Building Your Career Brand
In today’s fast-paced and highly competitive professional landscape, building your career brand isn’t just a buzzword; it’s vital to unlocking opportunities, achieving your goals, and standing out in a crowded job market.
According to a recent article by LinkedIn – 70% of hiring managers say that a strong personal brand is more important than a strong resume.
Think of your career brand as your unique signature in the world of work—a powerful representation of who you are, what you excel at, and the value you bring to the table. Just like a company’s brand defines its identity and reputation, your career brand shapes how others perceive you and can significantly impact your journey to success.
Our CEO & Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn, where she discussed how to build your career brand strategically.
She shared tips and personal stories about the importance of crafting your career brand.
When it comes to our work, we’ve got to be mindful of how folks see us. The thing is, sometimes we kind of roll the dice and hope for the best. We let others decide what they think of us and what gigs and projects come our way. But when we leave it all to fate, we end up getting pigeonholed into one particular role.
Consider the following:
- Perception – Ever wonder what pops into people’s heads when they hear your name? It’s a bit like a mental impression game, and you definitely want to make sure they’re guessing right. The thing is, the way folks see us is the way they define us because, well, perception is pretty much reality. Just think about it – if people only associate you with being the Excel spreadsheet guru, they might not even consider you for those big project-leading roles. So, it’s crucial to be mindful of the vibes you’re putting out at work.
- Recognition – It’s not just the work we do that we should be tuning into; it’s also about the way we present ourselves to our colleagues and bosses. When folks at the office lay eyes on us, do they connect the dots between our hard work and our name? Can they see the value we bring to the table, and are we adept at singing our own praises and staying on their radar? If we’re flying under the recognition radar, chances are those golden opportunities will be snatched up by others. We’ve got to get savvy about showcasing our talents, or else we’re practically handing those opportunities to someone else on a silver platter.
- Top Of Mind – Being on everyone’s radar doesn’t just happen by chance, and it’s something we’ve got to plan out with some strategy. It could be as simple as stepping up to the plate and volunteering for a project or throwing your hat into the ring for a committee. When you’re invisible, when folks don’t have a clue about your contributions, or they don’t see your value, you kind of become the invisible person in the office. And trust me, you don’t want to go down that road because, in the workplace, what others see is what they believe. And if they don’t see you, well, that’s when you become replaceable in their eyes, and that’s not the position we want to be in.
Getting the ball rolling on your career brand is all about stepping into the spotlight. We’ve got to make sure folks see us the way we want them to, and the key here is to be on the front foot, to be proactive.
2. Building Credibility
Credibility in the workplace is a pretty big deal. It’s what pops into people’s heads when they hear your name. Are you the kind of person who’s seen as a value-adder? So how can we showcase we add value? It’s all about being strategic about what we do and how we do it.
Consider the following:
- Prioritize Mission Critical Work – Mission critical work is all about choosing the tasks that offer a bang for your buck, things that’ll help you level up your skills or snag that dream job. Think of these projects as the building blocks of how you want the world to see you. For instance, if you’re gunning to be the go-to expert in XYZ, you’ve got to strategize. Who do you need to rub elbows with? What projects can you jump into or even lead? And where can you volunteer your time to supercharge that skill? It’s all part of the game plan.
- Actions – Credibility at work isn’t just a matter of what we say; it’s all about what we do. Every action we take, from meeting deadlines and delivering quality work to collaborating effectively and honoring our commitments, contributes to our credibility. Building credibility is about consistently proving our worth through our actions, and over time, these actions form the foundation of trust and respect in the workplace.
- Integrity – Integrity is the cornerstone of credibility in the workplace. It’s about staying true to our values and principles, even when no one is watching. When we consistently demonstrate honesty, ethics, and transparency in our actions and decisions, we earn the trust of our colleagues, superiors, and clients.
Colleagues, superiors, and clients are more likely to trust and endorse us if we have established a credible track record, ultimately opening doors to new opportunities and helping us stand out in our professional journey.
3. Advocating For Ourselves
Self-advocacy has become a fundamental skill for achieving personal and professional growth. It’s not about bragging or self-promotion but rather a proactive stance in making sure our contributions are recognized.
Consider the following:
- Impact – Sharing the impact we make on our team and the organization is a powerful self-advocacy tool. It’s like holding up a mirror to our contributions and letting others see the value we bring. When we communicate our achievements and the positive changes we’ve instigated, it not only highlights our dedication but also reinforces our role as an essential asset. In doing so, we not only build our personal brand but also become more visible and influential within the company, increasing our chances of recognition, career growth, and new opportunities.
- Communicating The Process – Communicating the process boils down to having explaining about what we’re up to and how we’re getting things done. When we do that, we’re basically putting our good work and the “how” of it all on display for everyone to see. Communicating effectively can be a breeze when everything’s sailing smoothly. We’re all about keeping everyone in the loop when the project’s humming along. But when the road gets a bit rocky, that’s when we’ve got to roll up our sleeves and really get to it. It’s all about thinking through the context, managing expectations, and coming to the table with solutions. What do folks already know? What do they need to know? How can we align their expectations? And, perhaps most crucially, how can we bring some solutions to the table? That’s the game plan when things take a twist.
SAW Framework – Mastering the art of the ask is a real game-changer. And guess what? There’s a great strategy called the SAW Framework that can be your secret weapon whenever you’re ready to pitch an idea or muster up the courage to ask for that well-deserved raise. It’s like your trusty toolkit for nailing those important requests.
Strong Case – Why now? Who will benefit and why?
Align Our Objectives – Will it cost money, time, or resources, and where would that come from? Is the return on investment worth it for the organization?
Why Us – Why are we the right fit for this? Why do we want to do it?
When you can shift your mindset away from pure humility and start thinking about others and the ripple effect, it’s no longer just about you. It’s about the bigger picture, the team, the organization, and how your actions impact clients. When you frame it that way, folks around you will suddenly see exactly what you’re getting at.
A career brand is not about being a “yes person.” Just showing up and doing your thing doesn’t automatically make it your brand. We can’t expect folks to magically know what we’re up to. To really get it, people need to see you in action, witness the sweat and hustle you’re putting into your work. It’s all about showing, not just telling, to carve out that distinct career identity.
Check out Jessica’s YouTube channel to see the full LIVE version of Jessica’s converstation.
Whenever you’re ready, there are 3 ways we can help you:
- Discover your communications style so you know where to start. Over 4,000 people have found theirs here.
- Attend our monthly communication workshop to build communications confidence (new topics: public speaking, advocating for yourself, building credibility, etc) here.
- Get your brand in front of 43k+ people by sponsoring our newsletter or Soulcast Media | LIVE LinkedIn events [contact: firstname.lastname@example.org]