Lori Bumgarner loves helping others find their passions. As a career coach for over 20 years, she has worked with college students, Nashville up-and-coming recording artists, and now helps those who are mid-career in various industries and locations. She’s written several books, including her most recent work on personal branding, “Personal Branding: Why You Need to Know What Makes You YOUnique and AWEthentic.” She has been featured in the Wallstreet Journal, published in Huffington Post and Inc., and was ranked a top 10 coach by expertise.com for the past 5 consecutive years.
Tune into my conversation with Lori Bumgarner to learn how to navigate the workplace on Find Your Passion Career Podcast!
What Sets You Apart From the Crowd?
Picture this. You’ve been working non-stop to land a record deal with the biggest recording company in Nashville. You’re about to live your dreams; singing, making music, and even performing for hundreds—maybe thousands—of screaming fans each night. But something is missing. When Lori began working with artists in the music industry, she quickly realized that their image was in need of authenticity.
“You have to be able to say what makes you unique. And a lot of [the recording artists] either didn’t know the answer to that question, or they couldn’t articulate the answer,” Lori explains.
Lori realized her love for helping others when she accepted a position as an orientation leader in undergrad. Her passion for helping and guiding students drove her to pursue a job in career services as she moved through her graduate program. After feeling her creativity being stifled in her position, she took initiative and started her own image consulting company for up-and-coming recording artists.
“That psychology degree that I didn’t know what I was going to do with came in very handy when working with recording artists. The work with them served as kind of a foundation for my book, Personal Branding, and how I work with my clients now,” Lori says.
Thousands of other artists want their name on that marquee. How do you set yourself apart? Lori believes that personal branding is the answer, both in show biz and in any career. When you sit down and write out the qualities that set you apart from the crowd, you are more likely to get that interview at your dream job, or seal that internship opportunity.
“If you have around 75% of what they’re looking for listed in that job ad for the qualifications, go ahead and put your hat in and see what happens, because it might lead to something else. And I always tell people, ‘Job ads are wish lists.’”
Navigating Through Rough Waters
Now that Lori has returned to career coaching full time, she’s worked diligently to help her clients navigate difficult waters—both literally and metaphorically. An avid paddle boarder, Lori occasionally takes her clients for combined paddle boarding and career coaching sessions on the river.
“I’ve had clients say ‘Wow, this is exactly what I needed.’ And just being outside and being outdoors has helped clear my mind and helped me become more focused on what I need to focus on.”
On and off the water Lori helps mid-career professionals build and establish their personal brand.
“Your personal brand is not your identity. That’s not what you find your identity in—you don’t find it in your paycheck, you don’t find it in your job title.”
To hear more of Lori’s story and her advice on finding the career path that best suits you, download my podcast interview with her here on iTunes!