Owning Your Career Brand
Working hard is expected, but if we want to think strategically, we have to think about building our career brand. According to Entreprenuer.com, employees at companies that invest in personal branding initiatives are 27 percent more likely to feel optimistic about their company’s future; 20 percent are more likely to stay at their company, and 40 percent are more likely to believe their company is more competitive. When we create a career brand for ourselves, we become more attractive as a candidate because we are building visibility and thought leadership.
Our CEO and Founder, Jessica Chen, recently hosted a Soulcast Media | LIVE event on LinkedIn, where she interviewed Product Manager at LinkedIn, Shyvee Shi.
They shared tips and personal stories about building a career brand for visibility.
To own our career brand, we need to first shift our mindset and break through any mental barriers we may have. Thinking about our career brand is thinking beyond what we have to do in our everyday roles. We have to think bigger.
Consider the following:
- Job vs. Career – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Shyvee said we need to consider the difference between our current job and the ideal career situation. She said, “Our current job is the chapter we are writing. Our career is the book we are writing for our lives.” One way to do this is to shift our mindset to think beyond our day-to-day responsibilities. For example, think about what we want to do more of with our time. Consider what our ideal work situation would be. When we focus on the bigger picture, we create a career trajectory for ourselves.
- Imposter Syndrome – To overcome imposter syndrome, we have to break free of the mental barriers telling us that we aren’t capable of doing what we want to do. For example, during the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Shyvee shared a story about a time she was about to post a piece of content she had never talked about before. The night before she posted, she said she was afraid of what people would think. However, she pushed through and posted. Her post was exceptionally well received.
- Start Small – The idea of starting something new can stop us before we even begin. However, if we want to create a career brand, we must shift our mindset. One way to do this is to start small. For example, we can ask ourselves, “What is the smallest step we can take to build momentum?” This could mean sharing one thing we’ve learned every week. Or it could be sharing someone else’s content. We don’t need to be an expert to start. The most important thing is to start and be consistent.
When we take steps to build our career brand, no matter how small they are, it can open opportunities for us outside our current job.
As we are building our career brand, we want to be mindful of our messaging. How we deliver our message, where we will deliver our message, and what type of message will all be important.
Consider the following:
- Clear Communication – During the Soulcast Media | LIVE, Jessica said, “A strong career brand needs strong communication. We need to be clear-minded in our messaging and delivery.” If we are unclear in our communication, our message will get lost. For example, suppose we are creating video content, and our vocabulary includes many filler words. In that case, people may skip the video because it is too difficult to understand. Learning how to enhance our speaking is one of the best things we can do to bolster our career and help us build our career brand.
- Platform/Medium – The platform and medium we choose will largely depend on the audience we are trying to connect with. For example, LinkedIn may be the best platform if the audience we want to connect with is other professionals. We also want to consider the medium we feel most comfortable using. Do we prefer to be on video, or do we prefer to write a post? Our messaging will make the most impact when we share it on the platform we feel most confident in.
- Content – Owning our career brand means we will also want to create content to gain more visibility. However, there are many different ways we can share content. For example, we can share what we are learning. We can share our company’s blog post while including a few sentences about what we thought of the post. Or we can share the process of our learning. The content we share should always represent the messaging we want our audience to hear.
We don’t have to have it all figured out to start posting content. We need to focus on our messaging and our audience.
We have to think about building our brand as an investment. Every post we put out, and every connection we make is a little investment into our larger goal.
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]