Establishing Yourself as a Professional: Part 2

Building Your Credibility and Branding 

When establishing yourself as a professional, there are a lot of different factors that you need to keep in mind. So much so, that establishing yourself can be a seriously daunting task. There’s a lot of things to learn and remember to make sure you’re doing it properly. This also requires a lot of self-reflection which is something that many of us struggle with. 

At Achieve, this is why we believe in taking baby steps as a far more sure way to meet our goals. Finishing a task no matter how small will give you the momentum you need to tackle larger projects. Or, break a large project into small portions to make it more manageable and avoid becoming overwhelmed. Success happens with small consistent steps It ensures that we don’t forget anything, but also helps us to complete all of our tasks and goals as thoroughly as possible. 

Getting Started

Over the course of the next three blog posts we will be breaking down and highlighting some of the key points that you need to remember while working to establish yourself professionally. Obviously these is a lot that goes into a successful career, but at least by starting here, you will find yourself on the right track to meeting all of your goals.

Working in conjunction with Dawna L, who has over 30 years of experience in working as a manager, she has a lot of good advice for those who are looking to establish themselves. Over the next few articles, we will be going over things such as: 

  1. Soft and hard skills, and accepting feedback from others,
  2. Building your credibility and branding,
  3. Networking,

And overall just taking responsibility for your development and your career.  No one knows you better than you do, and no one can ensure that you reach your definition of success like you can. This is about taking the reigns on how you establish your own career and being in charge of your own success.

So, let’s break down the steps you need to take to establish yourself professionally. 

1. Build Your Credibility

Ensure you have the expertise you require for your job. This will build respect and credibility. If you are dealing with someone that doesn’t know your background or expertise, be prepared to explain your achievements. 

Explaining your achievements is basically a fancy way of saying you need to work on your elevator pitch. The elevator pitch is a quick summary of yourself. It’s named for the amount of time it should take to deliver it—the duration of a short elevator ride (roughly 30 to 60 seconds or 75 words). Elevator pitches are sometimes thought to be specific to an idea or a product, but you can also use them to sell yourself as a professional.

Also, make sure that you are constantly updating your resume. Your resume is an ever-evolving document, and every time you accomplish anything resume-worthy, add it! This will also help you remember all of your accomplishments which will make your elevator pitch a little easier. 

2. Have a Brand

Branding yourself and being able to describe your skills, expertise, and achievements quickly and confidently will help to establish yourself at work. By establishing your brand, you will learn to effectively communicate who you are and what you bring to the table. This will help you to feel more confident when you speak and influence those that make the decisions.

According to “Book Yourself Solid” by Michael Port, “A personal brand will serve as an important key to your success. A personal brand will help clearly and consistently define, express and communicate who you are, who you serve, and why you have chosen to dedicate your life and work to serving your target market.” (page 32). 

This is a snapshot of who you are! This is a hard thing to pin down and is probably the hardest part of establishing yourself professionally. This part will take time, so don’t try to push yourself to figure out your brand as quickly as possible. It can sometimes take years for people to be able to nail down what their brand is. 

3. Developing Your Image

Develop a professional image and communication skills in person and online. Try to present an image in person that shows you are a professional in your field. If you don’t look like a professional in your field, it will be difficult for others to see you that way. 

When online, be aware that everything you put on social media will be looked at by clients, customers and employers. Think twice before posting any information, as this can easily impact all of the work you have been doing to establish your credibility and professionalism.

Believe in yourself. Even when others may not.

“Your personal brand is a promise to your clients… a promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability.” 

Jason Hartman

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