Personal branding for career success
Personal branding for career success

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Personal branding for career success

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
Described image
Figure 3 Goals and wishes

In your Toolkit [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , 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

GoalTo set up a LinkedIn profile and promote my personal brand by expanding my professional network

Current status:

  • a.Experience
  • b.Knowledge
  • c.Skills
  • a.I have never used LinkedIn
  • b.I know what it is and have colleagues who use and recommend it
  • c.I’m not very confident with digital platforms and need to build my skills
Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goalI would like some training on how to use LinkedIn
Action plan
  • Find out if my workplace offers any LinkedIn training
  • Ask a trusted colleague to show me how it works
  • Enrol in an online course that will take me through the process
  • Start networking with professional colleagues
OutcomeA colleague has demonstrated the platform to me and I’ve enrolled in an online course
EvaluationI can use this tool to help me raise my professional profile
Next stepI 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

GoalTo promote my personal brand and use it to obtain a new job within 1 year

Current status:

  • a.Experience
  • b.Knowledge
  • c.Skills
  • a.I haven’t consciously promoted my personal brand before
  • b.I have a clear brand that I feel confident about
  • c.I have the skills needed to promote my brand
Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goalI need to expand my network of potential employers and analyse whether my values/strengths etc. align with their needs
Action plan
  • Define my target audience of potential employers
  • Identify the strengths and values of relevance to my target employers and compare them to my own
  • Join and participate in suitable social media groups – posting comments/content that reflects my personal brand on a regular basis
  • Look for opportunities to attend relevant conferences and other sector-specific networking events
  • Review relevant application processes and start to apply
OutcomeI’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
EvaluationI’m currently reviewing the comments and content posted by other members of the groups and waiting to receive a list of conference delegates
Next stepConnect 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

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

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

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Goal
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Current status:

a) Experience

b) Knowledge

c) Skills

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Development/training/knowledge needed to reach my goal
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Action plan
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Outcome
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Evaluation
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Next step
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Discussion

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.

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