With the rise of portfolio careers the issues of ‘what are you?’ and ‘how do you promote yourself when you do different things?’ arise frequently. And it can be a challenging process.
Recently I’ve been helping one client, Joe, disentangle all the strands of his activities spinning out from three websites, two blogs and a LinkedIn page. They all promoted different things that Joe does both for work and for fun – writing, poetry, teaching languages, making music, travel and life coaching.
His need to brand each activity, to give it a unique identity and to house it in a distinct space had resulted in an overwhelming muddle. Made more confusing by the fact that many of Joe’s activities overlap.
After a conversation that ran along the lines of “This piece is about travelling but it’s writing about the sense of discovery so it’s not travel writing, its more coaching, so maybe it should go out under the coaching brand…but with a link to the writing website as well?” It has been a difficult, but necessary and worthwhile process.
So, I did what I do when faced with an overwhelming situation or problem to solve. I ask:
‘What are you trying to achieve?’
If we can clearly identify the desired destination, then we can map out how to get there. Stephen Covey’s principle of ‘begin with the end in mind’ is a coaching edict that has never failed me nor the people I help.
Time to go back to basics.
Time to press pause and map out the desired end state.
Time to find the core purpose.
Solving the issue of how to present a portfolio career is about stripping away the differences in order to find the common denominator. You.
The highly talented Jane Audas has it covered. Her work and interests are captured on her website perfectly because she is the core, the centre around which all her activities orbit and are contained. Take a look here. She’s also acerbic, observant and funny – follow her on Twitter for a taste @janeaudas).
Yes, she has categories, but her work and interests overlap because she has identified herself as the core and why she does what she does: “The link…is that I like finding and telling stories about objects.”
I am the core of what I do – and my link? I help people be happier at work.
If you’re struggling to define your professional self, how to present yourself and who to then why not get in touch? A session of career therapy can help you define your core brand so you can more forward.