Did you ever walk away from an interview and know you didn’t nail it? Introduce yourself to a new acquaintance and feel like you missed communicating who you really are? Talk to a customer, client, friend, nephew, or stranger and know that they didn’t “get” your brilliance. You might think your personal street cred just can’t increase no matter how many words you utter.
Let’s face it! We have to talk about ourselves all the time. Most of us are less-than-great at getting our unique, special value across to others. Oh, sure… we can detail what we did all day, describe the volumes of work we march through each day, marvel at the surprisingly high number of years we have devoted to our job. Whether it is humbleness, lack of forethought, or passé paradigms about what is important or impressive to discuss, we often underwhelm those around us by what we say and how we say it.
I spend my working life talking with the soaring eagles and, sometimes, the walking wounded of the corporate world. I’m an Executive Coach and my personal mission is to accelerate the growth of my clients’ careers. I’m acutely aware that the same maladies affect the corporate high flyers as well as the rest of us… Regardless of the level of aspiration, there are better, newer ways to organize and deliver your messages about yourself than what we learned 30 years ago will help you make smart career moves.
Most of us over 50 are using an outmoded way of talking about ourselves and our accomplishments.
It is so yesterday to begin your personal career message with your title and it feels defeating to follow that up with the number of years you’ve been at it. Utilizing phrases like my career path and my next step up sound rigid and as if you have limited yourself to knowledge and impact within a narrow band. Today’s employers, customers, and stakeholders want versatile, resilient, impact players regardless of where they may fit in the tapestry of the organization.
Here is my list of the workplace messaging shifts that everyone over 50 needs to make to be relevant, from So Yesterday to So Today.
It is time to think and prepare your new messaging about you! Focus on your versatility and resilience, the breadth of your knowledge, and the impact of your work on others and the organization. Say less about your years of experience and more about your expertise. Times are changing and the way you speak about yourself tells others if you are keeping up with the changes around you.
Good luck with your career moves and be brave.