Personal Branding: Lessons from GLEE

By Wendy J. Terwelp, Career Coach, Brand Strategist

On Tuesday’s episode of Glee, Sue Sylvester tells two students, “Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to put in a call to the Ohio Secretary of State notifying them that I will no longer be carrying photo ID. You know why? People should know who I am.”

Do people know who you are? The right people?

While you may not have the need of Ms. Sue Sylvester, who feels everyone should know who she is, it’s important to have the right people know who you are.

Who are those right people? Here are some tips to identify them – and make the connection.

1. Know your career goal. The stronger focus you have on your goal, the easier it is to attain it.
2. Know the industry you serve. Target 25 companies.
3. Who needs to know about you in this industry? Make a list.
4. Who are the key players? Check professional organizations – and join! Attend meetings regularly. Play a key role. Get connected to the key players.
5. Know what you bring to the tables others do not. Think about it like this, why should someone hire you? What skill, ability, RESULTS, have you achieved that would motivate your new and current connections to open up their contact database and give you names? Share the reason with them.

Next, make the call!

Want more tips? Check out Rock Your Network® for Job Seekers.

Did you miss Glee? Here’s a link to the episode on

PS: Lots more about personal branding in this episode – check out the last song by Mercedes.

Get a Coach and Get a Promotion in 2008

Guest Author: Lori Cates Hand of JIST Publishing:

My Experience with a Career Coach

Many of the top career book authors these days call themselves “career coaches.” If you’ve never heard the term before, it might sound a little funny. Do they blow whistles at people and make them run laps if they have a bad job interview?

In April 2006, I attended the Career Masters Institute (now Career Management Alliance) conference in San Francisco. I go to this conference as often as I can to support my authors (who are founding members) and hopefully find some new authors. At the end of the conference they were giving out door prizes, and I ended up winning one. It turned out to be two free sessions with a career coach named Wendy Terwelp of Opportunity Knocks in Wisconsin.

I figured, what better way to understand what career coaches do than to be coached a little? So we scheduled our two hour-long sessions. We started by getting to know each other. Turns out, Wendy was a journalist in her early career. So she could relate to me.

Wendy asked a lot of questions, and pretty quickly was able to pinpoint my issues and size up what’s holding me back in my career. She gave me assignments and held me responsible for tackling my issues. She also helped me lay the foundations of a plan for career progress. I kept her advice in my head and it played a big role in my recent promotion.

I didn’t end up paying for more sessions because, well, it would have been expensive (at that time, her services ran about $200 an hour). But she has stayed in contact with me, sending Christmas cards and birthday wishes each year, and occasionally touching base by e-mail.

So if you are feeling really stuck in your career or your job search, I can recommend giving a career coach a try. Just a few sessions can make a big difference. Check out the Career Coach Academy website for a listing of coaches around the country (but remember that you don’t have to be in the same place–coaching works fine over the phone).