We come across Marketing advertisements demanding our attention all day, have we considered how we market ourselves to our colleagues, employers and people in our network? Have we considered the impression we leave on people we interact with?
Your individual career brand is the way you skillfully promote your capabilities and expertise to the people around you. It’s not just the functional aspect (your skillset), but also the emotional aspect in terms of a strong personal image you maintain and promote.
Why is this so important?
In today’s VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) work environment, it’s our responsibility to proactively take charge of our career and steer it in the direction of professional growth and career success. Do not expect your employer / colleagues to do this on your behalf. Show your commitment to progressing your career by putting together the road map yourself. You can then turn to your friends and colleagues for constructive feedback, advice and support.
Remember, you can always up-skill yourself for a challenging role, but what really sets you apart from all others is how you demonstrate your ability to get the job done.
How do we create a strong career brand?
1) Package yourself: Understand yourself and the skills you would like to possess. Take a step back to reflect on what tasks you enjoy the most at work to get an idea of what your passions are. It’s always helpful to get feedback and match what others think of us as compared to what we are marketing.
2) Build your Brand: Ideally, put together a mission statement to highlight where you would like to be in the future. Make sure your profile matches with the mission statement. Maybe take up a few courses / read online articles / watch interactive videos to help you acquire the necessary learnings.
3) Socialize / Market yourself: Quite often (including my past self here), we are so engrossed in getting the day to day tasks done, that we put networking at the end of our list. It’s always at the back of our mind but we hardly act on it simply because we have other pressing priorities to attend to.
It is key that others are aware of who you are and your skills / expertise for them to consider you for a role. You must put yourself out there and let people know that you are the solution. Create a strong LinkedIn profile, take out time to attend networking events or even join industry groups for people to know you.
At the end of the day, companies depend on you to deliver and grow the business. No matter the industry trends, people are always on the lookout for someone who can prove to be an effective solution to their ever changing needs.
Take that step. Invest in yourself. Create and promote your Brand. It will take time, but will definitely show results in the long run.
My next article will be on the skills required to put you one step ahead and succeed in this competitive world.