway. Dumpling is an attempt to disrupt the gig economy and corporate options such as instacart or Amazon Prime. On their site, it reads “We realized that the only thing standing between these workers and the ability to start their own personal shopping and delivery companies was access to the right technology. So we built it for them.”

Steady: For Media Makers

Coming from traditional media, I’ve seen how newsrooms have been decimated because of free online news sources and advertising dollars overflowing into Google and Facebook’s coffers. That’s why I was so happy to discover Steady which supports journalists and all media makers. They’ve been around since 2016 created by a few journalists who quickly realized that media creators needed an all-in-one platform where they didn’t have to be concerned about implementing a newsletter or setting up Stripe. In 2021, Steady added a publishing platform: publishers can host their content on Steady, send newsletters and collect subscribers. Writers and content creators can start a publication with a newsletter on Steady that they can then monetize. Those who already have a publication of their own can integrate memberships directly on their website. Their site reads, “It's never been easier to do your own thing: You don't need a radio station to broadcast your podcast, a TV station to produce your own show, or a publishing house to reach thousands of readers. Musicians have already been able to release music independently for quite some time. Still, it can be hard to be an independent media maker. That's why we built Steady.”

If you’re considering another revenue stream or curious about the best way to move forward with a side hustle idea, consider what might be an ideal fit based on your background, expertise, and flexibility. I highly recommend following people who talk about the “Passion Economy” and who discuss the newest products with the most earning potential available. Sometimes, you can get in early and be a beta tester and it won’t cost a thing. It’s clear that this trend isn’t going away anytime soon.

Reviewed & Recommended:

The ultimate side hustle guide for 2021

How to Start a Business (on the Side) in 2021: Free Guide

Side Hustle Nation Podcast

Recap: Happy Hour with Jack Phan

Recap: Happy Hour with Jack Phan

Last week we had Jack Phan, a serial entrepreneur as our guest discussing the importance of building a digital footprint strategy - especially if you’re a job seeker, pivoting careers or want to build your personal brand. It’s difficult to know what types of content will resonate with others while also showing our best selves but Jack offered his social media expertise and advice on how to do it and why it matters. Here are the questions and abbreviated answers from that discussion. If you’d like to hear the full version, find the replay here.

Questions & Answers with Jack Phan

Before we dive into questions, I wanted to ask a bit about your background. You majored in computer science at a local college, you’ve held CTO roles as well as CMO roles and have been successful building companies and sold a few of them. Can you talk about how you got you here? What motivated you?

In 1997 I graduated from college and I came back to Portland from studying abroad in China. There was this new thing called the internet and I worked with a friend who was painting houses. He kept getting referrals for remodeling homes. I started out at his company as a telemarketer. One of the skillsets I have is looking at something and saying, “What’s a new way of doing something old? How can we improve what’s already there?” The innovative mind in me made me look for different avenues and different opportunities. Once I looked at what he was doing, I took it to the internet and we created a business and it became homeadvisor. And then we built another company. Over time I started building this wealth of knowledge through my experience. Once I sold my second company and became an investor, it was one of those things where I was sharing an incredible amount of knowledge for people and to me it was just something I learned and things I just did but that knowledge is transferable. The more I could share that knowledge the more people looked at me and wanted to connect with me on a deeper level. That led me to different opportunities. I’ve always been a communicator and networker. I’ve turned it into thought leadership that is valuable to people.

Why do you think it’s important to have a digital footprint strategy if you’re in the job market? What skills, competencies and experiences do you feel people should consider sharing online?

Today, everyone knows what you’re doing and how you’re projected to others is very important. You’ve heard stories about a person applying for jobs and getting rejected because of a post on Facebook or an inappropriate tweet 5 or 10 years ago. These are things that can come back to bite you. I’ve always been very conscious of sharing things personally and professionally but that connects to the audience. I like to keep things positive and that’s just my style. Because when I meet new clients and when I have an opportunity to work with new people, every opportunity I’ve landed, people look at me with respect. My digital footprint is very authentic. It’s who I am. That’s because I project a positive image. Some people use social media in different ways and use it only to complain to customer service of different companies. What you’re putting out there is viewable to the public and people need to remember that. When I am looking at working with different people, I make sure our strategies and goals are aligned. If I look at their social media, it doesn’t take much to see that we are NOT aligned. They may say something but then their digital footprint says something else. I’m careful about my digital footprint and it’s very clean but still very authentic and people recognize that and connect with me because of it.

