Preparing Your Personal Brand for Relaunch: Step Four - Prepare for Launch

This post is the final installment in a five-part series on relaunching your personal brand inspired by a recent post in the Franklin University Back to College Blog. As a review, the first three steps in aligning your personal brand with career change opportunities are:
  1. Recognize reasons a change is desired (Why)
  2. Study your options (What)
  3. Path for getting to new career (How)
 You have laid the foundation; now the time is nearing to take off the wraps on your new career. The motivation for change has been acted upon (i.e., meaning articulated). The energy arising from that revelation inspired you to focus on learning about the career or industry you aspire to have (make-up of knowledge and competencies). What remains is to hone your message- you have to sell yourself as a viable candidate in your newly chosen field.

In Step Three, you used social media (especially LinkedIn and Twitter) to learn about the people and companies that shape your industry or profession. Now, in Step Four you must emerge from the shadows of listening and learning to sharing and telling. Remember, that networking can be simply defined as "helping other people." Look for ways to be a resource to people in your network by sharing information, articles, inforgraphics, encouragement- in short, helping other people.

But being helpful is not enough. You must refine your message, and your most important communication vehicle is your résumé. Yes, your résumé is lacking industry-specific experience... you are relaunching in a new field. It's OK! Fortunately, you likely have skills, successes, or achievements from your previous field that you can communicate to demonstrate your abilities and potential. Don't present a timeline of work; give an overview of accomplishments. Another tool you can develop to communicate your value is a 7-word bio. This is an idea promoted by creativity expert Todd Henry, who says a 7-word bio forces us to bring clarity to what we do and show others what we are passionate about.

Relaunching your personal brand can be a daunting challenge. I took the plunge to relaunch in 1995, transitioning from sales to higher education. Back then, social media, blogging, heck, even personal branding were not accessible tools. But, the tools alone are not enough. Applying the four-step process discussed in this series of posts does not happen without a fervent belief in yourself to pull off a relaunch. Oliver Wendell Holmes famously said that "many people die with their music still in them." Do not let the music that is the promise of a new career die in you.