“What have you been up to lately? How’s the IT department?” Ignite your Career – Episode 3

3436495785_7653964d1a_o[1] Picture yourself walking into an elevator and having a senior executive standing in there. After the pleasant head nod, you press your floor button and stand to the side. After the doors close - the executive finally recognizes you and remembers you’re in IT. Because it’s a long ride up – she asks you a small talk type question like “So Bob, what projects have you been up to lately? How’s life in the IT Department?”.

Are you ready for this question? How would you answer?

Remember - You’ve got one minute to promote your personal brand and make an impression. Are you ready for that?

This is a serious topic that comes up in conversation when my team is out at events and talking with people. It’s mostly around the issue of looking for a job or trying to break into he industry as they are newly out and seeking employment. Kudos to the ones that are asking – most are seeking advice on what to say and how to promote. What about all the OTHER people in the room who are not doing a good job of connecting and self promoting? Sure – maybe they are gainfully employed now or have not had to look for a new job in a while – but what about if something changed?

Self Promotion / personal brand awareness / pride in projects completed AND being able to clearly communicate them in the proper depth and manner that matches the situation is something that is hard to do.  Are you someone like me (believe it or not) who’s a little introverted when one finds oneself in a crowd of strangers, nervous to be the one who does the approaching - but more then happy to talk once approached by someone in a crowd to talk. Maybe you are a bit more extreme – someone who shies away from getting out there at all, making connections and selling yourself.  Being confident and taking the time to build and nurture your “public” brand may not seem important to you now – but what about when it really counts?

  • when you find yourself being passed over for a new role with more responsibility.
  • when you feel it’s time to move on down a slightly different career path.
  • when it’s time to strike out into new territory all together and look for a new employer
  • when it’s time to get into your first career or into your next career change.

How do you stand out from the crowd – even if it’s not your style? Can you summarize your accomplishments from past projects clearly and succinctly? When is the last time you updated your resume or maintained your “project portfolio”?

My team and I have committed to do whatever we can do to support your career growth as an ICT professional both on the traditional “technical skills” side as well as on the “personal/professional skills” side. With this episode of the Ignite Your Career webcast series -  I figured it was time to focus a little energy towards this very important topic. When I reached out to the team to see who they would suggest would be good panel members – WOW. I was impressed with who wanted to talk on this topic.

We’re coming at it from all angles here: A brand and image savvy developer, an IT manager looking to hire, a headhunter who can help locate the right candidate or give you an edge and finally an HR professional who knows all about recruiting and staffing processes. Check out this line-up!

scott-hanselman Scott Hanselman – Principal Program Manager at Microsoft. You can find him on the web at http://www.hanselman.com/blog/ or listen to his podcast HansleMinutes. Trust me – if you are a developer – you’ve heard of Hanselman.

andrew-dillane Andrew Dillane is the Group CIO for the Randstad Canada Group of Companies. He’s the national president for the CIO Association of Canada and is actively involved in the Program Advisory Council for Ryerson University’s Information Technology Management degree program.

nick-corcodilos Nick Crocodilos is no stranger to the Ignite Your Career webcast series. He’s provided colourful insight and valuable information on how to work with HeadHunters. His latest book How to Work with Headhunters is a great read and his previous book Ask The Headhunter: Reinventing The Interview to Win The Job was the #1 selling interview guide on Amazon for 26 months. You can reach Nick over on his AskTheHeadHunter blog. Note: Nick is making a SPECIAL OFFER for webcast attendees – Save $10 on his new book How to Work with Headhunters by using discount code = ignite


heather-hamilton Heather Hamilton – manages Microsoft’s Global Competitive Programs Team which is responsible for monitoring competitive talent landscape and leverage opportunities to recruit the best technical talent possible. She’s a well known blogger over on her site called One Louder and is a requested speaker on topics related to candidate outreach and community building.

I honestly can’t wait for Thursday the 24th. This will be an episode you will NOT want to miss! Register today to attend this free webcast series.

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