Those familiar with my column will know I always talk about your "personal brand", and how important it is in the development of your long-term career. Most people however, don't know what their personal brand stands for and are therefore unable to articulate this in a meaningful way.

Two good questions to start with are "what are you passionate about?" and "where do you want to take your career long-term?" Knowing the long-term space you want to be involved in and known for will help you to find your career "voice".

Being the "voice" of your department/company/industry

Being seen and recognised as an authority in your field provides a high level of trust and opens up career opportunities you may not have thought possible months earlier.

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When you speak to any audience, you become an "authority" by default. A client of mine was new to their team, working with more experienced and qualified colleagues. An opportunity came to present to their own organisation at an internal management meeting, and of course, no one was keen. As the newest person, my client felt somewhat pressured to present on behalf of the others, but was very well received when they spoke at the meeting. This then led to an opportunity to present on behalf of their business at a national conference. Over time, and with training, this opened up a whole new career.

A great place to develop your speaking skills are at a local Toastmasters group. Speaking on a variety of topics to complete strangers may not be your cup of tea but the rewards more than outweigh the challenges over the long term. If you love speaking in your field, you may then want to move on to the National Speakers Association, crafting a full-time career presenting your passion all around the world.

Writing articles

Another client started writing for the internal magazine of the local council where she worked. Focusing on environmental issues, she promoted practical ways to improve local water quality and be a good steward of the environment.

After a number of insightful stories, these were picked up by a local newspaper who offered her a monthly column. This then led to regular spot on a regional radio station, promoting environmental initiatives across the area.

Other clients of mine have great success writing posts on LinkedIn, giving other like-minded professionals insight into their thinking, and ensuring their personal brand is "top of mind" when companies are acquiring high-end talent.

Strong personal brand

Imagine an employer searching your name on Google, and finding loads of articles and videos, all demonstrating that you are a passionate specialist in your field. How would this impact your personal brand and "employability"? Think again about where you want to go in your career over the long-term, and what you want to be known for, then get started creating your content today.

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Contact Tom O'Neil and the team at CV.CO.NZ for a free CV assessment or to be your personal career coach. Visit CV.CO.NZ (0800) 282 669 or CareerCoach.nz to find out more.