Now start adding it all together
Here’s the reality of white-collar work:
- There are less and less promotions these days, and most of those go to people close to the existing power core.
- If you get a base-level promotion, it’s probably 1-5% at most.
- You can often make 5-10% job-hopping.
- You can get into job-hopping contexts if you get referred by friends and former co-workers.
- But for them to refer you properly…
- … they need to know what you do…
- … which means you need to condense that to 1-2 sentences and be able to tell people.
I wrote about this in February 2014 (damn!) and called it “the context of the hand-off.”
You can think of this as “an elevator pitch” or “story on a page” or whatever else you want to think of it as. Every networking seminar or professional development conference in a hotel ballroom talks about this, but it’s crucial.
Be able to clearly articulate what you do, and quickly. No one really cares and attention spans are dropping, but if you can implant some kernel of what value you provide into their brain, it could come back to help you down the road.
1-2 sentences, and then maybe nothing happens for six months. But a good amount of people do come back if you explain it quickly and succinctly.
Same goes with applying to jobs, or telling your friends what to say on a referral.
Quick, easy, dirty, etc. Learn to hit the target and get out.