What is career brand?
Your career brand is your identity at work. It is what you are known for and what makes you memorable. Additionally, it is a promise of the value you have to offer to your colleagues and the company.
Today’s job market is very competitive, so having a positive and strong career identity will help you establish your reputation in the workplace and distinguish you from the pack.
I’d like to let you in on a secret – you are always being judged. At any given moment at work, someone is forming an opinion about your identity. Rather than let them form a negative view, you can convey your value and highlight your talent in a manner that will express who you are and how you approach your work.
How to develop your career brand
- Identify five key talents and characteristics that best reflects your professional expertise – strong writer or good project manager
- Identify personality characteristics you consider strengths – I am quick on my feet, I am good at putting things in sequence and executing
- Once you have listed your strengths and talents, create an elevator speech using ten or less words to describe yourself. Memorize it
- Create a brag bag. A brag bag is a weekly journal that capture colorful details that describe your accomplishments at work – memorize them until they roll off your tongue
Memorizing material in your brag bag will help you quickly point out your accomplishments. It is also helpful when the big boss stops by your office and inquires what you have been up to lately.
Here a few things you should do at work to keep your brand/identity alive at work:
- Always try to connect yourself with projects that align with your strengths
- Be known for finishing projects before deadlines and always give recognition to the team when presenting your results
- Promote yourself – make sure key influencers are aware of your best work
- Find ways to meet people in the company who work outside of your area
- Strengthen relationships with colleagues in your department or others whom you work closely
- Keep your manager apprised of your projects at meetings, and when a client mentions you did a good job, share it.
- Get involved in committees and company sponsored community service
- Identify key players in your company and take them to lunch or coffee
- Attend industry related conferences
- Mentor junior people
No matter what level you are in your career, you should be paying attention to your career brand at all times.
“Go all in!”