EP 1937 This is one of the classic mistakes people make with their careers–the decision to become “a well-kept secret.”

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Branding mistakes. That's the topic for today. And the biggest branding mistake I keep seeing time and time again, is the choice to become "the well-kept secret." You know, old reliable Joe.
You know, that would the 1950s version of that he worked in a factory. He was reliable. He came in every day. Everyone in the factory knew about Joe, and no one else did. The result is if Joe gets laid off, he doesn't carry any sort of advantage in the workplace, unless, by some accident, he applies for a job at a place where someone knows Joe.
Now, I must tell you, these are different times and there's a way that you can create branding or reputation for yourself outside of your workplace. Now, I know for myself when I worked in recruiting, most people in a recruiting firm operate under the brand of the company name, just like employees at any firm in any industry. So, if I say so and so from Goldman Sachs, they carry the Goldman name. So and so from Facebook . . . your reputation is linked with Facebook. If you work for a company no one's ever heard of, there's no brand association for you and, thus, you have a disadvantage of being a well-kept him him secret. You may be considered very good in your organization, but who else knows about it.
So, your goal, your intention throughout your career needs to be to promote yourself outside of the venue of your corporation. In doing so, think of creating brand awareness for you. Think of how you can promote yourself as a subject matter expert using articles, which you can write for LinkedIn and publish there and share with your connections and the public at large. Video on YouTube. Podcasts.
There are lots of different ways Twitter, you can create short snippets or link them to other articles that you've seen that makes sense for you. Share them on Twitter, share them on LinkedIn, share them on Facebook, so that, from time to time, you're engendering conversation, and people associate you with it.
These are different times, than Good Old Joe grew up in. There are ways that you can change the equation for yourself. Even though, up until this point, you've been "old reliable." You want to be considered a star. Star culture is really what we're in now, where the individual has the opportunity to stand out from the pack by being unique. You may not think of yourself that way but you,, in some ways, know more than someone else. You want to put yourself out there for that.
Sometimes it can be as simple as linking to someone else's content and having there be an association between you and that person. But it's easy to create awareness of yourself these days, through Facebook Live, through Instagram, Live through YouTube and a variety of different venues in order to promote yourself.
So be a little bit different in a good way, of course. Get yourself out in front of people, not just simply to promote yourself when you're a job hunter, but to promote yourself all the time so opportunities come to you, instead of you always having to chase down opportunity. So don't turn yourself into Good Old Joe or Josephine. Put yourself out there, and you are going to start having opportunities land in your lap.


JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter
JeffAltman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a coach who worked as a recruiter for what seems like one hundred years. His work involves career coaching, all as well as executive job search coaching, job coaching, and interview coaching. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1900 episodes, and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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