September 2, 2013 By Brendan Baker
Your personal brand can launch your career. And the thing is, you’re in the driver’s seat.
The world of work has changed dramatically over the last decade and it continues to change at a rapid pace. With the internet now mainstream in business, conversations, processes and transactions are taking place more rapidly and across broader markets.
Now, we have entered a time where we are moving away from the information age and more to the social age.
Social media, although having been around for about 10 years now is still finding its feet in the business world. But social media is rapidly being integrated into the workplace from marketing to communications to recruiting.
These changes in the way that the world operates bring opportunity for you to be able to brand yourself and help you launch your career.
My good friend, Dan Schawbel recently sent me his latest book ‘Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success’ which I have been flicking through eagerly.
Dan is a guru when it comes to Millenials (or Gen Y’s) in the workplace and helping them build a compelling personal brand and developing a successful career.
The thing is, what Dan talks about is only applicable to Gen Y’s, but it’s applicable to everyone. And I want to share a few key tips on how your personal brand can launch your career from Dan’s book.
6 Tips to Build Your Personal Brand
1) Stay Current to Stay Employable
When you can master the skills that relate to your profession or industry, people will notice your talents and ask you to work on projects with them. Put simply, you will become the ‘go to’ person.
If you have the latest knowledge, skills or expertise, you are branding yourself as the ‘expert’ in which can help take your career to new heights.
2) Soft Skills: Make Every Impression Count
Have you ever wondered how underperformers get a promotion or get rewarded by managers? Even though their results may not be great, they potentially possess soft skills (people skills or emotional intelligence) that can help them advance.
Mastering the soft skills (such as becoming a great communicator) can help position you as an influencer and a leader.
Don’t be afraid to put your hand up for presentations or the opportunity to communicate, influence or leader in your organisation.
3) Online Skills: Use Social Media to Your Advantage
Having a strong social network can add a lot of value to your career.
A strong social network can allow you to call upon those individuals when needed. Perhaps it might be for information or perhaps it might be to help you market a product. The great thing about social media is it allows you to do it immediately.
A strong social network can also help you stay connected with others whom may even find future career opportunities for you.
To really build your personal brand in a positive way, be engaging with your networks. Share relevant information, join discussions and showcase your work.
4) Start a Blog
Blogging is another great way to develop your personal brand and can also help to launch your career.
Similar to using social media, when blogging it’s important to share information that is relevant to your profession and industry and provide something that adds value to your readers.
In his book, Dan mentions that employees that have blogs also increase visibility for the company that they are working for. So it’s a win-win situation for both yourself and your employer.
5) Identify People Who Can Support Your Career
Identifying one or more mentors can significantly help to build your personal brand and support you in your career.
Mentors have the knowledge and experience of the processes, systems and people in the organisation. This wisdom is valuable. A mentor can guide you through important decisions related to your career and can also act as a sponsor for future career progression.
6) Turn Your Passion into a New Position
If you never want to work another day in your life then you need to turn your passion into a new position.
Turning your passion into a new position will keep you motivated, engaged and you will perform like you have never performed before. Not only this, but it will also enhance your personal brand and help you propel forward faster.
Make your passions noticed by your employer. Identify ways in which you can bring these passions into your workplace. If you have a passion for online marketing for example, how can you showcase this and potentially get a new job created within your organisation to help you do the same thing for them?