Assessing Yourself Professionally

January 23, 2013

rocky kayak crop squareConsider assessing yourself professionally by assessing your “brand you”, a key component of self-rescue.

Pressures to downsize, right size, and resize have shredded many organizations. Global opportunities and challenges keep organizations churning even those managing to grow. Nearly three decades of whitewater have atomized organizations, redefined ‘loyalty’, and left employees grappling with this truth: they are on their own.

The “Brand Called You” phenomenon arose in the 1980’s and now thrives in physical space as well as cyberspace. It’s the contemporary version of professional reputation. First and foremost, it stems from what you do (especially your reliability), far more than where, for whom, or even under what title you did it. The opportunity and threat of “going it alone” down the river or, perhaps more accurately, going from temporary kayaking group to temporary kayaking group means that you are your own brand, your own certified promise of what you can do. The certification comes from your track record and from your fellow travelers, from the skills that you have acquired and the work that you have done. Others organizing a trip need to know what they can and cannot count on from you.

Second, “Brand You” depends on who knows and can validate what you can do. Make sure that the account of your skills and accomplishments is clear, shared, documented, and available, both within and outside your organizations. Use formal reviews, informal conversation, personnel files as well as professional groups and networks to ground and spread your ‘Brand you’. (For more on assessing yourself professionally, see Chapter 5 in Your Job Survival Guide.)