Brand Yourself to Avoid Being Laid Off

As someone who has spent several years building a  brand that offers me an advantage, I am quite aware of how easy it is to develop a brand these days.

Why is it important to build a brand? It can help you avoid being laid off and help you find a job more easily.

Here are some ways to create space in peoples’ minds that will give you an edge.

1. Become the resident expert in something or some skill. Being an expert causes people to regard you highly (It may also cause you to become “stuck” but that’s a topic for another day)

2. Become a resource for one and all. Becoming a connector for one and all makes you valuable to people. If losing you means losing contacts that are needed, it is less likely you will be fired.

3. Constantly build your network. Two years ago, more than a year before the. world economy collapsed, I wrote that the labor boom times were about to end and that you needed to have your network in place. For a job search, 22% of jobs are filled by recruiters and 6% by job boards. How do you think the rest are filled? Your network! Building your network leaves you well prepared.

4. Use the social networks to make your brand ubiquitous. LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Xing . . . even groups using Ning allow you to make people aware of your experience and knowledge. Becoming an expert is as easy as posting some messages from time to time.

5. Create content. Many years ago, when a friend was trying to advance his career, I encouraged him to write articles for trade magazines and become a speaker. He was an AVP with a bank at the time and within ten years was hired as a partner at a large professional services firm. Today, blogs, ezines and online groups make becoming an online celebrity and/or resident expert much easier.

Blog about how to best do certain things. Post in groups on LinkedIn. Just remember that if you blog something “humorous” that someone could interpret as being “stupid” or “risque,” it can come back to hurt you.

For example, the proprietary trader (or prop trader) whose online message that he had lost a lot of money and was looking for a system that would be better than what he traded by, was refused an interview that would have exposed him to their secret trading models because they found his message via Google.

6. Help people with endorsements. Too many people have developed a closed mindset where they refuse to help people with testimonials, particularly on sites like LinkedIn. People there who ask me for testimonials often don’t know me and I certainly can’t vouch for their work or performance.

I will write something supportive of those I can actually vouch for . Try to help your current and former colleagues, subordinates and friends, even if it means just writing about their character.

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