How to become a rockstar in your field

How to become a rockstar in your field

Some people have a need to do more than their job description. Others don’t and that is ok. In case you DO have an ambition to raise above your role, become known for what you do and how you do it, so that you can be recognised as an authority in your field and make an IMPACT, keep reading - this article is for you! One warning: this is not a recipe for overnight success. It requires hard work, dedication and cutting down the noise. Are you up for a challenge?

Below are three milestones that will put you on the right path.

1. Clarity

Nothing happens, if you do not get clear on who you are and what you stand for. You will feel stuck, lost, and overwhelmed otherwise.

Get answers to key questions about your values, talents, and the impact you want to make

What makes you unique? What are you particularly good at? What do others often compliment you for? Sometimes it is difficult for us to spot our own talents and values as they are woven into our personality so tightly that we perceive those as normal and not a big deal. If you need additional input, take a talent assessment such as Strengths Finder. Go and interview others (at least 10 people from various areas of your life) and ask them what they think are your unique gifts.

Get clear in which field you want to get recognition. Is it the field you are currently working in? Write it all down in one place. This will be the basis for the next step: building your personal brand.

Build a solid personal brand

Establishing your authority beyond your job title requires building a solid personal brand. There are various ways to look at creating one’s brand but make it easy for yourself and get clear on:

  • Your personal brand values (what is important to you)
  • Your personal brand purpose (why you do what you do)
  • Your brand identity (what is authentic in the way you express yourself)
  • Your brand experience (what do you want others to think and feel when they interact with you and your work)

Set your winners' mindset

Often what stops great people from truly showing up is a “wrong” feeling of shyness. You might be thinking: “Who am I to be speaking on this topic? There are other experts who know more.” Recognise it for what it is: a self-sabotaging pattern of thought - typical for a mindset that will keep you small. Only you have the power to take a decision right here and right now and to change it.

Identify thoughts that belong to a winner. This doesn’t mean you need to become cocky or arrogant. Self-confidence is not equal to being selfish or self-centred.

2. Make a plan

Once you have those core ingredients, it is time to plan.

Set up your tools

If you want to become a “rockstar” in your field, you need an audience, and you need to know where to find it. The easiest place for a professional to build one is online, and LinkedIn is one of the best places to achieve that goal. Yet so many people underuse it, put a basic profile in place and reactively follow others. That’s such a waste. Build your profile based on your core talents, achievements, field and, obviously, your personal brand.

Identify and activate your network

As mentioned above, the recognition comes from outside (obviously you recognise yourself for all the great things that you do). Identify (key) people in your organisation and start building relationships with them. Building relationships is about trust and trust often comes with time. If you only reach out to a person because you desperately need something from them, it doesn’t create much trust. Keep in mind that relationships are a two-way street.

However, when it comes to building your presence, for a big part you should be focused on the external world. Identify people on LinkedIn and build long-lasting relationships. Connect, react, engage, and support them BEFORE asking for help. Put a system in place that will allow you to do it CONSISTENTLY.

3. Make some (a lot of) noise

Do the work! Day in and day out. Building a strong personal brand and therefore authority requires consistent effort. Stepping out of your comfort zone and making some noise online and offline is the way to go. Create your own content, write articles and share them (yes, even if you are employed), and build your own thought leadership based on what you believe are the newest developments in your industry and what your own predictions are. Dare to stand out!

You can choose to stay in a corner and just be an observer, but if you reflect on what you truly want to do from a place of your wiser elder self (in 20 to 30 years’ time), do you think they will tell you to sit tight and wait till others recognise you or will the voice tell you "go out there and claim what is yours without regrets"?

Dorota Klop-Sowinska


Dorota Klop-Sowinska

Official Member of Forbes Coaches Council. I specialize in international career and expat coaching. I am the author of the book Career Jump! How to Successfully Change Your Professional Path...

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