What would you say has been the defining moment in your career so far? A change in direction? A promotion? For Dorie Clark, Author of "Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future", her defining moment was overcoming a series of setbacks that had occurred early in her career path and which ultimately led to shape her future self. I had the pleasure of interviewing Dorie for my podcast, All The Social Ladies and wanted to share with you her fascinating knowledge and wisdom regarding personal transition and reinvention.
The Era Of Evolution
People are changing jobs all the time and are going through the process of reinvention more than ever but what does this mean and what can you proactively do if you are in this transition?
- Be clear on your current brand and don't assume you know what this is. We all have blind spots and candid feedback from friends and colleagues can be invaluable. Part of reinvention is knowing your brand and who you are.
- Create that future vision for yourself and what you want your brand to be. You will likely perceive a disparity between where you are now and where you want to be--so set an action plan in place to close that gap. This could be as simple as networking with different people or exposing yourself to more training--this doesn't have to be expensive and could be on a voluntary basis.
- Live your brand. Your brand is everything that people perceive about you so it has to be authentic and consistent. Integrate all the elements of your life together, so everything you do leads others to understand what your brand is.
The Advent Of Social Media & The Impact On Personal Branding
According to Dorie, social media has given people an increased ability to control their personal brand. No longer do we have to rely on word of mouth. Instead, there is a new profound type of empowerment that comes with sharing via LinkedIn, Twitter and personal blogs. However, Dorie warns that we have to be mindful of our personal brands now running on two parallel tracks; one being the real world and what people say about you, the other being our digital reputation which can be just as powerful. So how should you approach social media in personal branding? Gone are the days when it's safer to not engage online--this now just looks suspicious. Be proactive and be sensible--share information that represents you in a professional light.
Tips For Achieving An Assertive & Positive Online Presence
- Build a LinkedIn profile if you don't already have one--and keep it up to date!
- Don't neglect your personal narrative. Not everyone will connect the dots and understand why you want to make a transition and how your skills are relevant. Tell a thoughtful and succinct story that demonstrates why you are the right person for this new endeavor and which helps others become your new ambassadors.
- Make use of the new blogging functionality that has been rolled out to everyone. There is no commitment to blog regularly--share a few pieces so that others can see how you think about your industry.
- Use LinkedIn as the baseline. Dorie recommends branching out onto other networks if you really want to get an A+. Her favorite is Twitter. Embrace the ability to connect directly with thought leaders and nurture relationships with them as an individual- something you just can't achieve via email.
The biggest lesson I learned from Dorie--be unafraid to bring innovation into life. Be open to always trying new ways and learning new things to stay fresh. Want a more in-depth discussion? Pick up a copy of Dorie's book; "Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future" or pre-order her forthcoming book; "Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It."
Have you gone through personal reinvention or rebranding in your career? What was your experience? Please leave your comments in the section below!