The elevator pitch has often been defined as what you would say to the CEO of your company if you were in the elevator together to prove yourself and leverage that time into getting on the radar of upper management. For us, though, in our quest for our career after cancer, the purpose of an elevator pitch is in identifying what our "best" skills are (besides being cancer superheroes and slightly radioactive) for people near and dear to us as well as people we meet at networking events can know what we bring to the table. I call this the Elevator Value Pitch (or an EVP, if you will for Elevator Value Pitch).
This means your old "elevator pitch" (if you had one) needs a makeover to highlight your VALUE of what you bring to any company, client or coworkers. Having this statement be ready and focused is, in my opinion, a magic formula to ensuring people know who you are and what you can do. Yes, magic. If done right this is a quick 2 minute overview of who you are and what you do and can lead to opportunities.
Here are my quick tips to creating and using an elevator value pitch (EVP) for you.
1) To do this right, you need to practice and hone your words so that it matches what you are and you must practice it so that it comes out naturally. Share it with close family and friends to see what they think of it. You could miss something because you are thinking about your career in a certain way. By sharing this potential EVP, you can make it more meaningful and robust.
2) No matter where you are in your career after cancer or where you want to be (financially solvent, health insurance or flex time) this is something everyone you know should be aware of - the highlight of who you are and what you can do / are looking for in your next step.
3) You should have this "pitch" be part of your professional social media strategy - remember that you might be googled by hiring managers. You can "sneak" it into your LinkedIn profile maybe on the summary section and you can use it via Instagram and Twitter, too. It does not have to seem weird and do not overthink it. Consider creating an Instaquote with your elevator pitch in bullets or sentences and share it. You share much more than that, I am sure.
Do not be embarrassed to present yourself as a professional using the platforms you usually appear relaxed on - it is okay to be complex.
4) You should share this via your close networking partners while asking them what they use to stand out in a crowded marketplace. This can be a great learning experience for you and your partners. Do not share this way with everyone you consider a networking partner; I am specifying to highlight those you are "close" with - those who you speak about career goals and whatnot.
5) For those you are not "close" with, consider how you can bring this information up and always know how to be ready to build out this "pitch" into actionable results. If you give your pitch to a new networking person, figure out how you can "show off" (in measure). For example, if you state you are an excellent researcher, bring the conversation around to find out what the potential networking partner might need re research and then deliver some examples to them in a friendly way. Such as,
"Dear, X, It was so great to meet you at XYZ on Thursday night. I enjoyed our conversation about Z and I happened to see this during some of my research and thought it would help you in your work. Have a great day! Warmest regards, XXY"
Do not worry if you feel that you are "faking it until you make it". Cancer and its treatments are decimating to our confidence and, in our minds, to our abilities. However, YOU are still full of potential and possibilities.
Do you have an elevator pitch already? Does it meet the criteria of being an EVP? Does it showcase your strengths and abilities in a quick way? If not, try to create one today...If you need more resources for your career after cancer, check out careeraftercancer.org.