Positioning your career

Some of you might have been exposed to the term POSITIONING. You might have heard of it on some marketing textbook or books, or during a marketing class back in school. It is a concept used for promoting a product, or building a brand.

I would like to apply this concept to your own personal career development as well.

Positioning is all about establishing a place in the mind of customers, audience, people or stakeholders (whichever make sense to you).

For example, when you think of sandwich, you think of Subway. When you think of hand phone, you think of iPhone. When you think of Volvo, you think of Safe.

The implications would mean that when people want to buy a sandwich, most of them will head to Subway. When people wish to get a handphone, they will probably get themselves an iPhone. When you want to get yourself a safe car, you will probably think of Volvo as one of your core brand choice in your purchase consideration.

Now, on the same token, imagine if you are a lawyer, and if people think of best lawyer for business case, they think of you. Imagine if you are a marketer, and when your colleagues think of most creative marketer, they think of you. Wouldn’t it be great as this will open up more doors for opportunities, promotions, and businesses for you if you have a STRONG SOLID POSITIONING for yourself.

This association or positioning did not happen by chance. This happen with a lot of strategy or some calls it impression/perception management.

What might happen to you if you decide to ignore this? You will still be given a positioning but it might not be something that you desire.

For example: when people think of the most lazy staff, they think of you. Did you position yourself as lazy? Most unlikely did you chose to have that ‘branding’ on your forehead. But how did this happened? Maybe you have not been managing your image / other people’s perception or impression about you properly. Your actions have given you the wrong image / perception / impression about you.

People are judgmental. But this is how our brain works. We normally remember something using association. Thus, when we see a person, we will try to remember that person through association. It would be a word that we used to describe that person we wish to remember.

Some might say, “ok, then we shall stay low profile and do nothing. So that negative association will not be tagged to our name”. This way, you will be invisible. In business, it means no one will think of patronizing your businesses as they do not even remember you or know you exist. At work, it means when they think of promoting or assigning very important task, they will not have you in mind. It also means, less work for you but soon, it would mean you are redundant too.

But the good news is that you can manage how you wish for others to remember you by. If you wish to be remembered for your talent, be sure to put in the necessary efforts and take the right actions that will create the impression that you are a talent or master of your craft.

For example: if you wish to be known as an ideas person, and by doing so, you have a better chance of impressing your boss and clients, and that will heightened your chances of getting a promotion with this recognition, be sure to be actively involved in barnstorming session (be sure to make above average contributions that is enough to form an impression among the crowd during such sessions), email colleagues links and articles about ideas and creativity, write your thoughts and share ideas openly to your colleagues and your bosses that you feel might help save them alt of time or make more money.

Manage your image or your image will manage you.

Think of what you wish to stand for and make sure you CONSISTENTLY work toward creating that impression, because it will take some time to form and embed that impression into people’s mind. Nike did not become a known sports brand without its time and effort invested into building that sports brand image.

Yes it will take some time and alot of efforts, but the rewards can be great.