Welcome to my site! My name is Maria Fafard and I love helping people and organizations reach their potential through my work as a LinkedIn® speaker, trainer, and coach. I have helped many professionals reach their goals through taking their LinkedIn profiles, LinkedIn engagement, thought leadership, and personal brand to the next level.
What is my career coaching experience? I have 10 years of experience in career coaching and am a frequent speaker on career strategy, LinkedIn strategy, thought leadership and personal branding; I blog at https://linkedintellect.wordpress.com and at https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/mariafafard; and have 3,200+ highly engaged connections on LinkedIn. My articles have been shared by thousands of people and featured on LinkedIn Pulse. Please note that I am not affiliated with LinkedIn.
What is my background? I hold B.A. and M.A. in Economics; have 15 years of experience in Finance, IT, and consulting including Fortune 500 experience; 10 years of progressively responsible management experience, and 10 years of experience in career coaching.
What are the typical goals of my clients? Usually, clients bring me in to deliver customized speaking engagements on personal branding, LinkedIn strategy and career strategy. Recent speaking engagement include “Power of Personal Branding and LinkedIn”, “Unleash the Power of LinkedIn to Find Your Dream Job”, “LinkedIn 101 for Students”, and “Your Agile Career”. Executive clients ask me to help them establish themselves as thought leaders in the industry, expand influence inside and outside of their organization, align their career with their goals, or to transition into entrepreneurship. Some clients are in the midst of reinventing themselves and are striving to find a way to make a living while following their passion. Others are seeking coaching on how to leverage new and advanced LinkedIn features, especially LinkedIn publisher.
Why do I do what I do? For me, it is a joyful and meaningful experience to be able to participate in and to facilitate people’s growth and to help them reach their goals.
What is my overarching approach to personal branding and career strategy? The way I see it it, Success = Great product + Great marketing + Great exposure. Most professionals already bring an immense value to the table, but don’t always know how to tell their story in a compelling way and are not always aware of the tools available to help them. My job is to empower people, teach them to showcase what they already have and to uncover and liquidate any gaps that stop them from reaching their goals. Another aspect of success is to focus more on inbound marketing: I teach you how to attract employers to your profile as opposed to having to rely on your job applications. I also teach people to think in a more strategic way and to be more deliberate about the way they conduct their professional lives.
What is my concept of Career Insurance? I want people to feel confident and comfortable in the rapidly changing workplace, global economy, and technological landscape. The probability of losing a job is high, and the impacts of sudden job loss and prolonged unemployment can be psychologically and fiscally devastating. So what can you do to mitigate the risk of a job loss adversely affecting your life and your career? Enter the concept of Career Insurance. You proactively boost your employability and marketability, building a strong brand and network, so that if you do lose your job it wouldn’t take long to land on your feet. Here is how to ensure your career:
1. Develop and maintain a strong LinkedIn profile
2. Develop a strong, ongoing engagement with the LinkedIn community
3. Develop a powerful brand
4. Grow and nurture your network, online and offline
5. Honestly assess and improve your employability
6. Know your target employers
7. Adopt learning as your lifestyle and your mindset
If you want to learn more about Career Insurance, read “How to Insure Your Career with LinkedIn“.