Our personal brand is also our online brand. Once you have a clear direction, it's important to align your online career brand so others are aware of your story and the types of opportunities you're looking for.
- What do you want people to associate with you when they think of your name? Answering this question will give you insight into the personal brand you want to create. Just like how companies have brands, so do people. Social media gives us the vehicle to tell others about our career accomplishments, as well as our aspirations. By aligning your career vision and goals with your online presence, you're increasing the chances of attracting the right kind of opportunities and resources.
Of course, a great place to share your career story is on LinkedIn. Here's a few things to consider when aligning your personal brand with your career vision. First, what's your headline? This can change in time and reflect the bridge between where you are today and where you want to go. For example, if you're currently an individual contributor working as a software engineer, and have a goal to manage a team of software engineers, you can create a headline that says something like, "Innovative software engineer passionate about bringing "great minds together to solve consumer problems." Second, what are you endorsed for? Ask influential people in your network to endorse you or write a recommendation for skills that reflect where you want to go.
Using the previous example, you could ask project team members to endorse you for mentoring them or facilitating meetings. Both are leadership skills that create a brand of someone that can manage others. Next, who are you connecting with? Connect with people in industries or with expertise related to where you're headed. What are you learning? Post your completion of courses that demonstrate to others that you're actively building new skills.
For example, if you have a goal of expanding your expertise from graphic designer to a user experience or interaction designer, you can complete courses showing others that you have the formal training to do so. Are you a member of any communities? Join groups or follow top influencers in your field of choice. Comment on other's posts and articles. And finally, share your expertise. You can also write your own posts on new topics.
You don't have to turn into a full-time blogger, but a few minutes a day of sharing relevant content and ideas with like-minded professionals, will grow your network slowly over time. You can take it a step further and create your own website. You may be able to get your name as your domain, and create a simple site that tells your career story and shares your career vision. Your ultimate goal is to make sure that all of the places you interact with others online, don't just reflect where you are today, but most importantly, where you want to go tomorrow.
- How the workplace has changed
- Creating a career vision
- Creating short- and long-term goals
- Mobilizing: Identifying resources, mentors, and your online brand