Jennifer Baker

The long days of winter are over and it’s time for a personal spring renewal! If you completed the exercise last month you should now have some clarity about your strengths and a realistic perception of how others see you. The next steps in building a positive reputation are to consider these three key words:

● Clarify: this is critical and is the first step in managing your reputation. You must be clear and know your strengths - from your perspective and the perspective of others who know you well.

But what about your weaknesses? What if you don’t believe you have any strengths? I prefer to call these development gaps. If you’re not entirely sure of your strengths, ask for feedback from people whose opinion you respect. But it must be honest: no platitudes allowed!

● Capitalise: find opportunities that require and showcase your strengths. Put yourself forward for opportunities that leverage your strengths and build your visibility. And it’s exactly the same approach to developing any gaps. By taking action and working on areas we’re not so good at we can gain experience, knowledge and skills, turning weaknesses into strengths.

● Communicate: share your strengths effectively in person, on paper, and online. Incorporate them into your elevator pitch, CV and online profiles. But no bragging - no one likes a show-off with no substance! Keep it real and objective. Highlight your achievements and communicate with passion, showing what you enjoy.

These three steps are easy to remember and will ensure you have a good game plan to maximise your reputation as part of your day-to-day activities or with potential employers.

In today’s extremely competitive environment, don’t underestimate how increasingly important it is to create a career brand. It’s your reputation. It’s about bringing who you are to what you do and how you do it, about making your mark by being yourself - your best self, what you’re known for and how people experience you.

Delivering your brand clearly and consistently will create a memorable experience in the minds of those you interact with and can open doors to new opportunities. So, what would you like to be known for?

Next month we’ll take a look at how to keep it real with integrity.