Why If "You Work In IT" Your Career May Be In Trouble

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We all recognize the power and value that comes from a strong brand.  Top brands spend significant time and resources ensuring that marketing, communications and indeed every interaction is consistent with respect to messaging and image – so much so that top brands are able to create and foster an emotional bond that builds invaluable mindshare in a world where brand loyalty is a tough sell.  In stark contrast, each and every one of us also has a professional brand that more often than not we don't think about.  As IT professionals, many of us also tend to consider our work and what we do far “too complicated” to explain – in particular to those who are non-technical. But that's a mistake. And in today's world, can not only be career limiting but if you find yourself in a position of having to find a new job, a very serious challenge to overcome.
So what IS your brand? That's the question that only you can answer, but I have decided to devote my next few posts to explore the topic of personal branding through an IT lens.  I've been thinking about and working on my branding for a while.  For me it started when I was having a chat with my Dad back when I first started consulting, and he told me that he really has no idea what it is that I do.  He said when people ask him what his son does, he would reply “He works with computers – and I know he's really good!”.  Doesn't say a lot does it? How many times have you been at a party, a social function, or a conference – and someone asks you that ever so important question: “What do you do?” How many of us say “I work in IT” or “I'm a programmer”.
There's lots of people out there who work in IT. Lots of people who program.  Is that a good brand for you? Is that how you want to be remembered?  Over the next few days we'll talk about how you can start changing your brand in small, but critical ways.  Learn about how important what you say (and even more important what you don't say) could mean to your brand.  Social Networking, old school networking, from your resume to your twitter stream and LinkedIn profile we'll look at what you can start doing right away to make sure your brand can distinguish you from the pack.
The theme: ME.Brand – this week on Making IT Work!   Next in the series: Step 1: Defining What Makes You Special

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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