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Showcasing is Not Showboating: The Power of Self-Assessment and Personal Branding

“You got to know yourself so you can at last be yourself.” D.H. Lawrence.


This statement may sound obvious and oversimplified and yet it is probably the most profound.  Our journey is to own our true essence and uncover who lies within us.  Oprah said it best; “The whole point in being alive is to evolve into the complete person you were intended to be.”


So how do you start to evolve into that complete person and how do you use that information to create a bridge to chart your own best career path? 


It begins with knowing ourselves and utilizing a GPS strategy. I remember the days when we used a map when traveling to any unknown destinations whether they were local or distant.  I used to keep an Atlas in my back seat and that was how I navigated finding my way, like most everyone else.  Today it is different; we just use our phones, plug in some information, and “bam” we have arrived. 


Although it sounds simple, in order to optimally get to our next destination, our GPS does require us to identify two points: where we are starting from and where we intend to go.  Otherwise, we will be meandering and heading in all kinds of directions. 


Your career journey is similar even if you are uncertain about your “North Star”, your next destination, or your best next move.  Dig in, take stock, and claim who you are, what makes you, you, and honor all of the parts of yourself to begin. 


In today's dynamic job market, we are all navigating a complex landscape.  You want to stand out so you can thrive in your career. One of the most effective strategies in creating the link to achieving professional success is through self-assessment and personal branding. As a seasoned career development coach, I have witnessed firsthand the transformative power of these practices in guiding clients toward fulfilling and rewarding career paths. In this blog post, I want to share the elements of self-assessment and personal branding.


Understanding Self-Assessment


Self-assessment is the cornerstone of career development. It involves introspection, evaluation, and reflection on your strengths, weaknesses, values, interests, and goals. It is about knowing yourself.  By gaining clarity on these aspects, you can make informed decisions about your career trajectory, identify areas for improvement, and leverage your unique qualities to your advantage. 


A comprehensive self-assessment encompasses various dimensions:


1.     Skills and Competencies: 

Start by evaluating your technical skills, soft skills, and transferable skills relevant to your desired career path. Identify areas where you excel and areas that require further development.


Technical skills refer to specific abilities related to your profession, such as programming languages, design software, or financial analysis.


Soft skills encompass interpersonal skills, communication abilities, leadership qualities, and problem-solving aptitude.


Transferable skills are those that transcend across various roles and industries, such as critical thinking, time management, and adaptability. Evaluate your proficiency in each skill area, acknowledging both strengths and areas for improvement.


Several assessment tools exist that you can take for a nominal charge.  Let us be clear, assessments do not define who you are rather they provide you with a language to articulate and speak to how you can best describe yourself.  Here are a few assessments and links to their sites:


 

2.     Values and Motivation:

Reflect on your core values, passions, and what drives you professionally. Understanding what truly matters to you will help you align your career choices with your values.  I appreciate Brene Brown’s value list.  Here, Brene guides you with a worksheet to identify how to live according to your values.


Your values shape your professional decisions and behaviors. Reflect on what matters most to you in your personal and work life. Is it innovation, integrity, collaboration, or social impact? Identify the intrinsic motivators that drive you forward, whether it is a sense of purpose, autonomy, recognition, or personal growth. Understanding your values and motivations will guide you in aligning your career choices with what truly resonates with you at a philosophical and fundamental level.


3.     Interests and Passions:

Explore your interests beyond the confines of your current job role. What subjects, activities, or hobbies ignite your curiosity and enthusiasm? Your passions can often provide clues to potential career paths or areas of specialization that you may not have considered. Whether it is being outdoors in nature, gardening, traveling, writing, volunteering, tinkering with technology, or advocating for a cause, integrating your passions into your career can lead to greater fulfillment and engagement.


4.     Personality Traits:

Consider your personality traits and how they influence your work style, communication, and collaboration with others. Understanding your personality can help you find environments where you can thrive.


Your personality influences how you interact with colleagues, approach tasks, and navigate challenges in the workplace. Assess your personality traits using frameworks such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), the Big Five personality traits, or the Enneagram. Are you introverted or extroverted? Detail-oriented or visionary? Analytical or empathetic? Recognizing your predominant personality traits enables you to leverage your strengths and adapt your communication and work style to collaborate effectively with others.