Can you talk about some of the amazing connections you’ve been able to develop that would not have been possible if social media didn’t exist? I’m thinking about the OnceUncle story and how that all happened.

It’s been a blessing being part of #NASASocial and #AdobeInsiders but one of the most amazing experiences was a few years ago. I was watching the Apple event and saw that #Momo was trending above Apple. So I wrote “What is Momo?” and it’s a member of a K-Pop band. People kept writing and sending GIFs after I asked the question and I started engaging with the K-Pop fans directly. They could have ignored me or said, “Who is this guy?” but they paid attention to me and it was great. I checked out the band and they have a positive vibe and their fan base was really positive towards me. They told me all about K-Pop and alerted me about their digital events. During that Twitter interaction, I got another 5-10k followers on because I engaged with the fans. It’s actually been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

Let’s talk about the human piece. What do you recommend when people make an error and are called out on it? Should they go with the flow? Delete it?

I’ve been on social media enough and I’ve made my fair share of mistakes. Myers Leornard made anti-Semitic word and now he’s apologizing about it. Someone said, “Hate is still hate and whether or not it was a mistake, you need to learn and approach it in the right way.” I’ve shared things for fun. There’s a selfie day for TWICE and people imitate one of the band members so I’ll do that and just have fun with it. You’ll see my twitter feed is filled with furry animals. Who doesn’t enjoy puppies and kittens? Since I’m a K-pop fan, it can seem weird to outsiders. Some people attacked me and thought I was being creepy. There was a moment when I posted something but didn’t want to cause controversy. There were times when I thought I should delete posts because it was misconstrued. Other K-pop fans said, “No. Keep posting”. I’m definitely aware of the perception but it’s all in fun and it it’s wholesome. When you make mistakes, things can be turned into a positive. Mistakes happen and I’ve been told more often than not, “It is what it is and just own up to it.” That’s the reality of using social media.

What would you say are your main rules that you adhere to when engaging with others online? What are the “best practices” for managing one’s reputation online?

I try to keep things positive and upbeat. I try not to engage in things that are controversial. There are times when I am passionate about things and when there are movements and stuff is going on in the world, there are times when my voice is important to people. To me, it’s questionable because I never felt I had that much strength in what I had to say. But the more my career grew and my following grew, I realized that people expect me to have a response and really steer that conversation in a positive way. You can have tough conversations but not be judgmental. It’s part of trying to be able to connect with the audience in multiple ways. My audience is varied; left, right, Black, White, Asian. Advice I’d give is, to educate yourself and learn about things. I’m open to learn from others and it’s also important to fact check before making a comment.

Who are some of your favorite influencers online? In your mind, who is extraordinary in providing valuable content or that you feel comes across as authentic in their approach?

In my Adobe group, I have loads of influencers I follow. Goldie Chan, Lolly Daskal, Winnie Sun (Forbes Contributor to help people be more financial savvy). I like following people who share knowledge but I also love humor. Someone I follow who does that quite a bit is Rex Chapman. He’s a former basketball player and he shares fun and unique things that are happening. I recommend that people expand their following on Twitter and then follow their followers as well. People know that I like Baby Yodas, puppies and kittens and rolling pandas so they know I’m going to post things like that. When you establish trust and share things behind the scenes, people will recognize that and want to connect with you.

Would you recommend some social media over others for career and pivoting one’s career?

LinkedIn has recently changed their algorithm but it’s still the main career hub. Facebook has so many amazing groups and that is where they win. I’ve developed loads of relationships on groups within Facebook. I still love Twitter but it can be very distracting. I had to take a Twitter break because in the last year, it became too much. There’s Clubhouse and when there is a small group, it’s a great way to connect with others. I’m always looking for new ways to do old things and so I try loads of different social media and when I see results, I go deep on them. I keep my options open and I’m able to engage with many different kinds of social media.

