Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Unemployed? A Perfect Excuse to Rebrand

Every economic and political crisis has its opportunities. It just takes some imagination to find the ones you can make the most of.

Who said that luck happens when opportunity meets a ready mind?

When Last We Saw Our Hero . . .

I was recently asked to help a company to create marketing collateral for their current services. This organisation specialises in outsourcing particular financial functions for small to medium sized businesses.

In order to make the most of the marketing opportunities, I suggested that that they activities and collateral that will expand their brand.

With expertise in all aspects of finance, why not take the opportunity to find the cream of the financial market's unemployed, retrain them, and place them in new jobs?

In a world where there are hundreds of talented financial people who are newly unemployed, you have a market keen for any way to find a job.

Likewise, companies need talented people -- always. And they would prefer to outsource functions that require high overhead in salary, benefits, and so on.

So why not make a business of rebranding people from the City? You make money training. You make money placing people. Win-win.

You Who Have Lost Your Jobs: This Is Where You Come In

You who are smart and agile, this is your chance. The current situation allows high-level thinkers to take advantage of the opportunity for new career directions by re-branding yourselves.

What are you most passionate or curious about? What sorts of businesses or business functions have you demonstrated an impact other than whatever was contained in your job description? Where can you get that extra expertise quickly and efficiently to fill in gaps for a job you'd like to have?

Speaking from Experience

My own career path has been entirely about re-branding in order to explore and learn exactly what interests me. I worked in the theatre, I earned a PhD in drama, I became a journalist, I worked in Silicon Alley and consulted, worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers as strategist and negotiator for the global website, and then I ran a charity for children in London.

Contrary to those who advocate single career paths, employers have not found me flaky. In fact, I've found the threads that connect my passions allow me to see things new in ways that make me seem more, rather than less, committed and qualified. Cross-disciplinary thinking and making connections among unlikely resources is high in demand. In fact, my research shows that in every field employers are looking for people who can show this sort of creativity.

And those who do this can find great success.

Re-branding is a big topic, and I'll get back to it in later posts. For now, there's a great (if old) Fast Company issue that offers some very good ideas. Check it out.

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