What’s your WIFT?

W.I.F.T. stands for ‘What’s In it For Them’ and is vital to engage people influential to your success.

Whether you are employed or self-employed, it is even more important now than ever before in a highly competitive market to clearly, briefly, and explicitly express why you are useful to your audience, whether verbally or written.

You need a W.I.F.T. whether you are employed, self-employed or looking for work or a job. Many people assume that what they bring is obvious, but what is obvious to you often isn’t always obvious to your target audience.

Cut through the clutter

We are all bombarded by thousands of messages a day, so simply don’t have time to read and absorb it all. Communication overload combined with people’s reluctance to ‘blow their own trumpet’ can make you invisible or overlooked.

Be explicit

One common example of sabotaging your own success is going for an interview, assuming that the interviewer has read your CV and understands the benefits you bring to them (i.e. what’s in it for them = W.I.F.T.) what value you bring, so you don’t spell these out to them as key points to get across.

What benefits do THEY gain?

Often people make the mistake of focusing on their ‘features’, rather than the ‘benefits’ they bring.

Not knowing your W.I.F.T. means you are sticking your head in the sand and could be unwittingly hindering your own success.

Know your target audience

The starting point of a W.I.F.T. is to know and understand who your specific audience is, their language and to put yourself in their shoes, seeing a situation through their eyes, not your eyes. It is common for people to get stuck in their own viewpoint and talk rather than asking questions and listening. This is shooting yourself in the foot. Knowing your W.I.F.T. is a must, as well as updating it regularly, as trends and skills are changing so fast.

Self-reflective question

“Who or what would help me to better understand my target audience?”

Five tips to work out your W.I.F.T.

1) Define and understand your audience; their characteristics, role, objectives, responsibilities, interests, motivations, needs and problems.

2) Gather information about the communication preferences of your audience; phone, e mail, scheduled or spontaneous catch up, if they are a ‘lark’ or ‘owl’ etc.

3) Grade your audience e.g. customers, stakeholders or target employer by priority and importance, A, B, C etc.

4) Create a summary of features (from your point of view) e.g. languages, specialisms, and the benefits (i.e. what’s in it for them from their point of view) e.g. peace of mind, making them look good etc.

5) Develop a W.I.F.T. communications plan and block out time in your diary to action it, including evaluating what’s working and not working.


Rachel Brushfield About The Author

Rachel Brushfield is The Talent Liberator at Energise – The Talent Liberation Company, founded in 1997. She is a career strategist, coach and published author, with a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications who helps her clients enjoy uplifting breakthroughs at major career crossroads. Rachel’s career coaching specialisms are helping women professionals and executives to gain more career fulfilment and comfortably and competently market themselves, and creating, editing and marketing portfolio careers for a future proof and sustainable career. Rachel co-runs the network PWHub with CPD style quarterly events for senior employed women in Oxfordshire.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/energiseliberateyourtalent/
Web: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/
E mail: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/portfolio/connect/
Mobile: 07973 911137


Contact Energise for a free report ‘Discover Portfolio Careers’ – https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/portfolio/connect/

Further reading

Future skills for a lifelong competitive advantage part 1 – https://www.futureofworkhub.info/comment/2019/3/22/future-skills-for-a-life-long-competitive-advantage-part-1

Future skills for a lifelong competitive advantage part 2 – https://www.futureofworkhub.info/comment/2019/6/26/future-skills-for-a-life-long-competitive-advantage-part-2

How career adaptable are you?

Career adaptability is incredibly important at the moment and increasingly so for the foreseeable future.

It is wise to have a Career plan ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ – one of the recommendations in the Book: The Start-up of you by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha.

Lynda Gratton author of ‘The shift’ (2011), ‘The 100 year life’ (2016) and ‘The new longer life’ (2020), written by her and Andrea Scott, recommends developing a career mastery area, 5 different work strands that you can flex at different times in your career, a large high quality diverse network and a personal brand.

Achieving this requires a certain mind set and competencies.

5 career adaptability competencies 

  • Control – being proactive, decisive & taking responsibility for your career;
  • Curiosity – broadening your horizons by seeking options, possibilities and knowledge;
  • Commitment – passionately pursuing & taking action to move to the career horizon of your choosing;
  • Confidence – belief in yourself & that you can achieve your goal;
  • Concern – having a positive & philosophical attitude to mistakes or rejection.

