What is your approach to your LinkedIn profile? Have you not touched it for months? Do you frantically jump into it when you have to get a new job?
Let’s take a moment to reframe how you think strategically about your professional brand and leverage it using LinkedIn. I’m going to stop your right here and ask that you not cut and paste your resume into your LinkedIn profile. Stop! Don’t do it!
As a professional, our brand is the way we market ourselves to the community and other professionals. So who defines your brand as a professional? Is it your boss or co-workers? Have you taken the time to think deeply about what your brand is and how you will market that to the world? We know that a CEO of a company is, typically, the captain of the ship. Every decision that person makes reinforces or changes the company’s image and what people think of it.
Who is CEO of Brand You?
Yes, you guessed it. YOU are the CEO of your professional brand. We hear legends of the “Golden Age” of work when you stayed with the same company for your entire life, where there was a social contract that said if you give us 100% of your work, we will take care of you into retirement. Do you think that contract is still active?
When you take on extra projects at work, do you acknowledge and take ownership of the work that you do? More often than not, someone else takes the credit, most likely your boss. Let’s change that. But before we can think strategy, we have to know where we are trying to go! You may be amazed at how few people know what they want their professional future to be.
Let’s assume that you are doing your job well and perform on a daily basis what you were hired to do. Then you are asked to take on other projects. Onboarding a new employee, rebuilding the company website, doing market research. These “other projects” are important and allow you to develop skill sets outside of the ones you already have. Most people cringe when asked to take on a something new that they are unfamiliar with. Employees that are professionally fit actively go out and seek those opportunities! They think strategically about how those projects and new skills will help build their brand.
Now that you know your long term goal, we can start mapping out your Professional Fitness Strategic Plan. Now you can find an experienced mentor to help you chart the path and avoid the traps. A map is great but and updated map is better!