Author Archives: Ching

Take Control of Your Personal Brand

Earlier this year, I hosted a workshop on Amplifying Your Personal Brand, together with a friend who was formerly president of the Northern California Business Marketing Association.

(If there’s anyone who knows about building your personal brand, it’s her!)

We did two immensely helpful exercises to define and build our personal brands.

Persuasive, personable, bold

Here are the exercises we did:

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Business and Financial Acumen – May 2015 Roundtable

Cisco hosted a lively, fun Networking With a Purpose session this month – with over 150 participants from HP, EMC, Ericsson, Symantec, VMWare, Box, and a host of other Bay Area tech companies.

NWAP-2015-05

I led a roundtable on “Business and Financial Acumen: Critical Skills for the Executive Track“, inspired by Susan Colantuono’s TED talk on “The Career Advice You Probably Didn’t Get”.

We talked about why this is so important, how to understand where your company is going, and how to clearly link your work and results with your organization’s business and financial goals.

Want to learn more? The complete set of session notes is posted here: Business Acumen.

Congratulations to Cisco Connected Women and the NWAP core team for a fantastic and fun event, and thanks for inviting me!

She’s Geeky 2015 – Taking Charge of Your Career

Last week, we did a She’s Geeky session on “Taking Charge of Your Career“.

Most of the questions centered on two themes: 1) How do I decide what to do? and 2) How do I advance in my career?

Here are some of the answers and tips we discussed. Thank you Ines for taking notes!

1. How do I figure out what to do, and where to go next?

Here’s a technique I learned from Michelle Florendo at UC Berkeley’s Women in Leadership conference last year.

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Lean In – Taking Charge of Your Career

A week ago, Michelle Florendo and I had the privilege of hosting a lively online Office Hours session for Palo Alto Lean In Circle.

The session was called “Taking Charge of Your Career“, and we answered questions on figuring out the right career, landing that coveted project or promotion, how to find mentors and sponsors, breaking into the inner circle, and making a great impression on senior leadership.

Most of the participants granted us permission to share their questions – here are our notes from the session.

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What’s Your Top Goal for 2015?

Frances asked for help with focusing: “For me, the toughest thing is learning how to focus. There are just so many things to do! So many things I want to learn and become.

When I first started my career, I had dozens of things I wanted to accomplish “someday”. That was a sure recipe for feeling unfocused; being constantly busy, yet finishing the year wondering “what did I really do?”

When you reach the end of 2015 and look back, what will you want to have accomplished this year?

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How Do I Get Experience?

As a recent graduate or someone shifting into a new field, do you find yourself thinking: “Nobody will hire me because I don’t have experience, but how can I get experience until I get hired?”

Feels like a Catch-22, right?

Even when you have the academic credentials for an entry-level job, employers often look for practical experience too. Why? Because bad hires cost time and money. Employers want to minimize the risk of hiring the wrong person, by hiring only people who’ve proven they can successfully do what the employer needs.

How to compete when you’re new to a field:

1. Use the experience you have. Identify skills you’ve demonstrated in the past, that are relevant to the job you want. Then talk about how you’ve used those skills to deliver successful results.

Aiming to be a project manager? Talk about group projects you did in school, or activities you managed for your student organization. Want to showcase your leadership abilities? Talk about student committees you led, or volunteer groups you were involved with. Career change? Find skills from your previous job that translate well to your new one.

This Achievement Stories template will guide you through taking your top accomplishments and turning them into a crisp story you can tell hiring managers during an interview.

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Starting Your Career

Starting your career at a large Fortune 500 company can be a great move.

Big companies often provide opportunities to move around within the company, so you can gain experience in different areas as your career grows.

  • Learn from established business systems; benefit from job training and career coaching
  • Meet a wide audience of potential mentors and sponsors
  • Large companies are more likely to be fine with your limited experience, since they plan to train you
  • You’ll have a marquee employer name on your resume, if you choose to work elsewhere later on

As a recent graduate or young woman early in your career, how do you find a job at one of these companies?

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