Introduce Yourself with a Personal Tagline

You’re at a meet-up and someone asks, “So, what do you do?”

Well, you came to the right place because my mission is to help you come up with the perfect answer to that question.

Your own personal tagline — a short and sweet sound bite that says what you do and why you do it.

The “why” part is where it gets interesting. It’s your mission. It’s the purpose behind your work.

Remember this: Your tagline isn’t about impressing people and getting them to hire you. It’s about getting a conversation started.

It’s inspirational because magic happens when you have a strong intention to make a difference.

The easiest way to create a personal tagline

Say what you do and why you do it

You may have the same job title as a million other people. Find something special about how you do your work that makes it more effective.

Do you solve a problem? Do you make people look good? Do you make people more successful?

It could be better customer service, better user experience, better team collaboration.

It’s your “why” statement, your mission, your superpower.

Examples of personal taglines

Superman: I conquer super villains and make the world a safer place.

Social Media Expert: I build Facebook pages to help companies engage with their customers.

App Developer: I write mobile apps that solve everyday problems. I’m working on one right now that helps people get to sleep.

Web Developer: I help people set up online stores that get lots of traffic and sell stuff.

How to find your superpower

Your superpower is a combination of what you do plus the special thing you do that makes it great. It makes you irreplaceable.

Here’s how to create a personal tagline that holds the magic of your superpower:

  • Use The Tell Me About Yourself Checklist to jog your memory about the great things you’ve done. This puts you in the right frame of mind.
  • Watch Simon Sinek’s TED talk, How to Know Your Life Purpose in 5 Minutes
  • Brainstorm 10 personal taglines that say what you do and why you do it.
  • Now pick the one tagline that makes you feel the most confident.

Talking to Ourselves May Help Us Control Our Emotions

People who speak to themselves in the third-person are more likely to be able to control their emotions during stressful times, says a new study led by Jason Moser at Michigan State University.

Participants were asked to reflect on their feelings after viewing aversive images and remembering painful memories using “I” or their name while researchers measured their neural activity. Moser said the study was based off a prediction about how people refer to others by names and how it could affect one’s brain if they referred to themselves by their own name.

“Essentially, we think referring to yourself in the third-person leads people to think about themselves more similar to how they think about others, and you can see evidence for this in the brain,” Moser said to The University Paper. “That helps people gain a tiny bit of psychological distance from their experiences, which can often be useful for regulating emotions.”

“What’s really exciting here is that the brain data from these two complementary experiments suggest that third-person self-talk may constitute a relatively effortless form of emotion regulation,” said U-M psychology professor Ethan Kross. “If this ends up being true — we won’t know until more research is done – there are lots of important implications these findings have for our basic understanding of how self-control works, and for how to help people control their emotions in daily life.”

The study authors said the results contradict current findings that declare self-control and emotional regulation as effortful. They said the results suggest third-person speech can help with emotional control without recruiting cognitive control.

“This is not to say that other forms of automatic self-control do not exist,” the authors wrote. “Rather, our findings add to this work by demonstrating how a linguistic shift that promotes psychological distance from the self modulates emotional responses.”

The researchers said by having people reflect on their emotional experiences using their name quickly changes the way emotions are represented. This allows people to reflect on themselves the way they would reflect on others.

Current findings suggest that third-person self-talk doesn’t recruit cognitive control like first-person self-talk does, and the study does not suggest that cognitive processing is not involved in third-person self-talk, the authors wrote.

“What our findings do suggest is that third-person self-talk does not recruit the network of brain regions typically implicated in the cognitive control of emotion,” they said.

How To Sum Up Your Personal Brand In A Tagline

A tagline or slogan is a phrase that follows your personal brand name and sums up your unique promise of value. A tagline is shorter and catchier than your personal brand statement, but it serves a similar purpose: It distinguishes you in the minds of your target market, expresses your personality, and/or gives a sense of what you do.

Branding has power. Consider how corporations use an element such as a tagline to create a lasting impression on target audience members.

For example, you’re likely to recognize the phrase “Just do it!” as Nike’s tagline. And even though it has tried to transition to “So good!” in recent years (to emphasize an increased focus on healthy foods), Kentucky Fried Chicken’s “Finger lickin’ good!” was such a constant in its ads for half a century that people still associate KFC with that earlier tagline.

Some people use famous quotes as their taglines. (Maybe you have a friend whose e-mail signature line always includes such a quote.) Some people display a great sense of humor in their taglines, which speaks volumes to their personality. If you’re going to use a tagline, just remember that it must align with your unique promise of value and your personal brand statement. Otherwise, you’ll just confuse your target market.

