How do you bring real value to your organization? How do you bring real value to the people you deal with over the course of your career? A successful career is fundamentally about relationships with colleagues, employees, bosses and clients, and your personal brand is nothing more or less than being recognized for the values you bring to those relationships.
Investing In Your Career
To help you determine how you will invest in your career, you need to take ‘inventory.’ That means taking stock of your knowledge, degrees, skills, experiences, relationships and other attributes or behaviors. After taking stock, you may decide to obtain additional academic or professional designations, develop more skills, take an assessment or hire a career coach.
Benefits Of Taking Inventory
The benefit of this inventory-taking exercise is that it will help you:
- Communicate what you have to offer to your employer, clients and colleagues. This is your value proposition. Knowing your value proposition is the basis of your brand.
- Identify areas of knowledge, skills and experience that you want to add to your inventory.
- Develop an action plan relative to the attributes that are most important to your career goals. These are the ones you want to keep current and build upon.
Identifying What Is Valued In Your Field
Once you determine where you will invest for your career, you need to invest wisely. In other words, you need to identify what is valued in your field and build towards it.
You need to know what attributes and credentials are most valued in your current role or in the roles to which you aspire in your career. Remember: different roles value different brands; different workplaces value different attributes—even within the same industry.
You may discover that the brand you’re attracted to isn’t compatible with the organization you work for or want to work for. However, you can align your brand with the value proposition that will benefit both you and the organization.
Selecting Key Attributes Of Your Brand
The key attributes you’ll select must meet four criteria:
- It must play to your core strengths.
- It must reflect your passion, what you really like to do.
- It must align with your values.
- It must be of value to your career and the organization you’ve chosen to work for.
Personal branding isn’t just for celebrities or professional athletes. Everyone has a personal brand. Everyone has a unique set of values. Your success developing your brand will stem from having others perceive it the same way you do.