Slideshow Build your professional brand in 10 steps

  • December 02 2014, 11:11am EST
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1. Build an online brand

It’s no secret that social networking on platforms like LinkedIn and Facebook can improve your visibility. Schawbel recommends starting your own external blog or social network page if you don’t have avenues already in your company.

2. Become a subject matter expert

Finding a niche in today’s complex regulatory environment can increase your career value immensely. In fact, 65% of managers are looking for subject matter experts to become the go-to person on certain topics within their companies, according to an American Express study with Millennial Branding.

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3. Get results

“Hours are out, accomplishments are in,” explains Schawbel. He adds that “We live in an outcomes-based society.” Instead of focusing on presenteesim, more employers are relying on work product outcomes to measure an employee’s success. “The future of work is work itself,” he adds. In the future, more people will work from home or have flexible schedules and “it will be a free for all as long as people are accountable for their work.”

4. Promote mutualism

George Forman, the former boxer and successful grilling entrepreneur, believes that the secret of long-term success in business is not when one person benefits, but when they build a relationship where both benefit. In order to please a client or manager, Schawbel advises employees to build a reputation of mutualism that is transferable to new jobs and positions. Ask and think, ‘what can I do for you?’, suggests Schawbel.

5. Build a two-way street in mentoring

Mentor relationships work the same way in encouraging mutualism. Schawbel advises people to build relationships with other generations. More experienced workers can find value in reverse mentoring, where younger tech-savvy professionals can train them about new technologies and online opportunities to grow their business, such as through Instagram and Pinterest.

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6. Meet the people you were destined to meet

Targeted networking goes a long way in focusing on finding the right people who can further your career and advise you on future goals. Schawbel recommends employees spend time speaking to the right people at networking events and spending more time with them, rather than trying to ping everyone in the room briefly.

7. Build up your soft skills

Beyond the talent and skills required to do a task, managers also look for soft skills when promoting employees. Character qualities like optimism, putting others’ first and working well with others are often things managers look for in employees, but may not say so straight out.

8. Invest in your people

Human resource managers can help others, especially Millennials, progress in their career path by concretely telling them what they need to do to succeed and holding them accountable. Once they follow through, managers can offer flexibility in other areas.

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9. Turn a passion into a position

Employees can often make themselves invaluable by transferring a personal passion to a new position. Finding a way to do what they excel at for the company can become an exciting new career avenue.

10. Hold yourself accountable

If you focus every day to accomplish your goal, then you will, believes Schawbel, who advises workers to take charge of their career. “If you don’t feel challenged inside your work, then challenge yourself…People need to be accountable for their careers. Don’t rely on anyone for anything because opportunities won’t come to you, you need to fight for them.”