by Johanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) “Don’t fake it till you make it; fake it until you become it”: an interesting angle regarding bullet-proofing your career and a phrase coined by business coach, Elaine Seale-McKend, at this particular masterclass, which was all about career planning — relevant to the marketing and advertising industries — and ensuring future career growth. Also important was for delegates to understand the people around them and the people that they might be managing.

Some six key points were made that are worth noting:

1. Self-assessment

  • Examine your current skills and interests
  • Identify areas of skills development
  • Consider practical goals
  • Choose wisely — what will serve your inner compass now?

2. What is the environment?

  • Research and assess the marketplace
  • Prepare a complete networking list
  • Identify the key geographical areas
  • Prepare a solid “elevator pitch”
  • Ensure that your resumé is concise
  • Prepare a strategy for activating your network connections

3. Implementation

  • Integrated information
  • Conduct networking steadily and keep records
  • Refine your goals
  • Analyse your work regularly and learn from it
  • A job search is a full-time occupation — allow the time
  • The more you strategically reach out to others, the more opportunities will open up to you
  • Create and lead a LinkedIn group

4. Assessment of expectations

  • Negotiate success with your boss or key sponsor
  • Conversations on negotiation need to happen around key themes
  • Build a productive relationship
  • Identify resources needed, eg more training, more help, more equipment
  • Identify long- and short-term expectations

5. Thought-leadership

  • Look into the future
  • Set a course for others
  • Look at best practices and then come up with better ones

6. Personal brand — key questions

  • How do I show up in my career and my life?
  • Who am I as a person?
  • What am I known for?
  • What do I want to be known for?

And, finally, something to remember:

People will forget what you said; people will forget what you did; but people will never forget how you feel.


Johanna McDowellJohanna McDowell (@jomcdowell) is managing director of the Independent Agency Search and Selection Company (IAS), and she is one of the few experts driving this mediation and advisory service in SA and globally. Currently she is running the IAS Marketers Masterclass, a programme consisting of masterclasses held in Cape Town and in Johannesburg. Twice a year she attends AdForum Worldwide Summits.

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