Monday, November 30, 2009

Branding redux

I’ve been thinking about “Branding” a lot the last couple of weeks. What is a core skill set? What is a “core strength”? How do I (or anyone else) use those to stay relevant in a world that is changing at the speed of light?

As near as I can tell, all of us have lots of strengths. I have certainly met people who didn’t recognize theirs, but they still had strengths. Equally, pretty much all of us have a wide variety of skills, unfortunately, these have a habit of becoming outdated, so it’s easy to feel like we don’t have much to offer, or what we have to offer isn’t what people are willing to pay for. So how do we build from current to future, using our strengths as a guide? How do we avoid being sidetracked, yet continue to move in a direction that keeps us employable?

The premise here is that in order to identify the ongoing strengths that we want to depend on, that we want to be hired to use, we need to look at our work history and our successes. As we identify those successes and identify the patterns of success, we also identify our “brand”. This allows us to recreate our resumes, profiles etc to emphasize what we are passionate about. This allows us to look at jobs where we will be able to build on our strengths. It also helps us understand the idea that we are creating a partnership with a potential employer.

Let’s face it, we all want a job where we can pretty much guarantee success, where we normally create high expectations that we then exceed. It’s just fun to do. The key is knowing enough about our own strengths and skills so we apply for work that fits that profile. Understanding and documenting a brand that allows us to focus our search and get the job we want.

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