3 Action planning
Once you’re happy with your personal brand, the next stage is to come up with some short- to medium-term goals that will help you use it to move your career in the right direction. Start with the aspirations for this course that you outlined in Week 1, and the goals you generated in Week 4, Activity 5. Are there any more you’d like to add?
Try to make your goals SMART, i.e.:
- S = Specific
- M = Measurable
- A = Agreed
- R = Realistic
- T = Time bound
In your Toolkit, you’ll see a Goal Setting tool, which takes you through the SMART process and helps you to write down and plan your goals.
Your goals might be short term, e.g. to join LinkedIn or Facebook so you can communicate your brand that way. Or they may be more significant, such as aiming to change your job within a year. The more complex they are, the more actions they might take to achieve.
The scenarios outlined in the tables below show how you can break down each goal into actions.
Table 1 Scenario A
|Goal||To set up a LinkedIn profile and promote my personal brand by expanding my professional network|
|Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goal||I would like some training on how to use LinkedIn|
|Outcome||A colleague has demonstrated the platform to me and I’ve enrolled in an online course|
|Evaluation||I can use this tool to help me raise my professional profile|
|Next step||I plan to join LinkedIn next week, once I’ve completed my short online course. My target is to have 50 relevant connections by the end of the month|
Table 2 Scenario B
|Goal||To promote my personal brand and use it to obtain a new job within 1 year|
|Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goal||I need to expand my network of potential employers and analyse whether my values/strengths etc. align with their needs|
|Outcome||I’ve generated a shortlist of the employers I’m most interested in and I’m booked on to a relevant conference in July. I’ve also joined 2 LinkedIn groups|
|Evaluation||I’m currently reviewing the comments and content posted by other members of the groups and waiting to receive a list of conference delegates|
|Next step||Connect with key delegates on LinkedIn and catch up with them at the conference. Post my first comment by the end of this week. Be ready to make applications as relevant opportunities arise|
Now it’s your turn!
Activity 4 Achieving my goals
Use the template below to set your goals and work through your next steps. If your workplace has a template that is used to support performance review processes, etc., use that if you prefer. You could also use the Goal Setting Tool in your Toolkit to make sure your goals are SMART.
Table 3 My scenario
|Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goal|
If you have identified more than one goal, prioritise your action plans. Are they sequential or can you do them all at once? Make sure you don’t take on too much alongside your day job – if you don’t achieve all your goals this can be a negative experience.
You should now have a set of SMART goals, and an action plan for achieving them.
In a complex world, the way we brand ourselves is constantly evolving as new tools and approaches become available. Take your personal branding to the next level with some of the ideas outlined in the next section.