In a nutshell, it helps to have a proactive personality, to be investigative, always looking to overcome challenges, be willing to seek out new contexts and opportunities and be resilient to rejection.

How would you score yourself out of 100% against these 5 career adaptability competencies?

Some people are naturally adaptable and embrace change, but the competencies can be learned or improved via personal and/or professional development.

Below are some tips to begin improving your career adaptability. This is important for the V.U.C.A. world in which we live.

V = volatile
U = uncertain
C = complex
A = ambiguous

7 tips for career adaptability in a V.U.C.A. world 

  1. Experiment– push out your comfort zone & take on a new project to learn a new skill.
  2. Portfolio career– build 5 different work strands.
  3. Self-invest– define learning goals and block out time & put aside budget for your own continual professional development.
  4. Get a coach – time in your diary with a career coach ensures you do not leave your future security to chance.
  5. Plan B & C– define what you would do for plan B & C if your current Plan A reached a ‘cul de sac’.
  6. Trends– research skill and job trends – tomorrow’s not yesterday’s.
  7. Career strategy– define your career strategy and career key performance indicators (KPIs) so that you take responsibility for your career and can measure success – on your terms.

Rachel Brushfield About The Author

Rachel Brushfield is The Talent Liberator at Energise – The Talent Liberation Company, founded in 1997. She is a career strategist, coach and published author, with a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications who helps her clients enjoy uplifting breakthroughs at major career crossroads. Rachel’s career coaching specialisms are helping women professionals and executives to gain more career fulfilment and comfortably and competently market themselves, and creating, editing and marketing portfolio careers for a future proof and sustainable career. Rachel co-runs the network PWHub with CPD style quarterly events for senior employed women in Oxfordshire.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/energiseliberateyourtalent/
Web: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/
E mail: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/portfolio/connect/
Mobile: 07973 911137


Energise Future-Proof Your Career Summer School.

6-week Summer School to create peace of mind in an uncertain world. Starts 12-1pm Wednesday 30 July 2020. Book now – limited places.

What is your career insurance

It is vital in uncertain times to have career ‘insurance’ – a plan ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ for your career.

Do you?

Not having an insurance policy for your career is like driving a car in winter with only one headlight, a 10 year old map, a nearly empty tank of petrol with no spare petrol can in the boot and with one wing mirror hanging off.

You would not, would you?

Why then, do most people do the equivalent with their career?

You only have to look at what has happened during the coronavirus period to see the danger of how fast a sector can change.

So – what is your career plan ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’?

Reasons for neglecting this vital area include:

Fear: Of feeling regret and disappointment

Time poor: Let other’s needs take precedence

Overwhelm: Don’t know where to start

Empty toolbox: Don’t have the tools and frameworks

Short termism: Focus on the here and now

Life stage: Feel no point with other life priorities

Habit: Fell into a career and leave it to chance

Resigned: Don’t feel deserve anything better/different

Unaware: Never done any personal development

Blinkered: In the dark about the fast-changing world of work

Do you relate to any of these? What additional factors would you add?

Inspiring quote

“The best way to create the future is to invent it.” Alan Kay.

Self-reflective question:

What 1 action can I take straight away that would most help my future career security & prospects?”

7 tips for your career reassurance

  1. Support: enlist an experienced career coach
  2. Headspace: book a career retreat/away day

3.Think: replace mindless time frittering e.g. Facebook

4.Focus: write your ideal role/career description & plan ‘A’, ‘B’ & ‘C’

5.Habit: make ‘dead’ time fruitful e.g. a commute to create options

6.Prioritise: ring fence a monthly time slot & budget

7.Informed: look inwards (self-awareness) & outwards (trends)

What tips would you add?


 Energise Client testimonials

“Energise helped me focus on my strengths at a very negative time for me, during redundancy. I found the whole process very rewarding.”

“Coaching has given me extra confidence. The process was very rewarding. The CV now looks punchier, and I feel ME again.”

“Coaching with Energise has given me choices, freedom and liberation.”

