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What do I want to be known for?

by Randall Craig on September 23, 2008

Filed in: Blog, Branding, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Motivational, Planning

Tagged as: , ,

If you’re like most people, you’d much prefer to write your resume than your obituary. Resumes help you get that promotion or new job, while obituaries are relatively… final. Nevertheless, writing your own obituary is a great exercise: it helps you define how you will be remembered by your colleagues, friends, and family.

At work, would you be remembered because you were a great analyst, great relationship manager, or someone who always met their deadlines? Perhaps your technical knowledge, or the impact you’ve had on your industry? Or maybe, that you were a great mentor, or a great leader?

The answer to this question defines your Personal Brand. If obituaries make you uncomfortable, think of your personal brand as what others would say about you, if asked. The better defined your personal brand is, the easier it will be for others to work with you – or promote you – or hire you; they can better match your personal brand to their needs.

Defining your personal brand can be as easy as answering the question: “What do I want to be known for?” Once you know the answer, then it is simply a matter of deciding to do things that support this goal – and cease doing things that are contrary to it.

This week’s action item: How would you like to be remembered by your friends and family? The same concept of Personal Branding applies here as well. This week, spend some time considering the answer to this question, then choose one thing to begin doing that supports your brand. And stop doing one thing that hurts it.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)


What comes to mind when you think of Coca Cola? Likely, it has less to do with sugar, caffeine and cost, and more to do with friends, refreshment and satisfaction. Savvy marketers know that if they “connect” their brands emotionally and logically with their consumers, then they’ll get the sale.

This same concept is useful for managing your career. Each person has a personal “brand”, but often it is confused, diffused – or worse, unrecognized. Your personal brand isn’t skin deep – it needs to permeate – and be congruent.

If you’re not sure what your “current” personal brand is, ask a few of your friends and workmates how they would describe you to their friends – this will give you some clues. Then look at your performance appraisals to fill in a few more blanks.

Your personal brand is conveyed in three ways: What others see, What you do, and What you represent. It is What others see and What you do that defines What you Represent. Here are some examples:

What others see: your clothing, your speaking style, your “warm-ness”, your business cards, the formatting of your resume and cover letter.

What you do: your college/university grades, your work experience, your punctuality, your promise-keeping, your business knowledge, your community involvement.

What you represent: Your underlying personal attributes, such as honesty, strong work ethic, analytical and logical, creative thinker, sales dynamo, etc.

This week’s action item: Is your personal brand congruent and focused? Are you firing your cylinders all in the same direction? Most people know that at least one area that can be improved. Which one is yours? Once you know, work on making a lasting improvement. Companies look for people whose brand synchronizes with their own; these are the people who get hired – and then promoted.

Note: The Make It Happen Tipsheet is also available by email. Go to to register.

Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)