A scenario played out in our house this summer that made me smile and renewed my faith in our personal power to make our dreams reality.
My son has played club rugby from the very first day the RFU allowed it, securing a second row position once roles were allocated in later years. On joining his school, he joined the rugby squad, and was enlisted as a prop, not his preferred role. Loving the sport, he persevered in the new position, and was proud to be selected as captain of his team, the second team.
Nearly a year on, the time came to order the school rugby shirt, complete with name and number, causing much deliberation over which number to choose. Knowing he felt more confident and comfortable as a second row forward, we encouraged him to dress for the job he wanted, rather than the job he already had. It was a bold move, but if he didn’t clearly signpost his wishes and intentions, then how would they become reality? Taking the plunge, we ordered a number five shirt, ready for the start of the new season. With some trepidation, he wore it to the first training session, and set his dream in motion. Two months later, he has now played a series of school matches as number five. What a result!
The lesson? If you want something, you have to be clear about what it is and confident in telling the world.
How you present yourself directly affects how others perceive you. You actually have an incredible power to change their minds and tell them a new story, one based on your hopes and desires.
This lesson is vital in a job search scenario, especially one where you are looking to up-level your career. You need to clearly signpost your intentions. If you don’t, you’ll be whispering your dreams to an audience of one, and that will be you.
Dressing for the job you want can mean the clothing you choose for your interview or an internal campaign of persuasion. However, I believe it is just as important that you dress your personal branding materials for the job before you even secure a face-to-face meeting.
Take a long, hard look at the story you are telling on your CV, LinkedIn profile, business cards, social media bios, and elevator pitch. Is it consistent and is it positioning you for your next chapter? If not, you might want to change that.
If you have big plans, these tools can and should position you to achieve them. That’s their purpose, and if they are not doing their job, you are wasting an opportunity. Think about the message you want to deliver about the direction you are heading, and wear it with pride. It’s your personal equivalent of a number five shirt, and I’ve heard that they can be quite lucky.