Packaged for Promotion

Don't sell yourself short. Here's how to brand yourself on the job and get to the next level.

on, what her audiences need.

“At some level the goal of both the retailer and manufacturer-and for that matter, my company as well-is always the same. We all want to make money. My job then becomes simple: how do I best let each of them make money? Because the more money they make, the more money my company makes.” Her track record proves it. Her business is up 40% from a year ago. Neither the manufacturer nor the retailer make a move without her.

In today’s hypercompetitive times, a college degree, a trade or technical expertise alone are no guarantees of a successful career. You need more than talent and hard work to reach the top; you need to carve out a professional personality that marries your skills with the market’s need. You need to forge a brand. If you’ve convinced yourself you’re the best, we sincerely believe you’ll do just that.

Based on Brand Yourself: How to Create an Identity for a Brilliant Career by David Andrusia and Rick Haskins (Ballantine Books, $14). Copyright (c) 2000. Reprinted by permission from Ballantine Books.

Have You Established Your Brand?
Below are 15 questions to help you determine how brand-savvy you are about your career. The more honest your answers, the faster you can begin to build a solid identity. Circle the letter or word that best describes your situation.

1. The skills I bring to my job are:
a) Unique and unlike anyone else’s in my company or field.
b) Pretty much like the skills of everyone else who has my job.
c) Not really the skills needed for my job.

2. How often do you read trade papers or trade magazines to keep up with what is going on in your industry?
a) At least once a week
b) At least once a month
c) Once in a while
d) Never

3. When was the last time you attended a class to either brush up on your skills or learn new skills for your job?
a) Within the last six months
b) Six months or longer
c) Never

4. Do you know (circle one):
Your boss’s (or clients’) favorite color?
Yes or No

Your boss’s (or clients’) favorite restaurant?
Yes or No

Sports or other activities your boss (or clients) like?
Yes or No

5. Do you have a written plan of where you want to be in the next three years?
Yes or No

6. If you were fired tomorrow (or dropped by an important client), do you know your industry well enough to know where you would find your next job?
Yes or No

7. When was the last time you asked your boss (or client) what skills or abilities were necessary to succeed in your job?
a) Less than six months ago
b) Six months ago
c) Never

8. How important is your personality in successfully carrying out your job?
a) Very important. My personality fits perfectly with my job.
b) Somewhat important. But I could do my job just as well with a different personality.
c) Not important at all. I try to separate my personality from my job.

9. Do you know how valuable you are in the job market?
Yes or No

10.

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