Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Women's Leadership Challenge Conference: What's Your Value Proposition?

Continuing from last week: my 'normal' job paid for me to go to a Women's Leadership Challenge Conference run at St Catherine's University in Minnesota.  What I thought would be a normal work function turned out to have significant meaning to me and where my career and life are going.  So I thought I would share the numerous amounts of notes I took with others through my blog.

St Catherine's University: website
And here's their event page with more info about the program

The other main seminar I went to as part of this day event was "What's your Value Proposition? Positioning Yourself for the Job You Want" and this one was basically the idea of what exactly do you need to take an active roll in your job and what you want to do.   My notes are below.  The slides for this presentation can be found at

- You can not determine where you're going to go unless you know where to start.  Otherwise, goals and ending places seem forever far off and it's easy to lose hope and motivation. So the first thing you have to do is like looking at a map and find "You Are Here"

- Being able to talk to people about yourself is vital.  You're not bragging, you're telling the truth about yourself.  So be confident and speak up.

- Each of us have a value to offer, so find that, if you're having trouble determining where you are.

- All it takes in your career is one boss who doesn't understand you and your career can be sidetracked permanently (like being fired).  However, if this happens to you it can also potentially be the best moment and the hardest in your life as you search for the next thing.

- So much about all of it is job fit - you have to determine what fits and what doesn't.

- Often time what determines your career isn't what you say 'yes' to, it's what you say 'no' to or let pass you by.

- Most people are in accidental/opportunistic careers, ones that happen by accident.  The ones that are hard are the intentional careers.  And great on going careers require management, like tuning up your car.

- Your Value Proposition is what makes you different and special.  Not what you're perfect at, but what sets you out from the crowd.  It's the thing that differentiates you, your reputation and your brand.

"Being the best isn't enough.  People need to believe you're the best option for them, it's all about perception."

- Education is NOT a differentiation, it's HOW you do things.  Anyone can get an education.

- Don't wait for the career fairy, there's no such thing.  You have to stand up and go get it.

- Make your current boss your partner - don't assume they'll be threatened.  So if you want to learn to do their job, let them know and let them help you with it, most will.  However, if you can't tell them, then find someone you can tell and be honest with.  You need someone to bounce ideas off of at the very least, but you need someone who you can be honest with and who will be honest with you.

- Regularly search your job's postings for positions.  Even if you're not currently planning on moving, this will help you become familiar with what sort of things are required and what other positions in your company do.

- Keep your resume up to date, even if you're sticking around.  It's a great tool to have and having to update it all at once when your lose/leave a job is a pain.  Better to keep it up to date.

- Keep your performance reviews!  It's proof of what you've done and wording on those is things you can use.

- Volunteer, make yourself visible.  Step up to the plate and show your skills.

- Dress for the job you want.

- Practice good career karma, it comes back to you.

- Don't wait until you're out of a job to need people.

"If you want to go somewhere you've never gone before, then GO somewhere you've never gone before."

You should be a contribution, not a function.

*** So these notes aren't as well put together as the last one, but I was scribbling most of the time and taking it all in.  I would suggest looking at the slides on the website mentioned toward the top.  Also, the biggest thing I got out of this seminar was my own value statement.  It was the first time in my life that I walked up to people and introduced myself as a seamstress and an author without stuttering.  Try it, walk up to five people and introduce yourself.  It will quickly help you define who you are and work from there ^__^

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