If you missed our breakdown of the Magic Yardstick and how it shapes your career strategy, be sure to check out this post. After you’re all caught up, read on to learn how to use the Magic Yardstick to define your personal branding and chart a successful career path.
With all the changes happening in today’s job market, many internal roles are shifting (your job now may look different than it did two years ago) and many professionals are pivoting to new industries and job functions.
What we’re finding as we work with professionals navigating the Great Resignation and the historic job market of 2022 is that a clear understanding of personal brand is key to success.
Professionals who understand their value proposition, key differentiators, and business value are the most successful in attracting new jobs, adapting to organizational change, and keeping their careers moving forward.
Identify Your Highest Point of Contribution
The sweet spot for your personal brand is the convergence between three factors:
- What the market will pay for.
- What you’re really good at.
- What you’re passionate about and energized by.
A successful career path overlaps all three circles – your talent, passion, and need.
Maybe you have a passion for playing the violin, but your talent level just isn’t there. That’s not your career path.
Maybe you love binging vintage Law & Order, and you’re really good at predicting who-did-it. But no one’s hiring professional TV mystery experts. That’s not your career path.
Maybe you’re good at balancing the books, and the job market definitely has a need for it. But you find it draining and stultifying. That’s not your career path.
Maybe you’re a whiz at keeping teams all moving in the same direction and you’re energized by working with people. And you’ve learned that tech companies have a real need for implementation project managers. A-ha! There’s your career path.
A word of caution: Don’t settle for jobs that land in the circles for talent and market but not passion. Choosing a career path that’s boring, draining, or unfulfilling is signing up for a long slog of a career! Research shows that professionals in jobs that sync with their talents and interests naturally find greater success.
Develop your Personal Brand
Your personal brand is a clear statement of your strengths and how they apply to your career path. It’s what differentiates you from other professionals with a similar background.
START WITH: I’m a CPA.
To turn this into your personal brand, remember the Magic Yardstick. How does what you do create value for your employer (or a prospective employer)?
Brainstorm what sets you apart, what you bring to the table, and what value you deliver:
- What am I good at?
- What do I love to do?
- What parts of my job bring me the most fulfillment?
- What tasks/projects energize me?
- What sets me apart from colleagues?
- What do my colleagues see as my strong suits?
- What do I do that other don’t (or can’t)?
- When am I the happiest at work?
This might lead to something like this–
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND: I’m a CPA who knows how to crunch numbers AND translate them into business action.
Here’s another example. Maybe your soft skills are your most important professional asset.
START WITH: I’m a people person.
Use the Magic Yardstick to determine how those skills connect to business outcomes. Brainstorm how you utilize your people skills at work, and maybe you’ll come up with something like this–
YOUR PERSONAL BRAND: I leverage innate people skills to solve my clients’ problems and grow my company’s revenue.
The book, Aesthetic Intelligence, is a great read that talks all about personal branding and how to infuse your own personality in ways that tell a story and set you apart.
Want more help in clarifying your personal branding and charting your career path? Check out our packages that combine career coaching with resume writing.