• Debbie Platts

Are You Professionally Prepared?

If you live in the Gulf Coast area during the summer, you will be inundated with reminders about preparing for potential hurricanes. News stations, hardware stores, neighbors and bill boards are all sending signals that you should not delay---get ready now! So, to somewhat address these warnings, I purchased some batteries and had an extra case of water on hand. I thought I had sufficiently prepared until my sister reminded me that during the last hurricane (when I was living in the Midwest) they were without electricity for two weeks and good luck finding gas or a grocery store that was open. In light of this somewhat “stern” reminder, and the fact there are a few storms brewing in the gulf, I picked up one of those handy hurricane preparedness brochures and quickly got busy making sure our hurricane preparedness kit was complete. I wanted to be confident that we would be ready as much as possible should a hurricane or big storm head our way.

This situation made me think about preparedness as it applies to our professional lives. There are both beneficial opportunities and challenging “hurricanes” that we experience throughout our professional journey. Being able to excel, thrive or even survive in these situations can be impacted by how well prepared we are with the right tools in our professional toolbox.

Which tools provide the most value in a professional toolbox? I think this is somewhat dependent on your position or industry, but a few standard tools that most professionals will need on their journey include:

  • Personal Vision Statement: Your personal vision serves as your compass. It ensures you are aligning the majority of your goals and actions with your ultimate vision of success. You have to clearly define who you want to be, and what you want to do, so you avoid putting energy and effort into steps that won’t get you closer to your vision of success. Steven Covey alludes to this in habit #2 (begin with the end in mind) in his book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.

  • Personal Branding Statement: This conveys your unique promise of value. It differentiates you from others and allows you to stand out in your spheres of influence.

  • BIO: Typically there are three types of bios (micro, medium and long). The one that is sometimes the most challenging and used the most often is the micro bio or elevator speech. The purpose of a bio is to communicate who you are and what you do.

  • Resume: The executive summary and story of your work accomplishments. A resume needs to capture the attention of the reader in 6-10 secs.

  • LinkedIn profile: A networking tool that if used effectively and strategically can maximize your ability to interact with other professionals and decision makers.

How complete is your professional toolbox? Are you ready with a bio for that great, but unexpected, speaking engagement or presentation? Is your resume current so you can respond to an expected opportunity or if things change with your current employer? Get ready now!

If your professional toolbox needs assembled, updated or completed so that it is ready to assist during moments of opportunity OR threats of a “hurricane”, visit our website to learn more about the virtual Professional Toolbox Group Coaching Series beginning September 12, 2017 at 6pm CST.

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