Personal branding has become a popular concept. I suppose Google has something to do with that. If you want to learn something about someone, just “google” them.
I did that several years ago and didn’t like what I saw—not because I was embarrassed by what I found. Rather, the information that was presented had no context. Press releases bearing my name from decades earlier were listed before more recent activities. And a quick scan of page one (it helps to have a uniquely spelled name) showed a variety of business and ministry pursuits that were seemingly unconnected.
That incoherence was one of the primary reasons for creating my website and blog. I didn’t want to default to Google’s search algorithms and leave others to form erroneous impressions about me based on dated information.
I was also in a reinvention period as well; redefining and reframing my personal mission statement. Creating a personal website became the most intense and rewarding exercise I went through to gain clarity on my calling.
But you don’t have to put up a website to brand yourself. Or rebrand yourself.
Dorie Clark has written a helpful book to take you through the process of redefining yourself. Reinventing You (Harvard Business Review, 2013) is a practical, step-by-step approach for those who are not where they want to be professionally.
Clark’s advice is widespread. She covers:
- how to know when you should reinvent yourself professionally
- how to get feedback from others
- how to research options
- how to develop the skills you’ll need
- how to describe your new personal brand; and
- how to reintroduce yourself to the world
In fact, she covers so much ground so quickly that you may find it lacking depth in the area where you have a particular interest.
But if you think your dream transition is like a fantasy, you’ll be encouraged by the examples of dramatic career changes Clark peppers throughout the book.
Reinventing You is easy to read. You won’t find any research studies or academic language. Instead, each chapter features “Try This” call-outs with exercises to stimulate your thinking and a concise summary of the key points for easy future reference.
Think of this book as a roadmap for your personal rebranding process and you won’t be disappointed. If you are contemplating a career change or in the early stages of a transition, it’s my recommend read.
Have you reinvented yourself? What resources did you find helpful?
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