Having over 1 million Twitter followers can attract a few trolls. How have you handled that situation and how do you recommend others do the same?

Sometimes when you hold people accountable, they back down. Some people just want to draw the ear from you and make you frustrated. You feel like you have the right to justify your post. It’s not worth it. I focus my attention on the people I want to engage with and who are positive. So now I don’t respond to the negative trolls.

More about Jack:

Jack is a visionary and serial entrepreneur from the Pacific Northwest. For over 20 years, he has been building and scaling businesses in online marketing, lead generation, affiliate marketing, advertising, news and media. Currently, Jack is the CEO of PhanZu, a media services agency for online publishers, CMO of AirDeck, an audio tool for presentations, CTO of AGEIST, a lifestyle media company, and Board Member of DollarFor, a non-profit that has helped eliminate over $4.0 million in medical debt for families. He has sold two of his companies and has helped several founders go through the process of selling their businesses as well.

Jack has over 1.2M+ followers on social media engaging in topics on leadership, entrepreneurship, he’s a space enthusiast and posts about #NASASocial, he’s also an industry leader in the #AdobeInsiders group, and living his legendary status as #ONCEUncle to the fanbase of K-pop sensation #TWICE. Read more about Jack Phan’s impressive background here.

You can find Jack on twitter @jackphan

Future of Work: Preparing for 4IR

Future of Work: Preparing for 4IR

I’m pretty sure a robot could have helped me accomplish 50% of tasks in my last job. Not exactly the definition of job security when talking about the future of work. According to a recent McKinsey report, the pandemic accelerated existing trends in remote work, e-commerce, and automation, with up to 25 percent more workers than previously estimated potentially needing to switch occupations. 

The Fourth Industrial Revolution (sometimes called the 4IR or Industry 4.0) and the pandemic are why rapid change is being predicted among the futurists experts. 4IR is driven by four specific technology developments: high-speed mobile Internet, AI and automation, the use of big data analytics, and cloud technology. This new revolution builds on the foundations set by the first three industrial revolutions. Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, said that this Fourth Industrial Revolution will be “human-led and human-centered.”  So what does that mean exactly? The Centre for the Fourth Industrial Revolution defines human-led and human-centered this way, “The possibilities of new 4IR technologies, deployed appropriately, should be used as the baseline to reinvent the way we operate in the new context: everything from government services, education and healthcare, to the way business interacts and provides value to its customers.However, if not directed with purpose, the 4IR has the potential to exacerbate inequality. Human-centricity, Inclusion and Trust must be key principles guiding action - we must take proactive steps to ensure technology adoption does not heighten abuse of power, bias, wealth disparities, exclusion and loss of livelihoods.” Human-centred organizations are obsessed with the journeys taken by their customers, employees and partners. These human-centered organizations fulfill a purpose for its users, customers, and community, and focus all of their innovation and operations activities around those people. 

Human-Centered Organization:

  • Focuses on creating better human experiences
  • Builds resilience and de-risks innovation through continuous iteration and learning
  • Cares as much about the experience of its diverse, empowered teams as it does about its customers
  • Intentionally, actively embeds these principles into the fabric of the organization

Source: IBM

Sounds nice right?  Adopting a human centered approach isn’t just good for humanity, it’s good for business outcomes. It’s also one way to attract and retain talented employees.

Inclusion: Inclusive technology design is the practice of being empathetic and designing products that will work for everyone. When COVID shots were being scheduled using an outdated system, for example, there were articles written about the difficulty older adults had scheduling appointments.

Trust & Transparency: Trust and transparency are predicted to grow in three different areas:

  1. Consumers are demanding more transparency before they purchase an item. They want to know who made it, if the makers received fair labor wages and if what they are buying is ethically sourced. Innovation in retail will have the ability to be more transparent by providing information for consumers with a scan of a tag to receive the full story and background about a company and their products. 
  2. Internally, companies will be more transparent with their employees as this is also becoming a prerequisite to attract top talent.
  3. With digital transformation happening at companies, there’s a higher need for more cyber security specialists - especially in small and medium sized businesses. Data security issues increase when integrating new systems.  My friend earned a Harvard Certificate in Cyber Security a year ago and was able to secure a full time job five months later. It’s about how technology systems are structured and what risks need to be mitigated when it comes to cyber security.  It’s not cheap to get this certificate but cybersecurity will continue to be in high demand.

