For the Life of Your Career, Not Just the Job You're In
Much is being discussed these days about how to remain relevant (and employable) in such a competitive job market. I participated in a pilot program offered by the Indiana University Alumni Association about a year ago and was exposed to the idea that understanding and being able to tell your story can help you stand out. I’ve taken this concept and expanded it to include that you need to also be able to demonstrate how you add value within a variety of contexts (in person and online – LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, Facebook, and via a website) and leverage proactive professional development and personal branding.
Proactive professional development means that you are the individual responsible for the decisions made about your development. While this can work quite effectively when connected to the professional development opportunities provided by your workplace, it also ensures that you have a long range, comprehensive, and flexible plan for your development. Quite simply, you may want to invest in development that your employment isn’t positioned to support.
Personal branding is your reputation and your reputation is a combination of interactions and perceptions. Personal branding involves every interaction others have with you and how they feel about you. Every interaction people have with you is an opportunity to build or detract from your brand. Like it or not, perceptions are often reality. Celebrities and their staffs understand the power of perception and they take actions to influence perception. So what can you do to influence perceptions if you want others to perceive you as a professional with just the right experience, education, and abilities that make you a good fit for a position? It begins with understanding how others perceive you and how their perceptions were developed and knowing yourself is critically important in this process. Personal branding is not about giving false impressions.
Personal branding is about demonstrating how you add value.
Stay relevant by understanding your career and personal brand life cycles. Use our free chart accessible by clicking here to better understand where your career is within its life cycle and consider what actions you can take to leverage your professional development and personal branding to help increase your relevancy within the job market. Questions? Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.