How to Develop a Personal Career Brand and Professional Identity

Talk of renowned CEOs, chefs, hoteliers or even sports personalities - We’ve all come across very influential people in our respective careers. We read their articles in newspapers and blogs, watch them on television and follow up on their updates on social media. Besides their great influence, there’s something about them that makes them unique. In fact, if some of us were placed in their shoes, we would be the most boring career celebrities. If you look beyond the influence of your iconic careerist, you’ll realise that all these seemingly flawless individuals work hard on maintaining their personal career brands and professional identities. Forget the usual office etiquette everyone talks about because that’s everybody’s secret anyway. Do you really have a personal career brand and professional identity? If not, then how do you get one?

#1 Embrace and Enjoy your Career as a Passionate Art 
I personally get annoyed when I encounter boring lecturers that do things just for the sake of doing it: 

  • We’ve all come across such grumpy characters whose ultimate future paradise seems to be the peace of retirement bliss. 
  • Yet the paradox of it all lies in their age-behaviour correlation. Because you’ll actually find grey haired lecturers that are so young and vibrant at heart, missing their irresistible lectures makes you inflict some punishment on yourself. 
  • They might not be celebrities or the best in their respective fields, but they lecture so effortlessly and effectively, that you’re compelled to think that they were actually born for their preoccupation.

#2 Think Bold, Innovative, Different and Dynamic
This might sound foreign to my 9-5 counterparts but I’ll make this easier to comprehend. Consider a freelancer and an employed careerists: 

  • While the freelancer has no fixed income, the employed careerist will always get a monthly income even after having done the laziest and simplest of jobs. 
  • Therefore, as the employed careerist ’sits pretty’, the freelancer knows that if I don’t work, I don’t get paid, and it doesn’t end there. 
  • The freelancer then works hard for a while and realizes, no, that’s not enough. So she becomes bold and looks for innovative ways to do things differently. 
  • The outcome becomes phenomenal and thus bold innovation subliminally curves out the freelancer into a dynamic entrepreneur obsessed with new frontiers. 

#3 Aim for the Zenith of Academic Credentials to Enhance Career Expertise
Educational institutions were made to sharpen and enhance our skills in our respective career fields:

  • Take for instance renowned surgeon Ben Carson. We are not just talking of a mere surgeon here, but we’re talking of an iconic personality whose career reputation can be largely attributed to his academic credentials. 
  • This goes to show that some careers will call for academic excellence to establish a career brand and professional identity. Because as we all know, there are preoccupations whose incompetence allegations can land you behind bars. 
  • In any case, it would be an embarrassment on your part especially if your years of reputation building come tumbling down like a pack of cards. 

#4 Familiarise with Mentorship Programmes to Establish a Legacy
Unfortunately, many potentially iconic careerists are so obsessed with their achievements, they can’t even talk of any person they’ve mentored in their impressive career streak. But think of the long term repercussions of such antics. For instance:

  • Who will pride themselves in you after you’ve reached your prime retirement years? Will you have left a benchmark in your respective career industry? 
  • Will you be remembered and honoured by those who’ve become iconic career personalities under your wings? Or will your fragile egotistic reputation simply fade away with your old rusted medals?

#5 Seek all Possible Exposure Avenues to Apply Professional Ethics and Get Noticed
It will call for you to seek exposure avenues by imprinting your career tennets into your social interactions:

  • Many of us have social media accounts that say a lot about us. Though it may be argued that social media is a fun pastime, we’ve also got to realise that this is argument is presented by a resounding majority that’s yet to gain a reputable career identity.
  • If you gain renowned expertise in your respective field, then you’ll find yourself being invited for TV debates, career workshops, career expos and so forth. 
  • Moreover, you might actually be appointed as an associate lecturer if your academic and career credentials stand out. Just ensure that your presentations are fun and interesting.
  • Seek avenues beyond borders to gain wealth of experience in cultural diversity.

Someone once told me that when it rains, there are people who feel the rain and then there are others who simply get wet. Similarly, we’ve got many careerists today that are simply drifting through their career journey without seeing beyond the formal aspect of their respective professions. For them, it’s simply maintaining that 9-5 job to make ends meet in this tough economy. However, we’ve also got outstanding careerists that not only adore their careers, but they also go the extra mile and break career records to establish a personal career brand and professional identity.

Sourced Image: Personal Brand




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