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Yes, You Really Do Belong!

We’ve all been there.

 

Do you remember sitting in class as a youngster working on a group project with some smart classmates and asking yourself: “How am I going to fit in here? Don’t I belong with another group?”

That sense of not belonging forms the basis of our next YIP Growth Learning Series entitled ‘You Don’t Belong – And Other Lies You Tell Yourself.’

 

Andrea Cartwright, Chief Escape Officer of Breakout Escapes in Cambridge and Brantford, will lead this session and discuss ways to set yourself up for success and how to avoid the ‘Imposter Syndrome.’

 

“It’s one of those things that is so very common, and nobody talks about it,” she says, explaining that kids in school and new parents aren’t the only ones who struggle with this ‘syndrome.’

 

She says feeling like a ‘fraud’ is very common for those in the business world, especially women.

“I’m a CEO of a corporation and I’ve dealt with my fair share of being talked down to,” says Andrea. “You start to doubt how others see and perceive you and that it’s indicative of your performance, which it’s not.”

 

She says it’s easy to doubt yourself and abilities, especially if you’re dealing with businesspeople whom you may perceive as being more experienced and capable.

 

“One of the biggest things I like to tell people is that you should never be the most experienced person in the room because then you’ll never learn,” says Andrea. “If you’re an expert, then you’re not learning.”

 

This is one point she intends to stress for series participants, whom she will encourage to be more open to learning.

 

“When you put a positive spin onto the negative thoughts you’re processing there are ways around feeling like you don’t belong,” says Andrea, who has developed seven successful games between her two Breakout locations which employ 10 people.

 

She says marketing yourself in a positive light to highlight your work when you introduce yourself to others in a business setting is key.

 

“If you position yourself in that manner, you’ll feel a little bit more comfortable about yourself and less like an imposter when you’re speaking with others at a higher level.”

 

Also, Andrea says asking others what words they would use to pen a bio about you would likely reveal some surprising and very positive results. 

 

“We’re all our own worst critic,” she says, noting changing the way people think of themselves will be a key takeaway from her talk.

 

‘You Don’t Belong – And Other Lies You Tell Yourself’ will take place Friday, Nov. 29 at the Chamber office from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The event is sponsored by Deluxe Payroll.

 

For information, or to register, please visit: https://bit.ly/36qj6H9

 

 

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Selling yourself key to business success

The answer to finding greater success in business can begin with one question: How does the world see you?

 

But achieving that answer may not be simple according to Michael Jennings, president of the marketing firm MoreSALES.ca, who will lead a presentation May 8 focusing on ‘The Art of Selling Yourself.’

 

Part of our ongoing YIP Growth Learning Series, Jennings will tackle a variety of topics including building trust, authentic engagement and customer care.

 

Jennings, who for more than a decade has led a team of marketing experts in helping clients navigate an ever-changing digital marketing landscape, says it can be difficult for young professionals to ‘sell’ themselves and their ideas due to the immense amount of competition.

“There is just so much competition out there,” he says. “Smart, young well-informed professionals are often competing for the same or similar roles.”

 

As well, Jennings says these young professionals also face competition from more entrenched and experienced professionals.

 

“Add to that the competition from online,” he says, explaining that most consumers are now doing their own investigation before having any interaction with a salesperson or organization.

 

“Therefore, it’s critical to know your products and anticipate what shoppers are really looking for because if you don’t know, the next person does and the internet definitely does, and now you’re playing catch-up.”

 

Lack of preparation, says Jennings, is one of the biggest stumbling blocks people face when they try to sell themselves in the business world.

 

“I can’t tell you how many times I encounter a salesperson who knows little to nothing about their own products and is quickly thrown off when asked any details about their product or service,” he says, adding poor communications skills among young professionals has become an issue. “Many are well educated and well meaning, but they cannot articulate their own propositions, or stumble when facing challenging questions they can’t just look up online.”

 

One of the topics Jennings will touch on during his presentation centres on technology and how to use social media and traditional interactions to provide value to clients and influencers. He says the emergence of social media, particularly Linkedin, has become key when it comes to selling yourself in business.

 

“Employers, potential customers, and colleagues will all refer to your Linkedin profile,” says Jennings, adding it should contain a professional headshot rather than a cropped or blurry ‘holiday’ photo.

 

He also recommends the profile reflect the young professional’s passions and expertise, not to mention their relevant roles and education, in effort to convince a potential employer or customer they should have a conversation.

 

The importance of not just networking, but ‘giving back’ to a particular cause or association, will be another topic Jennings will discuss at his presentation.

 

“There is such competition in the market for young professionals that they need to stand out and differentiate themselves,” he says, noting volunteering for causes that reflect their passions can accomplish this. “Also, try working for companies that align with your career direction, even if it means providing contract services if no positions are available.”

 

The Art of Selling will take place Wednesday, May 8, from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Cambridge Chamber of Commerce office, 750 Hespeler Rd.

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Brian Rodnick
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