What is career branding?
Personal Branding (PB) + Relationship Capital (RC) = Career Branding (CB)
PB + RC = CB
The best career planning and branding occurs well before you have a personal need. The best personal branding strategies make no attempt to time results. They really position for the “whenever”. You position for the “whenever” by building your brand & relationship capital before you need it.
Over the last several years, the unemployed have been coached to change their LinkedIn profile headline to titles like:
- Quality Guru
- Sales Superstar
- Digital Print Expert
- Online Marketing Sherpa
- Business Operations Professional
We definitely recommend and respect the attempt to clarify one’s specialty and create a personal brand. However this is simply a beginning and the real work is getting the personal association of the title in the marketplace and then matching that to networks of connections. The mistake people make is waiting until they are looking for a new job to address their personal brand and their relationship capital.
The sales analogy would be sales people cold calling prospects, saying we are the best at “X” and asking for orders. This is a failed strategy 999.9 out of 1000 times. This is not how “buyers” are wired and is a fairly ridiculous approach. The prospect has not been nurtured. There is no reason to trust the caller and trust is implied in every purchase!
The same applies to job search.
Successful salespeople (and companies) brand themselves by building relationships BEFORE they need them. Career branding is no different. Relationships are best built before one party in the relationship has an immediate pending need. Trust is built by non-threatening exchanges that are not self centered. The exchanges need to offer something to the other party such as: knowledge, connections or other learnings.
Trust is always key to buying and trust is always key to hiring.
Personal Brands and Relationship Capital are earned. They take time and require re-enforcement. Time can build and strengthen them. They cannot be instantly achieved through LinkedIn profile headlines, cold calling or introductory emails.
If you look at your peers, those who cycle through successful career positions without extended job searches, have mastered the PB + RC = CB formula.
Let’s relook at the formula at this articles beginning.
Personal Branding (What you are known for.)
Relationship Capital (Your network and how committed are they to you based on historical actions and interactions.)
Start now and invest time in your PB and RC every week.