On the eighty-fourth entry of Tristan’s Tips, our amazing host Tristan Layfield discusses the importance of building your professional brand. Job searching, especially currently, is competitive, and you should be taking every step to give yourself an edge!
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What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan back again to bring you another career tip. Today, let’s discuss the importance of building your professional brand.
Ten to fifteen years ago, many people only associated the word brand with companies, organizations, and celebrities. But now, thanks to the internet and social media, anyone can have a brand, and I’d argue that most professionals should have a brand.
You’re probably like, but why do I need a brand? I’m just trying to find a job. Well, that’s exactly why. Job searching, especially currently, is competitive, and you should be taking every step to give yourself the edge over the other 249 people who are applying to the jobs you want.
When we are looking for a job, we are essentially a product, and for a product to reach its target audience (in your case, recruiters and hiring managers), it has to have a good marketing strategy in place. Building a professional brand allows you to establish thought leadership separate from your organization. This helps you get in front of more people in your industry and eventually enables you to develop a pipeline of job opportunities. We found out early in the pandemic that no job is really secure, so positioning yourself not to be solely reliant on your current company is a smart move. Companies are always going to look out for their best interest; it’s time we as job seekers start to do the same. Plus, we know the best time to look for a new job is when you don’t need one.
Once you’ve established a solid professional brand, this not only raises your visibility to those outside your company but often puts your face and name in front of your current company’s leaders. At this point, many companies begin to 1) recognize the value and skillset you bring to the organization, and 2) start to consider you what I would call a flight risk, meaning they know you are more than likely receiving and entertaining offers from other places. This has the potential to work in your favor in 2 different ways. The first is that this becomes a bargaining chip for you with things like raises, titles, and other things to advance your career. The second way is that your company sees your growing notoriety as a threat. So why do I think that’s working in your favor? Well, it showed you the true colors of your company or organization. If they can’t handle you having an identity outside of being tied to them, then its likely they simply want you to shut up, be a worker bee, and get those subpar 2% industry-standard raises. Is that what you want? Odds are it isn’t. This creates an opportunity to reconsider if this is the place where you truly want to work, and if you’ve been establishing connections while building your brand, you know you have options.
A professional brand allows us to leverage our current company and career situations to build something that isn’t solely tied to them. It provides us with an opportunity to showcase what makes us different in our work and can give us a competitive advantage in our job search. Not to mention, it gives you the avenue to branch out and start something of your own, if that’s your cup of tea.
This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @LayfieldResume or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.