Now is the time to consider where you want to be within the next 6 months while we’re coming out of the Covid-19 period of shutdowns. Are you happy where you are? Have you developed new skills and experiences that should move you up the career ladder? Whatever your situation, it’s time to reinvent your professional brand to indicate you’re ready for a new or next phase in your career.
Successful branding means taking what you do best, what you are known for, and channeling it. Re-branding is a bit harder because it involves taking what you are currently known for and re-channeling it to something different. You need to become known as competent in a different function, level or industry with new skills, experiences and results. The steps you need to take are difficult, but not impossible.
First you need to find your base line: What is your starting point? If people around you were asked, “What word or two best describe your attributes, both personally and professionally?”, what would they say? Your talents and abilities are usually best seen by those people who know you. How they answer the question will most likely be closer to the mark than how you would answer the question yourself. Hopefully, they are the same answer. If not, listen to the others.
Second, identify the things that you do exceptionally well: What makes you unique? The answer should be relatively easy. If you don’t know how or why you stand out, you must be average. The qualities that make you stand out in the crowd are the things that a hiring organization is interested in. They are also the qualities that will help you transition from where you are to where you want to be. Identify the “holes” or shortcomings to your rebranding: What are the things you are missing? What skill, experience or result must you acquire in order to make the transition? These are the transferrable skills you’ll need.
Third, imagine where you want to be in the future: What’s your end point? All transitions need to lead somewhere. The end point is dependent upon your readiness, determination, and time available to make the transition. Cherry-pick your experiences to show how you achieved major accomplishments in the past and can get the same or better results at a different level, industry or function moving forward.
Forth, define the first step toward your ultimate goal: What comes next? Create a powerful story. Take your past history, the transferable skills, experiences and results, and demonstrate to a hiring organization how you can successfully contribute to their goals. It may be a new process, alternative solutions, a transformative strategy, new products into new markets, or other possibilities. It must create a powerful potential for what the hiring organization needs. Network your new brand with the people who you know and can assist your entry toward your new direction.
Your results are your brand. Prepare for the future.
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