I don’t think we’re taking seriously enough the threat of a world where there’s not enough well-paid work for people to do.

- Daniel Susskind 

Artificial Intelligence: 

By 2026, over one third of skills that are critical in today's workplace will have changed, which means competencies/skills will have changed as well. The World Economic Forum wrote, “The workforce is automating faster than expected, displacing 85 million jobs in the next five years. Automation, in tandem with the COVID-19 recession, is creating a “double-disruption” scenario for workers. Companies’ adoption of technology will transform tasks, jobs, and skills by 2025. Some 43 percent of businesses surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce because of technology integration, 41 percent plan to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work, and 34 percent plan to expand their workforce as a result of technology integration. Five years from now, employers will divide work between humans and machines roughly equally.” 

If you’re considering taking courses in AI but don’t want to code, there are different options.  Many business leaders are unsure how to implement AI in order to save money for their business in the long run. There’s a course called, “AI Strategies for Business” from UC Berkeley which is four months and the main assignment is writing about how AI could be implemented at their company to be more efficient. There are courses in ethics in AI and they typically have a psychology or anthropology background and they’re comfortable analyzing data. We’ve written about AI and different certification options here.

3 Tips to Prep for 4IR:

  1. Get involved with nonprofits working on human centered and ethical design in technology such as All Tech Is Human to expand your network.  Don’t be intimidated by their mission.  Their slack group includes people from all different backgrounds globally. They also have a career channel where they share open positions that are primarily remote opportunities.
  2. Follow experts such as top VC firms in Silicon Valley who know what kinds of technology will be in demand and have their finger on the pulse when it comes to behavior change in consumers. They’re also aware of overall business trends and can see what products and services will win.  If you’re on ClubHouse, Marc Andreesen of Andreesen Horowitz is on CH frequently and is always interesting.
  3. Life-long learning is mandatory.  Although some companies will support employees and reskill and restrain them, it will ultimately be up to the individual to keep learning. 85 million jobs being eliminated in the next 5 years is significant. Set aside a few hours a week to explore and learn something completely different.

Here are 10 skills needed in the 4IR that include several “soft skills” in the future of work.

Here's a chart of jobs in demand and others that are decreasing in demand by the World Economic Forum 2020 Job Survey.  Not surprisingly, the top five areas that are increasing in demand involve AI in some capacity. The more technology skills that are under your belt, the better. There are loads of free resources and courses to learn different skills - in order to stand out from the crowd and to prevent a robot from taking over everyday tasks.

Reviewed & Recommended:

4IR Video by World Economic Forum

World Economic Forum: What will the future of jobs be like?

The future of work after COVID-19 | McKinsey


Unbundling Employment

Unbundling Employment

With rapid changes in technology as well as shorter work tenures at companies, a variety of career paths (and income streams) will be inevitable. Because of this trend, entrepreneurship and creating side businesses is on the rise. Workplace futurists predict it will be much more common to have several different income streams than staying at a company for five or ten years. Part-time work, freelancing, the gig economy have all been on the rise for the last several years. This is not new but it HAS been accelerated because of the pandemic.  Will there still be full time positions?  Of course, but having a few irons in the fire is one way to reduce financial stress. Li Jin refers to this trend as the "unbundling of employment" and lists the opportunities that have made it easier to create revenue streams with a small business. She wrote, “Tech platforms have removed gatekeepers and democratized access to potential customers worldwide; direct payment models have made it viable for workers to earn a livelihood from even a small number of loyal fans; and platform companies in the gig economy and passion economy have paved new paths to work.” With so many tech options (and the prevalence of no code products), Li outlined a matrix of platforms used for revenue streams as a creator.  Image from Li Jin post, “Unbundling Employment”

Being a multi hyphenate is about choosing and strategizing a plan of attack and having the freedom to take on multiple projects not being backed into a corner.

