January 3, 2012 By Anne Pryor

Not long ago, I sold my home of 20+ years. When I bought it in the late 80’s, selling and buying a home was much simpler. An ad was listed in the newspaper, a For Sale sign was staked in the yard, and an earnest real estate agent helped me find this gem after visiting a handful of available homes. No internet, no digital photos, no virtual tours and panoramic video.  No redecorating or “repositioning” of the home and certainly no “staging” the house for potential buyers.

Imagine my surprise when I decided to put this home up for sale after two decades. My new realtor swept into my home with a to-do list a mile long to prepare my home for sale. I was told that with the advent of internet marketing, my home would be photographed, videotaped and posted on the web for all to see. It needed to appeal to buyers and thus needed to be decluttered, in move-in condition, and presented in the best possible light – no exceptions.

Gone went my favorite wallpaper, personal photos were banished, rugs were pulled up to showcase newly polished wood floors. It took me nine months to get my house market ready and let go of what I thought was fabulous décor. Ultimately my home sold in five days at my asking price. The lesson learned – trust the experts. This is a new day.

The process of buying and/or purchasing a home is not unlike our approach to career change.  We get comfortable with the routine and expectations and it is easier, sometimes, to just stay put.  Like the purchase and sale of a home, a career shift involves some disruption from our routine.  How we approach a job search or transition has changed today from when we last made a move. It is uncomfortable to approach change and disrupt all the things that we have come to take for granted.

However, how will we ever know what “can be” if we don’t move beyond our comfort zone a bit?

How is your career doing? Are you ready to advance or seek a new challenge….ready to make a change and stretch yourself? If your career were a home, how would you prepare it for market? Are you clear and focused in what you want? Do you know what is unique about you that would appeal to the market? Do you know how to market yourself?  Do you know how and where to be found online to get the best results?

How do you know when you are ready for a change? Have you experienced any of the following?

  • You long to feel energized and engaged in your work.
  • Others give you feedback that you could be happier in a different line of work.
  • You feel that you’ve hit a career dead end and it is time for advancement.
  • You want to unearth your strengths and attributes to really understand where you best fit.
  • You want to feel that your best skills and talents are recognized and/or acknowledged.
  • You know you are capable of so much more – but are unsure of what that is.
  • You are ready for radical change.

Look to these signs as an indication that now is the time to begin the work of gaining career clarity and focus, identifying your uniqueness, and presenting your best self through online visibility.

What should be on your to-do list to prepare for your next career move? Your list might include:

  • Uncovering current interests, values, strengths and skills.
  • Identifying passions and desired outcomes.
  • Knowing the labor market demands for your areas of interest.
  • Identifying your unique personal brand.
  • Communicating your personal brand effectively, efficiently, and consistently.
  • Developing a strong and consistent online presence.
  • Cultivating and maintaining a thriving online network.

Like a great real estate agent who knows how to navigate the housing market, Meaningful Connections is a trusted guide along your career path.  Think of us as your team of strategists for career change and advancement,  personal branding,  and online visibility. We can help you prepare for change and get what you desire by putting you in the best light.

We would love to help guide your career success.