We hear it all the time: “The most important brand you will ever develop is the one you create for yourself.”
Last week was a series of bitter-sweet moments for me, as one of our Chief Officers said goodbye to itelligence after a 13-year tenure. Fostering meaningful relationships is a skill which cannot be easily learned nor taught, but that’s not to say it’s impossible. Prior to his departure, Mr. Chief Officer, left us post-grads with a valuable piece of advice: take ownership of your career because no one else will. In October, Forbes published an article entitled “6 Things That Could Be Hurting Your Personal Brand.” The number one self-branding mistake? “You haven’t clarified your purpose.” Both workforce veterans and young professionals alike often have difficulty articulating their M.O. (main objective). We’ve all been groomed from a very young age to be humble, to be respectful, to wait our turn in line; but if there’s anything I’ve learned from Mr. Chief Officer it’s that you don’t become Chief Officer in your mid-30s because you had a problem asserting yourself.
Networking is an integral part self-branding, thereby advancing your career and also contributing to overall “corporate brand” success. In this regard, networking is two-fold:
1. Specific steps consultants or industry professionals can make in order to self-promote and build a network within the SAP ecosystem.
- Write articles and respond to articles to build your credibility as an industry expert
- Ask questions and respond to questions on the SCN (SAP Community Network)
- Apply to speak at industry and SAP Events
2. Cross-industry networking strategies that any post-grad will find valuable.
- Create social media profiles that are purely a professional outlet (Twitter, Linked-In, etc.). Forbes comments on the “social-media sweet-spot”: A good mix of career accomplishments, personal interests, plus a dash of your personality without entering into the realm of TMI (too much information).
- Brush up on your public speaking skills by discussing your career with college students and high-school classrooms
- Be a “MOSTLY Yes Man.” Always be a volunteer or a champion for anyone who asks (with few, but necessary exceptions). Connect people with others in your network that could be of help too.
- Don’t hide behind your computer. Go to industry events and parties. Be a spokes-model for your own career.
- Always keep your business card handy (I’m guilty of not always abiding by this one… “I swear I have one somewhere in my purse!”)
Tanya Duncan, Senior FI/CO Consultant at Deloitte, and myself will be discussing this topic and more during our SAP Career Advancement Webinar. If you are interested in growing your career as an SAP professional, please join us on February 21st at 1:00pm EST. Highlights will include:
- Best practices for SAP skills development
- Dispel common SAP Career misconceptions
- SAP career path tips
Registration for the web-event is now open and you can reserve your spot here: http://www.erpcorp.com/sap-controlling-blog/entry/sap-career-advancement-webinar-top-skills-to-develop
See you in February (proverbially speaking), but talk to you soon!