Building your professional brand as told by a new-ish Law Librarian
Whether you are new to the profession or have been in the profession for 10+ years ‘getting your name out there’ not only helps to build your profile but also helps to make you a better more informed professional.
To assist you in building your professional profile this article provides an overview of what getting your name out there actually involves, why you should do it and how.
What is getting your name out there? Here’s a hint its not just about your name. Getting your name out there is about something bigger – it’s about building your professional brand. Promoting yourself as an individual within your profession, promoting your skills and expertise, knowledge and enthusiasm.
Also known as your personal brand, your professional brand isn’t an essay or a memoir. It’s the core things that best define you as a professional. Think of it as the 140 characters or top 5 things that best describe you.
When it comes to your professional brand there are two why’s you should be aware of. Firstly, the benefits and advantages of building your professional brand and secondly, an awareness of what motivates you as a professional.
Getting your name out there has a number of advantages some are obvious whilst others are not so obvious. First and most obviously, getting your name out there helps you to profile your skills and experience outside of the traditional resume. But getting your name out there isn’t just about finding your dream job. Building your professional brand also helps you to make connections with others and to stay up to date with what’s going on in the industry.
It also helps to have an awareness of what motivates you as a professional. Building your professional brand is not only easier but it is often more powerful when you have an awareness of why you are doing what you are doing.
Whether it’s online or face-to-face there are different ways of building your professional brand. Each method has unique characteristics, however there are some common ‘Rules’ that you should be aware of when it comes to building your professional brand:
- Be yourself, everyone else is taken
Whilst we all have a professional self let your personality show through.
- You’re never to old to learn and never too young to teach
It’s never too late to start learn from others in the industry and it’s never too early to start teaching others.
- Behave yourself –Promote a constructive, supportive and encouraging industry in everything you do.
- It won’t happen overnight – After 2 and a half years I will be the first to tell you that building your professional brand isn’t something that happens overnight however the journey is well worth it.
A bit about me – Alex Cato
I’m a Senior Research Librarian at Ashurst (a law firm). I’ve had a library-ish title for the past 3 years and before that was working as an Information Consultant in a tax, auditing and accounting firm. I’m President of the New South Wales division of the Australian Law Librarians Association (ALLA), Vice President of ALLA Ltd (the national division of the Association) and write a monthly technology column for the Informed Librarian Online. I’m also a mentor for the QUT Legal Research course 2015.