Career Lessons from Jackie Evancho of 'America's Got Talent'

jackie evanchoWe can learn a lot from a kid, even when it comes to our career. Even if you've missed 'America's Got Talent' these past few weeks, you probably have seen video of the amazing Jackie Evancho -- her videos have over 10 million views on YouTube. Her singing continues to wow the judges, the audience and people around the world week after week. Here are four things she is doing right when it comes to her career. How do you do in these four areas?

Her personal brand

I had never heard of her before but you can see videos on YouTube where she was performing various songs in different venues. Her team (parents or manager?) used available technology to share her talent and develop her personal brand. By the time she was on 'America's Got Talent,' there was enough on YouTube that we could enjoy more of her talent and get to see her talent progress. She started building her brand BEFORE she got her big break on TV. Are you working on your personal brand now, or are you waiting for your big break?


Jackie Evancho has talent, and it shined through on stage. You have talent too, are you ready to let it shine? When your opportunity arises will you shine or will you say, "oh, not today, maybe next week"? Next week you might not get the chance. Think about how to showcase what you do, what your talent is, what your value proposition is, what you bring to the table. Your chance to shine might be when someone says, "Tell me about yourself." Or it might be on-the-job, or when a reporter asks for an interview. Be ready to deliver. Just as Jackie has spent untold hours practicing and preparing for her chance, you should spend hours practicing for the chance you'll have to impress someone


As I watched her sing, I thought, "what an adorable kid." Then, after her presentation she melted hearts when she said, "I feel so amazed and so happy that I feel like I'm just about to burst into tears." I was completely drawn to her charming personality when she was teary-eyed, sincerely overwhelmed with emotion and brimming with gratitude. Now I'm not suggesting that you get teary-eyed in an interview, or when offered a job, or at a network event, but you should be sincere. Are you likable? People want to help you, but they'll tend to help people that are easy to work with, genuine, authentic, transparent, etc. I've seen plenty of jaded job seekers turn people off because negativity has consumed them. If Jackie seemed entitled or bored she probably wouldn't have won over our hearts


Jackie looked great onstage. I'm not one to really notice when everything looks fine, but my point here was that nothing was distracting me from her talent. As an interviewer I remember interviewees walking into the room and the first impression was so distracting it made me miss some of their message. This distraction could be anything from style (face tattoes, for example, or over-the-top earrings) to smell to something unintentional (a fly down or an untucked shirt). Unfortunately, your appearance can be such a distraction that it drives how you are remembered, and your responses to questions are secondary. Jackie's appearance was appropriate for the setting and wasn't a distraction at all.

She had it all right. But I bet she didn't just wake up and go -- what we saw on stage was the result of lots of talent, lots of hard work and practice, and lots of prep for that performance. Are you putting enough effort into your career or job search to shine like she did?

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