Career professionals may find it challenging to remain competitive in a particular field. It is beneficial to assess if you have the necessary in-demand skills to thrive in a global economy.
Yet, it is also essential to uncover the secret of the visible power of being different.
The power is in using impactful career experiences to build a business portfolio.
My path involves a mid-career transition after a layoff into the nonprofit sector.
I have leadership experience in the aviation and defense industry for thirteen years.
The second chapter of my career is leading nonprofit education initiatives.
I decided to reimagine myself successful versus trying to reinvent myself. I acknowledge the feeling of failure after a layoff while working part-time to gain a new set of skills.
“We have to reimagine ourselves in this American landscape. You won’t survive if you don’t do that. Reinvent means you don’t like yourself.”
This career transition process of reimaging myself takes several years to complete.
It is critical to have someone to talk to as you navigate through the uncertainty.
You will have self-doubts because of fear of the unknown.
You must keep moving forward without knowing what the outcome will be.
A crucial part of any transition is remaining confident. It is best to stay humble enough to know that your past habits may no longer work in the present.
The part-time work leads to a full-time leadership position in which I thrive.
The reality is being a lifelong learner is a high priority.
It is about reframing experiences to learn from them. You have to learn to let go of following an ideal checklist of standards.
It is not about denying experiences or failures. The beauty of life is in finding the power to stand in your uniqueness.
Now that you know there is power in being different, let’s take the following steps to make it impactful.
The first step is taking charge of your professional development.
According to a Career Builder Survey, “Many employees want to get ahead in their career but aren’t offered educational opportunities to learn the skills needed to do so. If offered, 73% of employees whose companies do not currently offer educational opportunities or workshops outside of work hours say they would be likely to participate if they were available.”
Professional organizations outside of work also help provide educational opportunities.
I joined several organizations to enhance my communication and leadership skills.
Now I can lead multigenerational teams as a GenX leader.
There are hot topics about generational differences. Yet, success is collaboration in inclusive environments.
The LinkedIn 2020 Global Talent Trends report, says, “56% of companies say they’ve recently updated policies to appeal to a multigenerational workforce.”
Inclusive environments also need to allow each person to develop a sense of style.
The second step after developing a sense of style is to cultivate it through creativity.
The secret of creativity is the idea of using self-competition to stand out.
Self-competition is about continuous improvement. The benefits also include understanding the stages of a business life cycle.
The practical applications can then lead to developing transferable skills.
The creativity of a distinctive leadership style with quantifiable results establishes brand credibility.
The third step after establishing a distinctive leadership style is consistency.
There is power in being consistent at what you do, especially when it comes to being on time.
If people know that you will deliver results, you will gain brand ambassadors.
These brand ambassadors are a part of the social capital you need to flourish. It serves the purpose of amplifying your voice as unique for buy-in from your career audience.
The buy-in leads to your natural influence to become visible.
The fourth step is to empower others to stand out through your leadership.
It will show that you not only know how to own your power to be different; you can help others do the same.
The leader who lifts as he or she climbs is essential to the health of any organization.
The final step is shaping your career portfolio as a story too good to be on the sidelines.
Imagine you are one of several qualified candidates for a position.
It will be time to show how you can form new relationships to strengthen the customer’s business.
My interview for Vice President of Education and Programs highlights using this strategy.
My for-profit and nonprofit experience in Aerospace Engineering stands out.
Additionally, my prior involvement in STEM Education initiatives increases my credibility.
I reimagine myself daily to ensure I am progressing forward.
Your call to action is reimagining yourself succeeding despite unfavorable circumstances. The answer is in embracing the secret of the visible power of being different.
Tomorrow is a new day for you to continue to master standing out through your uniqueness.
Alicia M. Morgan is an award-winning executive leader, engineer, and engaged advocate responsible for successful outcomes in program management, career development, mentoring, and cross-functional leadership in multigenerational teams. She is a TEDx Speaker, Dallas Business Journal Women in Technology Honoree, Society of Women Engineers K-12 Advocate, and J Rêve International Emerging Leader in STEAM Honoree. She is a 2018 Op-Ed Project Fellow featured in various online and print publications.