Carrington West proudly sponsored the CIHT’s emerging professional conference (EPC) in April. The event took place at Aston University and saw over 250 delegates attend a day of talks, seminars and networking. Director Simon Gardiner, and Senior Consultant, Natasha Jones presented two breakout sessions on “How to be indispensable at work.”
In the final of our blog series summarising Simon and Natasha’s session, we look at how to become indispensable in your industry. Or put another way, how to build your personal brand.
What does it mean to be indispensable externally?
Truly indispensable people actually augment the way in which external customers and stakeholders interact with your organisation. They build and then use a second platform to promote the services of the company. This second platform can also be dual purposed and used (if needed) later when the time comes (if ever) to consider your options. It sits there, doing work for you, digitally when you are working on other projects, on holiday or even asleep.
This second platform is a personal brand. Your personal brand sits on top of your organisation’s brand. To have a personal brand within your industry, you need to be seen as a thought leader within your niche.
Remember our first blog; people do business with people, they either know, like or trust. Ideally all three. People also employ people they like, know or trust. As an aside and something to consider, trust is probably the least tangible of the three attributes and is built on vulnerability, integrity and authenticity. This is something we could dedicate a book to let alone a blog, but coming back to your personal brand, to be known, liked and trusted you need to be a thought leader and expert in your field.
How to showcase your personal brand.
Personal branding is not about being an expert and thought leader, it is about then applying your expertise and being seen applying your expertise! If you really want to apply yourself to being an expert you need to schedule 15 to 30 mins a day to keep up to date with industry trends, news and changes in legislation or technology. This can be from any suitable source, but use the tools available to help such as Google alerts, TED talks, signing up to newsletters and subscribing to journals. It doesn’t sound like much, but 30 minutes every working day works out at 3 working weeks a year – that’s a great opportunity to acquire in depth knowledge on your specialist area.
Once you have the knowledge, showcase it. Thought leaders spend a lot of time sharing other people’s thoughts and having an opinion on those thoughts! What is important is having a voice and using it. Match your platform to your audience whether it is social media, podcasts, publications or events. Some platforms will deliver a quicker return on investment than others, but building credibility and trust takes time.
We hope you have found this series of blog posts interesting. Building your reputation and brand is a great way to stand out from the crowd. There is no short cut, hard work always prevails. Most of the time you will have to put yourself out of your comfort zone. You will find you develop many skills along your journey, and these will all provide a springboard for your future career progression.