The past week hasn’t been a good one for the economy for sure. Whether you’re on Wall Street or at the corner store, everyone is asking “what about me?”
Recently, I was advising a mid-career business professional about his next step. The biggest shock for him wasn’t the difficulty of doing his resume or the importance of networking. It was the shock of the realization that there are thousands of people who are just as qualified as he is with the exact same experience and skill set.
For years I have been underscoring the importance of professionals creating their own career brands, to get specific rather than generalize a resume for any and every opportunity. And in a tight economy, there is no more important career realization than this: there are a thousand more just like you. Whether you’re planning your career within one firm, one industry or one field, you’ve got to find a way to become a constant—known and relied upon. You need a brand.
Here’s why it matters. You may remember when Apple first introduced the iPod. They were certainly ahead of the game. But Apple always knew there would be competition. So they planned for it. Instead of relying on the things all mp3 players could do, they got specific—white earbuds, a click wheel, smooth simple operations, engraveable backs. These were all very specific, very differentiated options. They were easy to market, they mattered to their customers, and they became valued and desired by consumers looking for an mp3 player.
How can you use a marketing strategy to create your own career brand?