The New Rules
You’ve heard the advice, but maybe you are uncomfortable:
More than ever, your career opportunities are dependent on your reputation. The good news is that there are more tools than ever to help you get started.
Dan Schawbel is a columnist at Time and Forbes. He is the managing partner of Millennial Branding. If you haven’t read his many articles and blog posts, you may have heard or seen him in the media. As I was reading his latest book, Promote Yourself: The New Rules for Career Success, I happened to catch an interview with him on National Public Radio. He is an expert on personal branding and understanding and reaching the Millennial generation.
“In today’s knowledge-based economy, what you earn depends on what you learn.” –Bill Clinton
Why Personal Branding Is Important
What are the top 5 reasons that personal branding so important?
- You will be found in search engines when either a recruiter is looking to hire for a specific position or a prospect is looking to hire a consultant.
- You will gain confidence in yourself because you’ll know who you are and how your expertise fits into the business world.
- You will be able to communicate who you are and what you do at networking events without being stressed out.
- Your personal brand will give your company more credibility and make it easier to promote your company in the media.
- Your brand will help you both attract the right opportunities and repel the ones that aren’t a good fit, saving both you and others time in the research process.
“If everyone has to think outside the box, maybe it is the box that needs fixing. Malcolm Gladwell
What do you say to critics who say that personal branding is self-centered and egotistical?
I really don’t think it’s possible to build a strong brand without the support of those around you. I also don’t think that being selfish is necessarily a bad thing, especially in a tough economy like this. Being selfish, in some regard, is a way of saying “I’m investing in myself so I can become more valuable and in doing so help others.” As long as your intention is to help others today or in a year, everyone benefits from you being selfish. Those that have built strong brands have empowered others to build their own and promoted their work.
“Become the expert your company can’t live without” is powerful advice. What steps do you recommend to make this a reality?
In Promote Yourself I talk about how you need to become an expert in your field. 65% of managers are looking to hire and promote experts, not generalists. You need to align your strengths to areas in your company that need improvement. Back when I worked at a Fortune 200 company, I was the only social media resource. If a department wanted to learn social media or use the tools for their own purposes, they almost had to contact me. This truly makes you valuable to your group and to your company, while at the same time giving you visibility which creates opportunities.
65 percent of managers are looking to hire and promote experts, not generalists.
Use Social Media as a Career Tool
You talk about the importance of social media. Why is it critical for leaders to understand and leverage social media?
Social media is the fabric of our society at this time. I started using it in 2006 because I realized that it puts everyone on the same plane, regardless of job title. Through social media you can easily connect with people in your company, profession or industry, which creates opportunities. Another aspect of social media is that the customer now has a voice, and people, in general, are moved by experts and influencers. Leaders need to understand social media because it’s a channel that people will use to follow them if they have something interesting or important to say.
“Social media is the fabric of our society at this time.” -Dan Schawbel
How did you use social media to propel your career?