We are all known for something. Whether we realize it or not, we have qualities that set us apart from the next person in our respective fields. To accentuate those qualities in order to advance your career is how you develop your brand. Maybe you are consistently one of the hardest working or most knowledgeable wherever you go. You may be known for your keen insight into your field, your efficiency or for being the consummate team player. Just like the products we buy have brands that attract consumers, you have a brand that attracts employers.
Whether we want it to happen or not, things change. Those who maintain a level of success throughout their careers have found a way to recalibrate their brands. They have become the old dogs who learn new tricks or they have cleverly learned how to apply old tricks to new ways.
Have you noticed how companies rebrand their products? Why? Some companies believe that in order to capture a new audience, they have to adopt a new image. For instance, Wendy’s has moved away from its old fashioned hamburger look to trendier restaurants and a new logo. Kia used to have “The Car That Cares” but they appropriately now have “The Power to Surprise”. When I headed marketing in higher education, I created a logo and slogan and updated a university’s web site because of new admission standards. By recalibrating your brand, you could attract renewed interest from your current employer or new interest from a potential employer.
How can you recalibrate your brand?
- Update your résumé. Your résumé is like a car. It benefits from tune-ups. Remember, a résumé documents your value. Showcase your skills and accomplishments by documenting them and use keywords to highlight those skills and successes for your résumé’s online presence.
- Use professional social media to your advantage. Any web site that allows you to create a profile, to upload your résumé or work history and to post updates provides an opportunity to virtually showcase your skills and knowledge. If your agency allows it, use professional social media sites to share your knowledge of your field or as a platform to encourage others in their respective careers. Professional social media is also a great way to serve as a virtual mentor those who aspire to be in your field.
- Be the advancement you want to see. Personal impact is the best way to show people that you are updating your brand. Use meetings and projects as opportunities to be a problem solver and to serve as an example of advancements in your field.
- Move on. A change of scenery can do wonders. Today’s workforce is not always friendly to people who like to stick around in the same place for years. I updated my brand by leaving my native city after 41 years there. Maybe it is time for you to update your brand by leaving the secure confines of your job, agency, city, or even career.
- Learn. Of course, we have to learn trends in our respective fields in order to thrive in them. Learn people, also. Learn the newest generations coming into your field so that you can figure out the best way to communicate with them. Whether you like it or not, they are the new leaders.