  • Abigail Marks Marketing: Make your mark with Abigail Marks Marketing
  • Barbara Smith Accounting: Making accounting personal
  • Deb Dib: The Brand-to-Land Coach for gutsy CEOs & rising stars. Rise faster, earn more, have fun, change the world!
  • Susan Guarneri: The Career Assessment Goddess. Thomas Fuller, Personal Trainer: It’s not just fitness … it’s personal
  • Valerie Sokolosky: Companies improve when people improve. We focus on people skills
  • Google your phrase and see who else uses that tagline.
  • If you’re using your personal brand tagline internationally, know how your words translate into other languages.
  • Keep it short and make sure that it’s consistent with your brand.
  • Make sure that it’s easy to say. (Practice saying it out loud.)
  • Use your unique characteristics to make it catchy.
  • Write it in the present tense.

Cashing in: Top IT salaries in Canada

It’s that time again. If you’re an IT programmer looking for a job in Canada, read on for the latest figures on what some of the top IT salaries are.

Mobile, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are where it’s at

In general, the hot stuff and emerging technology is what’s paying big these days. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that mobile development has taken off like a rocket, and Toronto has become a leader in artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning research and development.

Senior software engineers are top earners with the right combination of programming skills and communication skills for leadership.

Objective C, C++, Swift and Android Go developers with a bit of experience can expect between $70,000 to $90,000 a year, with the numbers rising to $130,000 and beyond once you’ve got a solid five years under your belt. Companies hiring mobile developers range from startups to the largest corporations, so whatever type of business culture you prefer, you’ll have plenty of options.

Lots of data, lots of opportunities

Big data. It’s a broad term encompassing many things. But that’s good news for you, since everything from DBAs to data scientists and AI machine learning engineers are in big demand.

Hadoop and Spark plus a bit of data science acumen will put you over the $100,000 mark. The more impressive your data science credentials, the higher that figure will rise. Even right out of school, if you’re an expert in the R statistical modeling language or have been trained in predictive analytics you’ll have financial institutions competing for your attention.

There’s a trend that’s seeing “business intelligence” proper separated from predictive analytics. BI tools are becoming easier to use. What used to be an IT role has shifted somewhat into the realm of business analysis. This is actually an advantage to people who straddle the line between business and technology. If you’re a tech-savvy business analyst, you can still deliver a lot of value to a company without an advanced degree in statistics.

Similarly, social media marketing also has a major data component to it, so if you’re skilled in marketing as well as making sense of unstructured data, you’ll have an added advantage.

Top IT salaries for multi-talented people

Solutions architects and data architects. These are examples of another role that technical at its core but is integral to the pre-sales process. As such, you’ll be paid handsomely. Starting salaries range from $80,000 to $100,000 and can rise to as much as $200,000 once you begin to specialize in a particular field (e.g., become a subject matter expert).

DevOps engineers (software development and IT operations analysts) are highly in demand and command top salaries. DevOps engineers are also known as Infrastructure Engineers, Systems Engineers, and Operations Engineers.

If you have good people skills and don’t mind traveling quite a bit and working longish hours, client-facing developers (working for software or consulting companies) are making great money with salaries in the range of $80,000 to $120,000.

No one said it’s easy to earn top dollar as an IT systems engineer. Here’s why they deserve every penny they earn.

A day in the life of a DevOps Systems engineer:

Writing code / software. Building tools. Infrastructure design. Security. Scaling stuff. Maintenance. Monitoring and metrics. Automation. Automation. Automation. Virtualization. Agile development methodology. Software release cycles and management. Designing a branch/release strategy. Optimization / tuning. Load / performance testing and benchmarking of highly complex systems. Configuration management. Load balancing / proxying of services, systems, components and processes. Command-line. Package management. CI/CIT/CD — continuous integration, continuous integration testing, and continuous deployment. (Adapted from Quora answer to: As a Software Engineer, how do I shift my career to DevOps )

Wanted: good people who understand what the bad ones are up to

Security. Some information security professionals complain that companies aren’t paying enough attention to keeping their systems secure. But make no mistake, there are plenty of firms that take it very seriously. A security architect these days will earn between $90,000 to $140,000. The jobs are certainly out there.

From front-end to back-end

It’s hard to say whether cutting-edge front-end or old school back-end IT pros are in higher demand. Certainly, user experience designers (UX or UXD for short) are raking in some decent money with salaries ranging from $80,000 to $120,000. Fullstack LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PhP) developers are still in demand..

Finally, with web development consistently in demand, Ruby on Rails developers are looking at around $80,000 a year or more.

Want in on the action?

If you’re a developer living in the GTA who wants to add one of these in-demand skills to your repertoire, see Top Programming languages to get a job in Toronto in 2017.