I am a young professional in my early 30’s and was promoted earlier this year to my first leadership role as a Director in my company. My new job has required me to be all in as this is a turn-around situation. I really believe I have a great long-term opportunity here but am concerned in that my industry has experienced some challenges in the current economic climate.
My question here is that while I am putting in the extra hours to be successful in this role, I am worried that my inward focus on my career (which is needed at this time), will exclude me from being visible in the marketplace and potentially miss out on future opportunities outside of my organization.
Do you have any suggestions on how I can continue to build my external brand while at the same time allow me to be successful in my current role?
First of all – congratulations on your new role and it is refreshing to see your acceptance of the hard work that is required in order to be successful as a new leader.
Your question is a good one. How can I stay engaged and visible for external opportunities while I put forth the effort in order to be successful in my new role?
Most folks simply don’t ask this question. Rather, I have seen many tenured leaders dive into a new role, working extra hours, pushing hard for success, and in doing so somewhat remove themselves from their professional networks and/or communities.
Naturally – I would encourage you to ensure that your LinkedIn profile is up to date with your new role and if you have never engaged some assistance to make it top notch I would do so. Building a strong profile on a network of this type is a great passive investment. That is – once it is done, it can do the work for you. LinkedIn has its issues (a discussion for another time) – but every professional should have an up-to-date profile on that platform.
Additionally, and while it may seem impossible given the daunt of responsibilities that you have currently inherited, you must carve out some time on a weekly basis to foster professional relationships and further your personal brand. Whether that is 1 – 2 hours per week or 10 – 15 minutes per day this is very important in order to connect, collaborate, and contribute within your industry and peer groups.
Making time for this is oh so important. Whether you pull this time from social media, doomscrolling, or some other non-important activity – I would at least find a consistent level of time for branding.
Best ways to brand that actually will help you in your current role could be joining a community group, speaking on an industry panel, or best of all writing, for an industry publication – all will continue to get your name out there. And when you commit to continuing to promote your brand, the opportunities they will come. I’d even go far as to say that if you expect to be at your current organization for the next 50 years, what you learn in this type of exercise will make you a better leader in your current role as well.
Hope that helps!
TNCR Community – what advice would you add to this thread? Do you have a perspective that you can share? Have a career question for Mike? Email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org