I met Dorie Clark a few months ago at a literary conference called The Muse & the Marketplace, hosted by Grub Street in Boston. As I sat in on the session that she was leading, I was drawn in by her upbeat and powerful speaking voice and enthusiasm. Following her session, I went out to the mezzanine level where the booksellers had set up shop, but was bummed out when I found that Dorie’s book was sold out.
On one of my recent strolls through the Harvard COOP bookstore, I purchased and read her book Reinventing You. Now, I didn’t read this book because I recently added a new job to my resume (which I did): I read it because the points that Dorie makes within the book can be retrofitted and used to better your life, regardless of whether you are changing jobs, or looking for something new in your current career.
As the owner of a gallery, I spend a great deal of my time mentoring and guiding artists in their careers. Some ask me: How do grow as an artist and How can I connect to a broader audience. This book seeks to help people who are interested in defining their brand and those that are looking toward their future. It starts off with a simple first sentence: Are you where you want to be professionally?
Some of the chapters hint at certain things that I preach to artists. A few chapters that are pertinent are: Recognize Where You’re Starting, Who’s Your Mentor?, and Building Your Narrative.
Here are just a few of the lines of text that I underlined in the book that I didn’t want to forget:
“Everyone has a personal brand.”
“Just as your contacts are helping you, you want to try to add value to their lives.”
“Another valid reason (to head back to graduate school) is when you want to expand your skills and network.”
“It’s your demonstrated expertise––not your academic credentials––that counts in the business world.”
“There may not be one perfect person to be your mentor. Instead, you can focus on creating a broad-based “personal board of directors.”
“There are often underlying themes that guide us professionally.”
“Patience––and being honest with yourself about your real interests, personality, and brand––can pay inspiring dividends.”
“Your status is portable and transferable.”
“One of the most important ways you can maintain your positive brand momentum is to be consistent.”
“You can’t buy goodwill…you need to build it up over time.”
“Taking control of your reputation and making sure it reflects the real you is a critical starting point.”
I highlighted two quotes above that I feel are extremely important for everyone in their careers, regardless of who you are. Think about who is on your “personal board of directors” and who your validators are. They are the key!
Follow Dorie on Twitter @DorieClark