In the lazy days of summer, you may have time to reflect on the year so far, and to think about what you want to achieve in the fall. It is ingrained in most of you to think of September as the time to roll up your sleeves and settle back into the daily routine.
As you consider your impending workload (perhaps on a dock somewhere, with your drink of choice in hand), are you strengthening your ABs at the same time? Thankfully, I am not speaking about your abdominals (no need to put down that drink), but rather your Added Benefits. Think of the current role you play within your organization and ask yourself:
What sets me apart from the crowd?
You can also think about this as your professional brand. What do you bring to the table that others do not? How do you want to be known?
If you do not demonstrate what sets you apart, and what contributions you can make based on your experiences, skills and interests, the powers that be will not know what to do with you.
This is not about being a good lawyer, accountant, or senior manager. That is a given. It’s about providing your organization with an “extra something” that others do not. It’s not enough to be good. You must take it two steps further and develop yourself into somebody that others need and upon which the organization relies.
Your name should be synonymous with your Added Benefits. This will help you and your superiors make the business case for your advancement. To strengthen your ABs, here are 3 steps you can take:
- Determine your key business values, strengths, and interests. This is the starting point for positioning yourself. Write it down and be specific.
- Ensure that your values, strengths and interests are aligned with an organizational need. Are you filling a hole? Are you becoming the latest expert in a valued area?
- Go the extra mile. Write articles, speak at conferences, volunteer on committees. Set quarterly goals for yourself to ensure that you are taking the right steps to build your brand.
When you execute your strategy to stand out from the crowd, you create your own insurance policy – after all, the goal is for your organization to depend on what you have to offer. You need them to need you, and that’s the bottom line.
If you want help with your ABs, and support to develop a plan, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you enjoyed my thoughts in this email, please pass it along to other lawyers and corporate professionals who could use help navigating their careers.
I coach lawyers and leaders through transition and turbulence to:
- Show up 100% at the office and at home;
- Reduce daily exhaustion and stress;
- Build in structure and accountability for career plans and business development; and
- Make confident decisions and navigate relationships to achieve their professional and personal goals.