Awhile back I joined a group called the National Association of Professional Women, or NAPW for short. This national organization is an exclusive network dedicated to “connecting like-minded professional women to develop innovative business and social relationships.” If you’re looking for new networking opportunities, I recommend checking them out!
Last week, TheLadders allowed me to host our NAPW September meeting at our office in SoHo. One of our fellow NAPW members from out west, Robin Fisher Roffer, was in town and offered to give a presentation to our local NYC chapter.
Robin is the CEO of Big Fish Marketing and ranked among the Top Five Most Influential Brand Gurus in the World. In addition, she’s written a number of books on leadership and personal branding.
Let me start by saying that Robin is an AMAZING speaker. She went out of her way to speak with many of the members before the presentation began, and she captivated us with her stories for a solid 2 hours. Her presentation was based off of one of her books, “The Fearless Fish Out of Water: How to Succeed When You’re the Only One Like You.” In her book, Robin discusses seven steps to courageous leadership:
- Go Fishing for the Real You
- Use Your Differences as a Lure
- Find a Few Fish Like You
- Swim in Their Ocean Your Way
- Put Yourself Out on the Line
- Evolve by Casting a Wide Net
- Reel in Your Unique Power
I’m not going to go into all these steps (you’ll have to attend one of her presentations or buy the book), but I want to communicate her main message. At the end of the day, it’s important for each and every one of us to stand strong in the face of uncertainty.
If you want to have a successful career that you love, you first need to take the time to truly understand who you are, and not who you’ve tried to become to fit in.
What do you stand for? What do you want to achieve?
As Robin puts it, when you “uncover your essence” and accept yourself for who you are, you will find great power in “your authentic self.” Your personal brand and mission statement will spring from your passion. Celebrate your differences, as they will help set you apart and steer you towards the right type of work for you.
I think everyone left that presentation with a renewed sense of purpose. If you’re looking for a change in your career, the first thing I suggest is taking inventory of your key skill sets and passions, and seeing where those two intersect. This will help you pursue a career that you’re not only great at, but passionate about!
Amanda Augustine is the Job Search Expert for TheLadders. She provides job search and career guidance for professionals looking to make their next career move. Have a question for Amanda? Submit your question here for a chance to have it answered in her weekly column, and be sure to follow @JobSearchAmanda on Twitter for up-to-the-minute job-search advice.