A Strong Career Brand: Do You Have One?

Sections of this topic

    brandingBranding is not only a marketing term to promote products. It can promote your career.

    A strong career brand conveys your identity and distinctiveness as a professional or leader. It communicates the value you offer. If you have a weak or wrong brand, you will have a much harder time achieving your career goals and having the impact you want.

    So how do you build a strong career brand?

    1. Answer two important questions:

    • What do you want to be known for?
      Start with a large list of adjectives that describe your skills and personality traits. Then narrow it down to 3 to 5 words or phrases.
    • What results do you want to achieve in the next 12 months?
      Look ahead to the beginning of 2012, where do you want to be and what do you want to be doing?

    2. Create your career brand.
    Take the answers to the above two questions and put them into the following statement:”I want to be known for ______ so that I can ______”.

    Here are two examples:
    “I want to be known for my analytical ability to simplify complex information so that I can guide senior leadership in making the right decisions.”

    “I want to be known for my leadership ability so that I can mobilize and coach my staff to exceed high performance standards.”

    3. Determine if your career brand will work.

    • Does this brand identity best represent who I am and what I do?
    • Will it create value in the eyes of others (my boss, my clients, etc.?
    • What possible risks and opportunities are there in exhibiting this brand?
    • Do I need to change it or refine it to promote my career more effectively?

    Are you on brand or off brand?

    Now that you have a career brand, you must have the day-to-day discipline to make it real. Check with those around you to see if they perceive you as you wish to be seen? For example, if you say you’re flexible and approachable, do others find you so? Remember, a strong career brand takes time and effort to make it stick.

    Do you want to develop Career Smarts?