Friday, December 13, 2013
There's been much discussion of late about the need to manage and enhance your professional brand in order to advance in your career. While the professional brand focus can be confusing, it's important to know that your professional brand is simply your professional reputation.
There has been a significant change in the way professional brands are managed in the last 10 or so years. As recently as 2003, your brand was basically your job title, defined by responsibilities and tenure ("15+ years experience"..."responsible for..."). And your brand was conveyed by your resume.
Your brand tended to follow you throughout your career, with variations on your title. You may have started your career as an Assistant Inventory Analyst, received a promotion to Inventory Analyst, progressed to Assistant Buyer, then on to Buyer. After awhile, you may have become a Purchasing Manager, then Director of Purchasing; and if you were lucky, Vice President of Purchasing. This career progression probably took 20 years and may, or may not, have been at the same compay.
That was then, this is now.
Now you get to decide your professional brand. Your brand is how you market yourself to others. Your brand (your professoinal reputation) is defined by results and focuses on value (generated $1 million in new revenue in the first year...increased profits by 20%...). Now your brand is conveyed by social media: LinkedIn, Twitter, Blogs, Facebook, Google+, and others.
Your brand can shift from job to job, from career to career. It tells the story of the value you will bring a prospective employer. Make your story relevant to the prospective employer's needs; and make it concise. Speak to impacts and influencing outcomes.
Can you tell the story of your value? Can you clearly, concisely and crisply state your brand?Tweet
Barbara Babkirk is a Master Career Counselor and founder of Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement firm in Portland.
With a focused and intuitive approach, Barbara makes a difference in people’s lives by helping them design a new life chapter. She has a successful record guiding career transitions for professionals ranging from executives and artists to attorneys and entrepreneurs.
An expert in her field, Barbara is a public speaker on work-related topics writes a solutions-oriented column about work for the Portland Sunday Telegram.
Scott Woodard is a career coach with Heart At Work Associates, a career counseling and outplacement business in Portland, Maine.
Scott works with clients to identify and articulate their value and their personal brand. He helps clients develop clear, concise and crisp messaging to convey their particular difference, their achievements and their approach.
Scott coaches clients to market their brand through social media platforms, especially LinkedIn. He offers monthly workshops on how to make the most of LinkedIn for businesses or job seekers.