5.     Career Goals:

Set clear, achievable career goals that align with your aspirations.  Chunk them out and break them down into short-term and long-term objectives to create a roadmap for success.


Use the SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goal-setting process to align with your overarching career aspirations. Consider both short-term objectives, such as acquiring new skills or earning a promotion, and long-term visions, such as transitioning to a different industry or starting your own side gig business. Break down your goals into actionable steps and milestones, and regularly review and adjust them as you progress in your career journey.


If you are uncertain about your career direction and where to go please check out my blog entitled, The Magic of Mentoring and Coaching, and schedule a free discovery session with me to explore your next career move.    


Crafting Your Personal Brand

Personal branding is the process of managing and promoting your unique identity, expertise, and reputation in your professional field. It is about showcasing your strengths, values, and accomplishments in a way that resonates with your target audience, whether it is employers, clients, or peers. 


It is important to adopt the belief that promoting your personal brand is about showcasing your gifts not showboating.  My clients often struggle with self-promotion.  They often report that they do not want to sound arrogant or obnoxious. 


Showcasing your talents is just a way of letting the world know who you are and how you can serve others.  Repeat after me: Showcasing your talents is just a way of letting the world know who you are and how you can serve others.      


Personal branding goes beyond self-promotion; it is about authentically communicating your unique value proposition and building a reputation that resonates with your target audience. Let us delve deeper into the steps of crafting a compelling personal brand:


Here are key steps to craft a compelling personal brand:


1.     Define Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP):

What skills, experiences, or qualities make you unique? Your UVP should communicate the value you offer to employers or clients.


Your UVP encapsulates what sets you apart from others in your field and why stakeholders should choose you over alternatives. Reflect on your combination of skills, experiences, personality traits, and passions that uniquely position you to solve problems or fulfill needs in your industry. Articulate your UVP concisely and compellingly, emphasizing the tangible benefits you offer to employers, clients, or collaborators.


Your UVP is a collective of the discoveries you made from your self-assessments as noted above.  


2.     Create a Consistent Online Presence:

Curate your online presence across platforms like LinkedIn, personal websites, and social media profiles. Ensure that your online persona reflects your professional brand and reinforces your expertise and credibility.  Optimize your LinkedIn profile to display your professional journey, skills, accomplishments, and endorsements. Develop a personal website or portfolio to highlight your expertise, projects, testimonials, and contact information. Align your social media presence with your personal brand by sharing relevant content, engaging with industry peers, and participating in online communities.


3.     Share Your Expertise:

Position yourself as a subject matter expert by creating and disseminating valuable content related to your niche or industry. Write blog posts, articles, or whitepapers addressing common challenges, emerging trends, or best practices in your field. Deliver presentations at industry conferences, webinars, or networking events to showcase your knowledge and insights. Engage in online discussions, forums, or LinkedIn groups to exchange ideas, answer questions, and establish yourself as a trusted authority. By consistently sharing your expertise, you amplify your visibility and credibility within your professional community.


4.     Seek Feedback & Adapt:

Solicit feedback from mentors, peers, or clients to gain insights into how your personal brand is perceived and how it can be enhanced. Actively listen to constructive criticism and identify areas for improvement or refinement in your branding strategy. Stay attuned to changes in your industry landscape, market demands, or audience preferences, and adapt your personal brand accordingly to remain relevant and competitive.


5.     Being Yourself is Key:

Authenticity forms the bedrock of a compelling personal brand. Be genuine, transparent, and true to yourself in how you present your professional identity. Share your authentic stories, experiences, and perspectives to connect on a deeper level with your audience. Avoid embellishing or fabricating aspects of your personal brand, as authenticity fosters trust, credibility, and long-term relationships with stakeholders.

 

In conclusion, knowing yourself through self-assessments and personal branding is a transformative journey that empowers you to proactively shape your professional identities, differentiate yourself in the marketplace, and unlock new opportunities for career advancement and fulfillment. By understanding your strengths, values, and goals through self-assessment and effectively communicating your unique value proposition through personal branding, you can build a resilient foundation for sustained success and satisfaction in your career. As a career development coach, I encourage you to embrace self-discovery and branding as catalysts for realizing your full potential and crafting a meaningful and fulfilling professional trajectory.


Reach out to book a discovery call and start the journey to uncover your path.


“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. ”― Oprah Winfrey




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