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Adriana Llames | adrianallames

Own Your Personal Brand | Personal Branding

Posted: April 18th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching, Personal Branding | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Own Your Personal Brand | Personal Branding

In the past month, I have had the pleasure of meeting intelligent, engaging and ambitious professionals from all walks of life in my new role within the walls of Corporate America. Some of them have been colleagues, others partners we work with, a few candidates looking to join the organization, and even more vendors hoping to partner with the company in the future.

We have control

What I find interesting is that within any one given group I have come across, there are individuals that seem entirely subject to their surroundings. They have surrendered their personal brand to the organization for which they work, they are lost within their surroundings, and they no longer know who or what they stand for in life. I have breaking news for those folks, we have control!

In every decision, every minute of the day, you have a choice in the matter at hand. Do you want a tall non-fat cappuccino or a simple drip coffee? You decide. Do you want to work in corporate America or start your own personal business? You decide. No one is forcing you to be anywhere at any given time. This is America, we have control. That is the beauty.

Own your brand

If you find yourself in surroundings that eat away at you, own it. YOU are the only one who can change it. Is that a way to say “Quit your job!”, goodness no. It’s a way to say, own it. When someone interacts with you, it’s a reflection of your personal brand. If you’re unhappy in your professional life – be it your own business or a corporate role – it’s how your personal brand is perceived. That unhappiness seeps through to interviews, meetings and your personal life. Own your brand and take control of changing it.

Taking control: 3 easy ways

I’m going to give you the 3 easy ways to take control that only took me 10 years (and nearly $20K in therapy) to learn.

  1. Thoughts become things – think Pinterest – it’s a powerful vision board that essentially creates a Pin board of your personal brand – what does it look like to own your success? Then think of yourself already there and it will happen. Caution: this works well so be careful what you ask for
  2. Power of love – this is a biggie – have you ever met a successful person who lacked passion? Steve Jobs, Blake Mycoskie of Toms, Mark Zuckerberg all led with passion and a love for what they do each day which had delivered success professionally and personally for them.
  3. Accountability – ask yourself regularly “am I owning this or am I being a victim to this situation?” this one question will keep you present in the situation

Do What You Love and You Never Work Again

Posted: April 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Career Coach, Job Searching | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Do What You Love and You Never Work Again

In the words of Confucius, “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.” Does this sound too good to be true?

For over a decade I pursued my dream and led a business that was built out of pure passion, in essence I did what I loved. While it’s true that the days meld into one another, and before you know it know it time has passed like sands through an hourglass, Confucius has one on me. In my experience, it still felt like work (particularly in the early years).

Keeping your bank accounts full

In recent years, the economic conditions have given rise to many individuals reconsidering the W2 lifestyle. Filling your back account comes in many different ways and being mindful of this is essential, particularly if you choose to fill them by pursuing your passion outside the stability of a W2 paycheck.

Stability. Finances. Health (and health insurance). Emotional stability. Physical Health. There are many areas we deposit and debit from all day long that add up to “work/life balance.” Will doing what you love deposit or debit from your mental bank account (remember to consider the stress)? How will it affect your physical account? Does it deposit or debit from your relationship bank account? All your accounts need to be balanced in order for an opportunity to be the right one.

Choosing your passion

The irony in all of this is that the majority of people (including you) possess such talents in life that when it comes to deciding about a career or business, it is less about what you love, and more about what you can do with what you love. What am I talking about? Take me for example. I love shoes (Ok, I adore them) yet without the necessary skills (e.g. designing, manufacturing, distributing) necessary to effectively run a shoe business, my chances of being successful are rather limited even with my passion. The wise choice is to choose a passion where my skills also align so I have the best choice for success.

Go for it

The first step to anything in life is making the decision to go for it. Are you ready to fill up your bank accounts by pursuing your passion full-time? If you answer YES then GO FOR IT. Choose your passion wisely, align your skill set and make the decision to start doing what you love. As Confucius said “…you will never work a day in your life.” Here’s to never working a day in our lives.


Networking Internally for Your Next Job

Posted: April 4th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Networking Internally for Your Next Job

For those of you job hunting within an organization, you may underestimate the role of networking internally. This important and essential activity is how you can build your personal brand within your current organization, and land a new career at the same time.

You have the upper hand

Networking internally is the fastest and easiest way for you to get a new job. As a hiring manager at a company with over 200,000 employees, I’m partial to internal candidates for many reasons. First and foremost, as an internal candidate, you’re already familiar with the company’s culture, environment and systems. The reality is that you already have the upper hand in the hiring process.

LinkedIn is your friend

Socialize your way to your next career step using the best social network for professionals, LinkedIn. With over 100 million professional members across the globe, it’s likely your company and the hiring manager of your ideal position, is on LinkedIn. Go ahead and send a request to connect, there’s a 50/50 chance they will accept it. The chances go up if you put in a few lines with your request such as:

“Hello X, I’ve been with XYZ company for ___ years and I’m interested in learning more about your department. Do you have time to connect for 15 mins. next week?”

Work your internal connections

At least once each week, someone I meet will recommend an internal candidate for my team. I keep a list of these people so when I have a new opening I can send their names to my team’s recruiter. Are they highly qualified social media professionals? Possibly. Are they top talent? More than likely. When someone is willing to put their name behind another individual that says something about the candidate’s character, work ethic and professional capabilities. For me, it says it’s worth me time to at least interview that candidate. If you want to change careers internally, start working your internal network to ensure your personal brand extends far and wide within your entire organization.


Taking the Plunge: I’m Heading Back to Corporate America

Posted: January 26th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | Comments Off on Taking the Plunge: I’m Heading Back to Corporate America

After more than a decade leading my business, I’m taking off my Entrepreneur hat for the Employee hat. On January 30th I will start my first day as the Division Vice President, Social Media Marketing at a Fortune 100 Company here in Chicago. I’ve had all the freshmanesque jitters of what do I wear on the first day? What’s the environment really like? How far is the Starbucks? (okay, let’s be honest, I already know the answer to the last one, after all, it’s my addiction).

Why It Matters To You
It’s proof positive that my career coaching methodologies work. I used the exact resume format and layout, interview kit and techniques (including questions to ask the hiring managers), 30/60/90 day plan and follow-up strategy that I coach my clients to use during their career transitions. I ran to FedExOffice and printed off resume packets with clear vinyl covers and vinyl backs, I included reference sheets, I hand wrote thank you notes and mailed them promptly – only after sending email thank you notes within 24 hours. Most importantly, I networked my toukas off throughout the entire process and was (and still am) ever grateful for the internal champion that supported my candidacy.

How To Find Me

I’m not exactly disappearing, in fact, I’m not even moving. The best way to stay connected with me is on LinkedIn.  I’ll also continue to be an active blogger on the Personal Branding Blog where you can find my posts every Monday morning or via my Twitter account on Tuesday mornings.  If you still can’t find me, head to Starbucks in Chicago’s Gold Coast neighborhood on a weekend morning and any barista can point me out!

What I’ll Be Doing

Social media marketing – Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest and Social Media games for a retailer I believe in greatly. Who is it? I’ll disclose more after I start on the 30th. Most importantly, I’ll be engaging with consumers via social media and getting you (aka – American consumers) excited through fun, engaging and viral campaigns. Seriously, how exciting is this? As you can tell, I’m excited!

THANK YOU

It’s because of you and your support that I have the opportunity to grow my professional journey in this direction. Thank you. I appreciate you.



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