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Business News/ Mint-lounge / Build a brand and showcase your skills

Build a brand and showcase your skills

Build a brand and showcase your skills

Stay focused: Be clear about your goals and work towards them.Premium

Stay focused: Be clear about your goals and work towards them.

I have a technical job at my company but would eventually like to become a manager. I know I need to prove myself as a good engineer in order to win a promotion—but if I’m only viewed as a technician, the company may be reluctant to elevate me to a managerial role that is based on interpersonal and leadership skills. How can I balance the need to brand myself for my current position, while still preparing to move up in the future?

Most people—including your employer—don’t spend a lot of time thinking about your career trajectory. They’re focused on whether or not you’re succeeding at your current job. It’s up to you to ensure they’re seeing beyond the easy caricature (good engineer equals bad people skills) and recognize your unique professional strengths. Here are three strategies to help your company understand your real potential.

Cultivate the right brand

It’s true that to advance at your company you’ll need to be a good engineer. But that doesn’t mean you need to overemphasize your technical side. Instead, think about your strengths that apply both in your current job and as a manager—a great work ethic, keen problem-solving abilities, or skills as a mediator between departments. Those are the areas you’ll want to emphasize.

Showcase your skills

Most of your workday will be consumed with the technical projects you’re being paid for. But that doesn’t mean you can’t cultivate—and showcase—new skills on your own time. You can volunteer for workplace committees that allow you to make new contacts and demonstrate your expertise, or sign up for classes in salient topics like leadership or strategy. You may even want to link up with a trusted colleague and become each other’s “booster", committing to sing each other’s praises in conversation with co-workers.

State your intentions

Stay focused: Be clear about your goals and work towards them.

Most people aren’t focused on drawing out your leadership abilities. You have to take control of your future by doing great work at your current job, learning new skills and demonstrating them to your employer, and then being clear about your goals.

With that kind of focus and determination, you’re well on your way to a promotion.

Have a question about your personal brand at the workplace? Dorie Clark, CEO of Clark Strategic Communications, Somerville, Massachusetts, US, and author of the forthcoming What’s Next?: The Art of Reinventing Your Personal Brand (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), answers questions once a month.

Write to Dorie with your questions at

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Published: 02 Sep 2012, 11:54 PM IST
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