It’s a fact that it’s not enough to have vitamin B, you also have to have vitamin E!
Everything you say, write, send or develop about yourself will motivate your vitamin B to recommend you. But what’s the difference between vitamin B and vitamin E?
Vitamin B is the result of your personal branding work, of your personal marketing, which makes you visible and recommendable for some reason. It’s about what you can do to gain visibility and be “well” visible.
This work can be done more or less precisely. Classic examples for the activation of vitamin B are: updating and correcting your resume, improving your LinkedIn profile, sending emails to recruiters and friends, improving your application on company websites, updating your biography in company files or on company websites, improving your biography for customer presentations or the presentations you give.
In a nutshell, everything you say, write, send and develop about yourself. So, your “career content” will motivate your vitamin B to recommend you. And that’s why it is important that this content is accurate. It is your responsibility to control this process. It’s important that your vitamin B will open the door for your vitamin E.
But what is the main difference between vitamin B and vitamin E?
In my opinion, there is a lack of control over “the content of you” which your vitamin E will reveal when it is asked to do so spontaneously.
Usually, you don’t take part in the conversations between a headhunter and an professional who you used as a reference yourself. You can’t control the questions the headhunter is going to ask, or even who he is going to interview to confirm whether or not you are the professional he thinks is best suited for the position. Your vitamin E will be used as a reference, or when you are invited to become a member of a committee, council or another important group. And it’s maybe because of this lack of control over what he or she is going to say about you that the opinion of a vitamin E will be very important to those consulting him.
The opinion of a vitamin E has all the requirements to be unbiased and that’s why it is trustworthy. While vitamin B proves that you can work thoroughly, vitamin E confirms that you are the person you claim to be. Vitamin E lends credence to your professionalism. Who are the vitamin E that are consulted the most? They are colleagues or former colleagues, partners, manager, competitors, clients, former clients, suppliers etc.
When a person is working, a company’s brand can lend credence and visibility to this person. However, when a person was fired or tries to become self-employed then it becomes necessary to work on all “vitamin B tools”. Vitamin E tools are collected throughout your entire career.
There is no automated service that finds people for you who would give you the shirt off their back!
There is no automated service that finds people for you who can recommend you or people who can professionally evaluate your career up to your current position. People who can do that are or were in contact professionally with you. Whoever takes a stand for you as vitamin E and recommends you puts his own reputation at stake. They “give you the shirt off their back”.
So another question would be:
What can you do to gain vitamin E?
You can equate the question of vitamin E with the question of “how good is your reputation”.
It’s always the right moment to invest time into your professional reputation. Executives are usually busy with exceeding their company’s goal that they usually forget themselves when they present themselves to the world.
How do you establish a professional reputation? Well, I used the same criteria I use for companies, and listed them here. I hope that these tips can help you.
Everyone projects an image and establishes a reputation on their job. But most people recognize too late that they could have influenced their reputation deliberately and proactively. To care about your reputation is the important thing, when you think about a continuous positive image over time.
Here are my tips!
This is not a how-to guide but rather a list of things people around you are looking for in you.
Attitude - Act and show courage, positivity, honesty, philanthropy and other virtues. But please remember whichever attitude you have towards your fellow man, it should be the same towards managers, your team or even the suppliers. Ideally, you should be authentic. Dishonesty isn’t well received.
- Behavior - Be ethically correct, respect people’s boundaries, act according to the company’s compliance and, above all, according to what you signed in your contract when you were hired.
- Image - This means to be aware that your attitude, your norms, the way you appear, represent you. Do what you think is right but always try to see and evaluate through the eyes of others.
- Competence - means results. But also willingness, dedication for your tasks, for continuing education, meeting and exceeding expectations of clients and partners.
- Visibility - In this case it means that compliments are collected and taken but doing so without boasting. It also means that you have to be active outside of your company, participate in comittees, workgroups etc.
- Mistakes - Almost no one talks about this, but everyone watches a person’s behavior during and after he makes a mistake. The way a person handles his own mistakes and failures decides how all previous criteria will be evaluated eventually.
But it is crucial for your professional reputation that you embrace your career and everything you’ve achieved.
After all, it’s not some words in an archive but it’s the time you invested in your work. Remember that during this time, there were people who can vouch for what you’ve experienced and achieved with them, your vitamin E (who can recommend you).
More about the author:
Sheila Magri is a journalist, communication consultant for managing brands, people and companies, and partner of Macob Communications. Sheila Magri published the article on LinkedIn and is inspired by her own post of August 12, 2017.
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