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"It all starts with you taking the lead on your life and your career development"- Bettina Buhr

What is your backstory?

I am a personal branding consultant for corporate professionals who want to increase their visibility and attract high-quality career opportunities and … I don’t have the typical corporate career.

I have a background in organizational psychology and communications, moved into employer branding, talent assessment, recruiting, and internal communications, and – went to the U.S for an expat assignment as a communications expert.

And, I built my career as an athlete on the side. I focused on mountaineering first and went on my first expedition with a team of friends at age 22 to Kyrgyzstan. Our team did 4 new ascents and we climbed numerous other multi-pitch/multi-day routes. Afterwards, I changed my focus to rock-climbing because training was easier to combine with studying at university and I took my skills to a professional level within the next 3 years. I travelled the world while climbing and while having a corporate job. I had the most supporting bosses allowing me to create my own schedule around work, training and travel.

When I decided to no longer pursue climbing at that intensity, I went all in with my corporate career. 

But, my career didn’t follow the usual path. So, I had two problems:

  1. I didn’t want to start at entry level jobs again.

  2. I had to sell my experience I gained while climbing to a potential employer.

Therefore, I had to get crystal clear on my experience, results and benefits for a future employer and I had to use the art of storytelling in my resume, cover letter and in job interviews to sell my strengths and experience to their benefit.

I applied to 5 jobs, got 4 interview invites, got 2 job offers and negotiated a significantly higher salary than initially proposed.

I started my new job as a process management expert with the target to improve internal processes where necessary, a job not even related to my expertise, but was hired based on the trust in my skills to not give-up and bite through and therefore be able to do change projects. Once the worldwide financial crisis in 2008 hit the economy I quickly changed into internal communication advising top management on how to communicate the impact of the crisis on associates and changes related to it. 

On the job, I understood how independently I had lived my life setting my own targets for my personal development. I realized, if I would depend on the people around me to support me in my career development that I would not be where I wanted to be in the time frame I had in mind and I would probably not make the career experiences I wanted to make. 

I had to come up with a strategy to own my career development and to position myself as the go-to expert. I built a vast international network within the company that I worked for, was able to find 3 mentors that truly supported me, without being in an official mentor program, I built professional partnerships and expert networks and managed to be involved in strategic projects to be seen by upper management. 

With time, I was seen as the expert others wanted to learn from and work with and I took on consulting other communication experts. I got more and more into the role of coaching top management on their personal branding and communication even beyond the site I worked for.

Without doing anything I got 4 job offers with one of them being an expat assignment.

I chose the expat assignment in the U.S. because it was in line with my desire to live and work abroad to deep-dive in a different culture and because I wanted to bring my English to a new level.

With all the struggles that I had experienced as a woman wanting to build a rewarding career, I never hesitated to pass on anything that had worked for me and started mentoring numerous women inside and outside my own organization and continued to do so while I built my first business.

I helped women connect with their story and define their value to an organization. Based on that, they were able to create their career branding materials like resume, cover letter and interview strategy.

On the job, I helped them position themselves as the expert in their field, build natural authority and leadership skills, connect with mentors and expand their professional connection base to attract high-quality career opportunities and build a rewarding career themselves.

While I built my personal branding intuitively with a lot of trial and error involved, I now pass on my experience as a personal branding consultant and mentor for corporate professionals attract high-quality career opportunities and build a rewarding career and life right from the start.

If someone would want to emulate your career, what would you suggest are the most important things to do?

It all starts with you taking the lead on your life and your career development. Don’t wait for a career opportunity to pop up on the horizon, learn how to make offers and create opportunities yourself. Know your qualities and true genius. That is what builds the confidence to ask for what you want, because: You get what you ask for and you realize/make happen what you truly want.

Know which experiences in life you want to live and reverse engineer the steps you need to take to get there. Look at your life and career development like a business owner, proactive and independent from social pressure. A career never happens without results, Results are important, but be smart and strategic to achieve meaningful results instead of burning yourself out by being stuck in the busy-bee-syndrome. Never wait for someone to invest in you, invest in yourself.

Know whom you need to help you achieve what you want and build true, honest and caring relationships with these people. Don’t shy away from asking for support from mentors, coaches and friends. No one expects you to know everything by yourself and the outside perspective of others is priceless. And last, I worked with coaches during my time as a rock-climber as well as a corporate professional and entrepreneur.

In all cases, coaching for me was the fast track to success because of the priceless outside perspective and continued guidance. (Last sentence sounds like I want to sell my coaching. Truth is though exactly what I said. Coaching always helped me see my blind spots and get way easier to where I wanted to be)

What are the most exciting projects you are working on now?

A 1-year mastermind with weekly sessions for corporate professionals that want to stand out, increase their visibility or the visibility of their project to open new opportunities and fully tap into the adventure of life and career - and that want to use their standing-out and extended influence to help others learn and grow too and speak up about the topics we need to talk about more to make this world a better place.

Opening my services again to top management members helping them build their leadership brand and communication.

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