“Coaching gave me an objective, practical and understanding sounding board when I needed to get my life back in gear again. It really is a personal service that works around who you really are and what you really want to do. “

“Coaching gave me a positive attitude, confidence and insight. It has been instrumental in my success and by setting targets and deadlines it has speeded up the whole process of finding another job.”

It can feel like very challenging times at the moment. Remember you are not alone. Keep going.


Rachel Brushfield Rachel Brushfield is The Talent Liberator at Energise – The Talent Liberation Company, founded in 1997. She is a career strategist, coach and published author, with a career heritage in marketing and brand strategy and communications who helps her clients enjoy uplifting breakthroughs at major career crossroads. Rachel’s career coaching specialisms are helping women professionals and executives to gain more career fulfilment and comfortably and competently market themselves, and creating, editing and marketing portfolio careers for a future proof and sustainable career. Rachel co-runs the network PWHub with CPD style quarterly events for senior employed women in Oxfordshire.

LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/energiseliberateyourtalent/
Web: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/
E mail: https://www.inspiringportfoliocareers.com/portfolio/connect/
Mobile: 07973 911137


Energise Future-Proof Your Career Summer School.
6-week Summer School to create peace of mind in an uncertain world.
Starts 12-1pm Tuesday 29 July 2020.

Keeping the momentum with your job search/career change part 2

It can be challenging to keep your motivation up day after day when looking for a new job or when changing career. Persistence is important, being creative and trying new approaches. This article is part 2 of 2 sharing some tips to keep up the momentum so you successfully achieve your goal. We have grouped the tips under headings and suggest that you keep the article to hand to refer back to.

Giving back
  • ‘Give what you lack’ e.g. if you are not getting much feedback from your job applications, make the time to give your children, partner, or friends positive feedback to give them a boost
  • Do some voluntary work and help people in a worse position than yourself
  • Every day, do at least one random act of kindness e.g. help a mother struggling with a pushchair, chat to an elderly person waiting at the bus stop, pick up some litter etc
  • Apply the principle ‘givers gain’ – help someone else, and it will come back to you directly or indirectly
Increase your self-awareness
  • Read self help/positive psychology books and increase your self awareness
  • Think about how you can honour your values more to create more happiness and fulfilment
  • Once a month, review the last 4 weeks and notice any patterns or what factors affect how you feel, what you do, when you procrastinate and put things off etc and think about how you can minimise these
  • Spend time in nature simply connecting with your senses and noticing the beauty of it
Be proactive
  • Think of creative ways to get the attention of and build relationships with recruitment agents
  • Write a letter to a newspaper or magazine about something you feel strongly about
  • Research about the changing needs of the sector in which you work /want to work and think about how you can help companies to tackle these challenges
  • Watch the news on TV/listen to the radio and read the newspapers. Think of 5 ways in which your skills, experience and qualities are useful for the changing world of work
  • Write an article on key issues affecting your trade/profession and contact target employers for a quote. Contact a magazine to get the article published or simply send it to prospective employers
Health and well-being
  • Make time for all the MOTs you usually do not get time for e.g. health check, dentist, finance, house maintenance etc
  • Do a stress management course
  • Do some exercise every day e.g. a walk to get fit, feel better and energise you
  • Do some batch cooking so you have fresh convenient food for when you get busy back at work
  • Drink 2L of water every day to keep your energy high
Networking
  • Create a group of people you know in a similar situation and share experiences, contacts, support, and brainstorm ideas
  • Write a list of your contacts (neighbours, friends, family, ex colleagues, parents of your children’s friends, sports clubs, hobbies etc) and think about who would be useful for you and people you would like to help
  • Sit down with someone in a similar situation and ask them to share their contacts. Discuss who might be useful for each other and make introductions
  • Research networking groups in your area and try one out
  • Go to the events of the professional association in your area or attend their annual conference
Being canny
  • Do skills swaps with no money being exchanged, e.g. if you are an accountant, do the accounts for a heating plumber who does you a free boiler check in exchange.
  • Have a clear out and sell things you do not want on Ebay or give them to Charity Shops

 


 

FREE event: ‘How to future-proof your career and take control of your career.’  12-1pm Tuesday 14 July 2020. Last chance to book/share.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-future-proof-your-career-and-take-control-of-your-career-tickets-112334852568

Keeping the momentum with your job search part 1

It can be challenging to keep your motivation up day after day when looking for a new job or when changing career. Persistence is important, being creative and trying new approaches. This article is part 1 of 2 sharing some tips to keep up the momentum so you successfully achieve your goal. We have grouped the tips under headings.