-Emma Gannon

Another trend people are pursuing is one where they can work on multiple projects on different topics/areas that interest them.  Some people call it a “multi-hyphen” career and others call it a “portfolio career”. Emma Gannon wrote a book called, "The Multi-Hyphen Life" which walks through how to create a multi-hyphen career working on areas of interest, natural skill and expertise.  She outlined 10 steps for a plan to build a multi hyphen career and work on projects that are more meaningful and give you the opportunity to reach your full potential.

Steps To Build A Multi-Hyphen Career by Emma Gannon:

  1. Pinpoint Your Own Unique Blend: Create a list of words you want to be described as and what you want to be recognized for professionally.
  2. Grow and Maintain a Micro-Audience: Build an authentic audience and know that getting hired will be based on being known to people who can actually give you that work.
  3. Always Be in Beta Mode:  We all must remain agile when doing something on our own.  Act like we are never finished improving.  Keep experimenting and testing to figure out what works.
  4. Embrace The Age of Personalization: An opportunity should be curated for you and your particular skill sets so that you have higher chance of success (if it’s a job or project)
  5. Be Your Own PR and Marketing Department: Your space online is your own personal shop window.  It’s a chance to show another side of yourself and it’s also about selling yourself.  
  6. You Don’t Have To Quit Your Day Job: Negotiate flexible work at your current full time job in order to pursue other projects and revenue streams.
  7. You’re a Multi-Hyphenate, Not a Multi-Tasker: Focus on each job or project separately and give it all of your attention instead of being a multi tasker.
  8. Act Micro, Think Macro: It’s not about short term fixes but instead about overall strategies that will enable you to forge a new path that is more robust than a single focused career.  We can’t predict the future but we can be aware of the trends and plan accordingly. 
  9. Use Your Energy Wisely: As we’re all working from home, think about things that will give you more energy and break up your day to help be more productive.
  10.  Don’t Do Stuff For Free: If it’s for great networking opportunities, then it’s something to consider but be careful about working for free.

“The Multi Hyphen life is the straight up refusal to be pigeonholed or afraid to add another string to your career bio” said Emma. Being strategic about your career and seeing the overlaps and looking at all the different areas that may exist is the answer to figuring out a multi hyphen career.  A friend of mine has been studying longevity and she’s also interested in UX research so her goal is to work on a project for an age tech company as a UX researcher.  So it’s the ability to take one sector and overlap it with another area to make yourself even more marketable. If you have loads of interests, it’s important to take a closer look at those areas which can serve as a financial safety net. Also, you’re more likely to be hired because you’ve invested in yourself and have so much more knowledge than someone who has stayed in their same corporate job for five years.

Before beginning the process of having a multi-hyphen career, Emma asks her clients the following:

  • What are the things you can do for a while to continue to grow so that you can’t be pigeon holed?
  • What can you get paid to do now? Who would buy these services?
  • What do you really want to do in the future?
  • What skills do you need to learn in order to explore other things that interest you? 

Emma lists some of the benefits having a mult-hyphen career including:

  • Having the tools and courage to make big moves on the side without risking financial stability. 
  • Giving yourself the confidence to not be defined by one industry or one title.  
  • Allowing yourself to have a happier, more fulfilling career.   

Portfolio Careers:  A few weeks ago, we had April Rinne as a guest on illume hire talking about how to build your “portfolio career”.  It was an informative discussion and I can’t wait to read her upcoming book.  It launches August 24, 2021 and it’s called,  Flux: 8 Superpowers for Thriving in Constant Change . If you’d like to hear our conversation about how to build a portfolio career, it’s here. One comment that stood out to me was when April explained that diversifying your knowledge is just as important as diversifying your financial investments. Building a portfolio career can be a creative solution to career change for experienced professionals, with loads of benefits. You can spread your risk, gain some work-life balance, earn a healthy income, and open yourself to unanticipated possibilities. Achieving a sense of satisfaction that your talents are not being wasted at this stage in your career is also a big plus.

Reviewed & Recommended:

Portfolio Career Podcast

8 Tips to Start a Portfolio Career —