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By Therese Lardner

Personal branding and reputation is such an essential part of effective career management, but something that is rarely discussed. Perhaps that’s because you can shape it, you can improve it, you can protect it and you can ruin it; but you can’t 100 per cent control it. Your brand is in the eye of the beholder but you most certainly have a hand in shaping what they see.

Here are my top tips for building a strong brand in mining and resources:

  • Develop your skills. Do your research and really understand what skills are in demand in your field. What are the new advancements? Are there new models, methodologies or processes that are in favour? Work to develop your knowledge and skill around these through on-the-job learning, formal courses or reading. Becoming stagnant is a sure-fire way to ensure your reputation does not keep pace with what industry needs.
  • Actively manage your career. This is a foreign concept to most people, but you may find that the most successful people that you know have always had their "ear to the ground", know what’s happening in their company and its competitors and see themselves as mobile. That is, should the worst happen and they find themselves involuntarily looking for work, they understand what roles they could target and are confident in their ability to network. Passive job seeking is a good way to keep your finger on the pulse. Set up alerts on popular job boards to see what types of jobs are available in your field and the skills that are required. If you notice a specific skill being consistently required, then you may need to invest in some development to make sure you’re up to date. For more on job boards and key mining websites, check out: How to find a mining job in Canada 
  • Don’t be afraid to apply for jobs that really interest you. As long as you submit a high quality application and ensure that your application is confidential, there will be no harm done by throwing your hat into the ring. Even if you are offered a role, you don’t need to accept but this is a great way to understand how marketable you are and keep in touch with what’s happening in your field.
  • Network and talk to people. This can go hand-in-hand with active career management, but networking is a way to ensure that you are front of mind for contacts and decision makers. This could be as simple as a coffee or beer with past co-workers or a manager, or keeping in touch on LinkedIn. Networking shouldn’t be something you only do when you’re looking for a new job, it should be something on "slow burn" in the background.
  • Build a reputation. What this means will be different for everyone, but at its very core it starts with doing good work and being open to talking to people about it. Not grandstanding, but talking about projects you’ve worked on and what results you got. If you don’t tell people, it’s almost as if it didn’t happen.
  • Beware your online brand. Firstly check you have an online brand! Have you Googled your name lately? Your online brand should be consistent with your "in person" reputation and includes things like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and websites. Be sure you are happy with your privacy settings and your online profile portrays the professional image you’re after. For more on this topic, check out: Apply the 'Mom' test to social media - or suffer the career consequences! 
  • Be a trusted advisor. Anyone can be a trusted source of information. A "go-to" person. You just need to have a reputation as a reliable and dependable resource for others. If you are a person that others turn to for information, advice and guidance, your brand will grow quite organically.

With a solid focus on your skills, what you have to offer and what’s happening externally in your field, you will be in a prime position to build a strong brand and reputation. The rest is in the eye of the beholder.

Therese Lardner is an Australian-based registered psychologist with extensive experience in all areas of the employment cycle from recruitment and selection to development, employee engagement and career transition. Click here to ask for her expert advice on landing your perfect mining and resources job, moving up the career ladder or dealing with job insecurity. 

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