Career Champion: “Of being public and getting picked”


Sally Champion

Sally Champion continues her weekly blog about the process of setting up a part-time business as a writer. She had polio as a child and after years of working nine to five, she is now having to think differently about how to earn her living. Sally invites your comment and advice.

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Episode 12: “Of being public and getting picked”

Now I have started ringing around trying to find work I’ve happened upon another vein of anxiety, which I’m sure, left to my own devices, I could mine unhappily for quite a while.

The best way I’ve found to get rid of the anxiety critter, though, is to either talk to someone who knows about the issue my mind is grinding away on, find additional information and/or some way to re-frame my thinking.

Because the issue I’m concerned about involves my blog, the logical person to talk to is I Think Differently website convener Philip Patston.  He has agreed to let me record our conversation.

Sally: 

Now I have gone out into the market place, Philip, I’ve become very aware that when someone Googles my name this blog series comes up.  I am proud of what I have documented. I think it’s good social commentary, but what would a prospective employer make of it? Will this detail of my personal self derail the more dignified professional persona I can rustle up, if required?

I know according to conventions around social media I should be promoting Career Champion as though I’m completely drunk on the nectar of my own brilliance, but I wonder if this path could be be ill-advised largess.

What are your thoughts? You’ve spent a big part of your life as a comedian and you were highly visible…

Philip:

I don’t think you need to be concerned, Sally.

Many influential entrepreneurs and bloggers, like my favourite, Seth Godin, talk about how important your own story is when you’re marketing and promoting your service or product. In this new world of social media, where consumers are overwhelmed with choice, people pick a service or product because they resonate with who, why and where it comes from.

When I was doing comedy, the people who booked me didn’t just want a comedian – they wanted me. So the more you can authentically tell your story the more you will attract clients you will get on with and who will want to work with you.

You might find this post interesting.  Seth says, ironically, “You’re better off finding a path that doesn’t require you get picked in order to succeed “. He thinks picking yourself is the way of the future.

Sally:

I understand what you’re saying in terms of working where you fit and I like the idea of “picking yourself”. The posts are really interesting, thanks.  How do you see someone in my situation working the “picking yourself” idea?

Philip:

It’s about initiating something. You could start a blog and sell advertising, or write a book and publish it online. You offer something, rather than asking for, or waiting to be offered, something.  It’s also a way of creating something of value rather than merely giving people what they are used to, or think they want. (Seth again.)

You need to invest time to create whatever it is. If you have the time – because, say, you are on a benefit – you are in the perfect position to do that.

Sally:

I’d like to keep talking about visibility. I know you are working on a project to get greater visibility for disabled people in the media. Maybe we could talk about that in my next post? It might give me a bit more courage.

Philip:

Sure, let’s do that.

Sally wants to reassure everyone that she is ringing around looking for work. She says it’s exactly like being made to do the dishes when you’re a kid. Ghastly, but there is no way you can get out of it.

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