Your professional brand helps you build your credibility and visibility in your organization. Everything you do at work either strengthens or weakens your brand, so it's important to consistently do your job well.
Q: I need help with developing my professional brand so that I can enhance my value to my organization. What steps can I take to get started?
A: As you note, developing your professional brand helps you build your credibility and visibility in your organization. It’s also a way to establish and reinforce who you are and what you stand for as a professional. Keep in mind that everything you do at work either strengthens or weakens your brand.
Above all, you want to be known as someone who always produces good work. If you don’t consistently do your job well, your brand will suffer, regardless of what else you do. Some other tips to consider as you work to build your professional brand:
- Deliver more than is requested. You want to earn a reputation as the go-to person on your team, so it pays to not just meet but exceed expectations.
- Demonstrate a high degree of integrity. Always deliver what you promise—and do it on time or, even better, early. Don’t engage in gossip, and treat your colleagues with respect and dignity.
- Volunteer for projects and task forces. Actively participating and contributing will help you gain visibility. If you’re the first to tackle work that no one else wants to do and you knock it out of the park, you‘ll be noticed.
- Network with people outside your department. The broader your reach, the more your brand will improve. One way to expand your network is to request a mentor from another department who will get to know you.
- Ask questions in meetings and town hall events. This doesn’t mean you should hog the limelight. Instead, wait for the right moment and ask a thoughtful question that demonstrates both your understanding of the topic and your genuine desire to expand your knowledge.
- Share your expertise. Whenever possible, and within your organization’s guidelines, share your knowledge by speaking at conferences or publishing articles on websites that people in your industry read. You can also publish or comment on LinkedIn, or share useful insights through other social media outlets.
Building your professional brand takes time and effort, but it will pay dividends for your career. Now is a good time to start being mindful of how you’re shaping your brand.