Chicago is a band that started in the late 60’s and had hits extending well into the ‘80s. They toured with Jimi Hendrix who considered Chicago’s lead guitar player better than him. You can hear their music everywhere as recent as two years ago with airtime on popular, rock, and soul stations—a rarity at that time.
Gaining employment is not about remembering a face, but the product, your work. That is why this personal branding lesson from Chicago should resonate with those concerned about how he or she looks.
Now, I’ll allow you to Google their early album covers to see what their faces. OK, notice the expressions. Notice that there are no faces. Did you know that they did not show their faces on any of the album covers in the 70s. In fact, not for their first 17 albums.
The band members could shop, go to clubs, get arrested, and no one would associate their faces with the band. Chicago had as many hits as the Rolling Stones during the 70s and yet, they can walk the streets, and have #1 records.
They had a TV special that featured Al Green (another major star in that period), and yet, band members could freely roam the streets without being mobbed.
So if you have a strong product, it should sell without the face like Chicago did years ago, right? Well, this justifies your faceless social profiles, right? Well, hold on a second. How great is the product YOU offer?
- Has your career produced a body of work that speaks for itself? Or do you continue to talk your way into an opportunity. By the way, that’s necessary but too much talking can sound like a car salesman at the end of the month.
- Does your personality stand out more than your accomplishments? Being liked is an important attribute, but the people can sense you have charmed your way to career success (or not).
- How much do you have to talk to substantiate your value? If you don’t demonstrate any quantitative or qualitative value on your résumé, you can talk too much and right out of a job.
Years later, I don’t remember women swooning over Chicago members looks as I do hearing people talk about the music. Job seekers need to heed the advice that helps their contributions stand out. Gimmicks and tricks are help sometimes, but can employer become excited about the solutions he or she offers.
So does anyone really know where their career really stands? Does anyone really care? (Pretty bad Chicago lyric paraphrasing, eh?)
What challenges do you face in standing out to employers? Please comment below. Let me help.
A friend recently negotiated a $10,000 bump in a salary offer because he used reasoning with a company that came after him. The current company paid $16,000 for his master’s degree, and asked the approaching company to invest part of what he would have to pay back. The company was impressed and agreed to work with him. Note that he only requested a portion and not the whole. Negotiation is an critical discussion in closing the deal. The ideal approach sets the tone for a prosperous career. Remember, reasonable. Read on!
1. Patient salary negotiation earns respect from employers
If you are tactful and respectful in making a request for anything using sound reason, the reciprocated respect is worth more than a salary bump. The word “REASON” is a powerful negotiation tool because it can make or break your efforts. To present a reason as a one-way often fails because the candidate is self-seeking. To offer sound reasoning is a value exchange: “I would like to work from home a day or two a week in exchange for working 6-8 hours overtime at the office.” This may work better with an employer who promotes work/life balance but it is only an offer.
2. You’re experienced. How about flexible?
If you have given a range of an expected salary, I hope is a thought-out, calculated, and measured answer. What about the other issues important to you, such as schedule, benefits, and perhaps holidays? If you have read articles on negotiation, they will say you should create a “must-have” list. Remember, be reasonable in requesting your “must-haves.” Negotiate with the professional relationship in mind.
3. Wait for it…in writing
If you want clarity wait for the offer in writing before convening the Geneva convention. Depending on the professional level, the offer based on the value communicated. In lower level professions (hourly wage) the wiggle room is very small, which means you will have to consider non-salary negotiations (not true for every case but common).
An article in The Central New York Business Journal suggested,
If the desired salary isn’t available…make sure a position will offer other incentives prove beneficial later in a job candidate’s career.
Top Mistakes Professionals Make When Negotiating Their Salary. (2011). Business Journal (Central New York), 25(20), 10.
4. Salary negotiation is not a list of demands. It’s a business conversation
This approach is easier on both parties. No one is holding anyone hostage. Understand that for each “must-have” or request you make, expect requests. The success of this meeting will be the positive energy and mutual satisfaction (as stated in #6). Anything less than that you lose. Like the song says, “Know when to hold ‘em, and know when to fold ‘em…”
Again, the advice is basic, and by all means, read books on the subject if you desire a thorough knowledge base. Successful knowledge base rooted in expert knowledge of the value you offer and how to ask for what you want. Do you have tips to share? Please share in the comments.