If you’re like many people, January is the time to make – and stick to – resolutions that will improve your life in some way.
While you’re working on those resolutions, why not also take stock of your personal brand and brand messaging, to be sure they’re aligned with your career plans for this year.
Times being what they are, you never know when a new job opportunity, a possible career change, or even a layoff may come your way.
Maybe it’s time to re-brand. Ponder these questions:
- What’s my brand reputation about these days?
- Have I become the “go to” person for a new area of expertise?
- What is my promise of value in the marketplace?
- What ROI do I offer potential new employers?
Step one with any career branding work is identifying which employers (or which kind of employers) you will target.
If you’re happy in the kind of work you’re doing now, and would want to continue in the same vein, then you probably know quite a bit about your target audience.
If you’re ready for a change, it’s time to do some research and plan a new career path.
An essential piece in both the re-branding process and job search strategy is looking at your recent career accomplishments and contributions.
What did you do for your employer(s) last year that most benefitted them?
Think about the things you did that positively impacted your company or organization – saving money, increasing profits and market share, improving processes and/or productivity, expanding service offerings, improving communications, turning around failing processes/operations, etc.
How will those contributions impact your promise of value to your target employers?
If you weren’t keeping track over the past year, get to work cataloging them now, while you can still recall them.
Here are some things that could be important:
- Joining new professional associations and/or contributing to existing ones
- Publishing articles, white papers, blog posts
- Getting a promotion
- Overcoming challenges you and the company faced. What were the results that benefitted the company?
- Suggesting initiatives to make the company “greener”
- Negotiating a lucrative new contract
- Sourcing a cost-saving new vendor
- Introducing new best practices
- Being part of the recruiting and hiring process
- Being a mentor and helping others progress in their careers
- Earning certifications or awards
- Reaching a career milestone
- Connecting with new people who brought in business for your employer
- Completing special training or gaining any relevant new skills
- Taking advantage of professional development – seminars, webinars, attending conferences
- Volunteering in your community
What should you do with all this new information?
- Update your resume and career biography, so they’re at-the-ready if you’re suddenly laid off and find yourself job hunting.
- Consider adding new career marketing documents to your career portfolio, such as an Achievement Summary, Performance Milestones, Leadership Initiatives Brief, Case Studies Profile. Name the document to fit the content.
- Update your LinkedIn and other online profiles.
- Revamp your brand statement to keep it relevant and make it resonate with your new target employers.
I know this is a lot of work to do. You’ll be thankful you’ve done it, if you find yourself suddenly in a job search.
Another major benefit to you. Reminding yourself of your valuable contributions and personal achievements is a HUGE ego boost. Something we all need from time to time.