Managing fears and feelings

• Keep a diary of your thoughts, feelings, achievements, frustrations, and learnings
• Write down the worst thing that could possibly happen, the likelihood of it occurring and ways you would successfully address it
• Write all your frustrations about your situation on a piece of paper and then burn it
• Jot down the negative things you say to yourself and give them characters. Give them a name and picture what they look like, so they make you laugh and think more positively when they appear
• Channel any frustration positively; dig the garden, punch a punch bag, write a poem etc

Goal and vision

• Visualise your goal and imagine how you will feel when you have successfully achieved it
• Revisit your goal and write down all the blocks to achieving it. Brainstorm ideas with a friend how you can overcome the blocks
• Set yourself a non-work-related goal and achieve it e.g. create storage in your loft or shed so that you can easily find things and do not waste time
• Write down 10 positive things about your skills, qualities and experience that make you marketable
• Write in the present tense the vision for what you will be doing in future; what you will be feeling, hearing, and seeing
• Create an image board of the job/work you desire and choose words and images that you like
• Write a list of your achievements
• Imagine your life 2 years into the future. Bring your attention back to the present – imagine what changes you need to make now to create what you want. Write down the actions you need to take and take them.

Keeping positive

• Stay positive most of each day and allow yourself to have a 15 minute ‘worry and anxiety break’ each day
• Celebrate your achievements, however small every day
• Write down daily 3 things you have to be grateful for including things you may take for granted e.g. the ability to breathe easily and walk
• Write a list of all the positive aspects of your situation, e.g. time to think, not being stuck in rush hour etc
• Write a list of all the things that do not cost money, do not hurt anyone and which give you pleasure and do at least one every day
• Write down all the positive learnings from your current situation and the benefits of these and how they will be useful in future e.g. more resilient, persistence etc.
• Remember that persistence is the no 1 factor for success. If what you are doing is not working, try something else
• Recall a positive experience from the past every day that makes you feel good
• Think of a time when you successfully overcame a challenge. Reflect on what you did and what enabled the positive result and how you can replicate this in future
• Create a file containing positive e mails, cards and keep adding to it. Look at it when you need a boost
• Recall a time in the past when things did not go as you originally planned or envisaged but how in hindsight, it all worked out for the best and better than your original vision
• Create a structure for each day and week and incorporate activities you enjoy in it
• Create a list of the things that if you do them each day, make you feel resourceful and positive e.g. go for a walk, phone a friend etc. Create a checklist and make sure that you do them each day.

Making the most of time

• Write down all the things you have not got around to doing in the house and garden and do them one at a time
• Do the jobs around the house that niggle you or your partner/housemates complain about?
• Call/visit a friend, neighbour, or family member you have not seen for a while
• Review your computer filing system – re-do the folders and sub folders so it is easy to find things and have a clearout of old files
• Have a clear out of your paper files and improve your filing system
• Sort through your photographs and clearly label them with names, places, and dates
• Do something new every day e.g. explore a road in your area where you have never been down or cook a new recipe
• Clear out the loft

Upskilling

• Update your skills and knowledge – read books, trade magazines, surf the net
• Get a mentor
• Think of something you would like to improve and identify someone who is skilled at what you want to be good at. Spend time with them and find out what it is they do

Creative approaches

• Brainstorm new approaches and try at least one new one each week
• Think of someone you admire. Imagine how they might tackle the challenges you are facing
• Create a job description for your ideal job
• Offer to do a project for a friend’s business to get some experience and get a reference
• Create a memorable short phrase that summarises what you do

Energise free event 12-1pm on Tuesday 14 July 2020 – book your place now.

How to future-proof your career and take control of your career
12-1pm Tuesday 14 July 2020
Venue: On-line on Zoom.
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/how-to-future-proof-your-career-and-take-control-of-your-career-tickets-112334852568

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