Note: This article is based on an excerpt from Ditch. Dare. Do! 3D Personal Branding for Executive Success!
On a scale of 1 to 10, what's your current level of fulfillment with your career?
Are you satisfied with what you're doing? Do you have a plan for where you want to take your career? Are you building your own brand as you market your company's brand? What's the last major action you took to move your career forward?
Does answering those questions a challenge you or make you uncomfortable? When was the last time you took some time to sit back and ponder such questions?
Many career-minded marketing professionals we coach tell us they are too busy working in their career to work on it. They have more emails to answer, meetings to attend, and reports to write than they have time. And they feel their career is on autopilot.
If so, it's time to switch from autopilot to manual mode and deliberately manage your career. We're not suggesting you add to your already overflowing "do list." We're recommending that you rethink what you do and how you do it so you can build your brand—working on your career and in it and the same time.
In our new book, we posit that these three words need to become a part of your vocabulary—and your behavior—if you seek career success and personal fulfillment:
Ditch, Dare, Do.
Debunk long-held assumptions about career success, and challenge yourself with a "ditch" (eliminating a mindset that's no longer productive), a "dare" (pushing yourself to up your game), and a "do" (taking action on those things that will advance your career).
And when you take on those challenges, you'll grow professionally while delivering greater value to your marketing team and your company.
Here are a few of our favorite 3Ds for marketers:
1. Ditch the mindset that your manager holds the key to your success. She doesn't. Neither do the CMO and the CEO. You're in charge of your career. You decide which projects to pursue and how to put your stamp on them. You choose the areas in which you want to grow and evolve. You decide the next role you want to have and the path that will get you there.
Back in the Mad Men era, your company took control of your career for you. Not today. You must play the role of personal career coach every day so you can stay on track and reach your goals.
2. Dare to buck corporate convention and integrate your personal passions into how you do your work. That means having the courage to run meetings in your way—integrating your style into them.
We know a social media expert who's passionate about the creative side of marketing and starts each meeting showing a TV commercial to get the team's creative juices flowing. We know a health-conscious market researcher who holds her meetings outside and has stretching and deep breathing breaks every half hour. And we know another marketer who has all team meetings via video instead of the standard teleconferences to make her team feel more cohesive and family-like (her number one value is family).
3. Do keep a job journal. You do a lot of great work every day, but do you remember all that you accomplished at the end of the year, when it's time for that performance and bonus discussion? The way to ace that performance review is to come prepared; and to be prepared, you need an accurate account of all the great things you did throughout the year to promote and build the company brand. Keeping a job journal (updating it at least once a week) will remind you of the value you deliver and make it easy to remind your manager as well!
Act on your career TODAY—the day you read this article.
Just reading this article is a "do"—one step toward a stronger personal brand. Now, take another: Perhaps you will update your LinkedIn profile, or sign up for a webinar on how to use Twitter for marketing, or rethink the way you present reports to your manager.
You'll know the right action for you. Just carve out the time and make sure you accomplish it.