Purpose: The Brand YOU Reflection Paper & Professional Identity Plan assignment provides students with an opportunity to reflect on revelations they experienced from this course about how organizational identity and identification practices affect their own ability to construct and maintain a coherent, marketable personal identity.
The assignment includes two parts. First, students will draft a reflection paper in which they reflect on things such as the changing notion of “career,” their preferred social contract with their employers, and strategies to maintain a coherent identity as a worker in today’s economy. Second, students will create a professional identity plan that outlines action points for staying current, achieving career goals, and developing a marketable personal brand.
Brand YOU Reflection Paper
In a 3-page paper, reflect on the following question:
What revelations (if any) have you experienced from this course about how organizational identity and identification practices (employee branding) affect YOUR ability to construct and maintain a coherent, marketable personal identity?
Some questions to consider as you formulate your response include: • How is your identity influenced by organizational identities and brands? • How do you feel about the ways you identify with your employer? (i.e., Do you feel you have a healthy level of organizational identification? Do you feel your employer encroaches onto your personal identity?) • How has the notion of “career” changed in the last 10 years, in your opinion? • Do you feel that your personal identity and professional identity must remain separate? • What is the social contract you seek with the dominant organizations in your life, particularly your employer? • What are your biggest identity challenges as a worker today? • What strategies do you or will you employ to maintain a self-satisfying, coherent identity as a worker in today’s economy? (This last question should segue into your Professional Identity Plan.)
NOTE: While you should identify how your revelations and perceptions are influenced by specific course learning, the intent of this paper is to be personal, informal, and non-academic.
Craft a well-organized, well-written reflection paper (and cite your sources), but feel free to write more casually then a traditional research paper.
Professional Identity Plan
In a concise, 1-2 page easily digestible executive summary, outline a plan for developing and maintaining your ideal professional identity (brand) as well as achieving your “career” goals. Use the following headings and respond to the guiding questions:
Interests & Passions
What are your personal and professional interests and passions and how and where do they intersect? Now, AFTER you identify this intersection, identify your ideal professional identity. That is, how can you align your career goals to that intersection point? In this way, your goals are not objective and chronological (e.g., 5-year plan), but rather personal and passion driven.
Strengths & Valuable Resources
What are your strengths and valuable resources and how can you leverage them to stay marketable in this economy and craft and communicate a coherent professional identity?
Skills & Experiences Needed
What skills and experiences do you still need to construct your ideal professional identity? What is your plan for obtaining them?
NOTE: In a modern, industrial era, we were conditioned to construct our professional development plan linearly and chronologically. Try to think different here. This is an identitybased plan, not an objective goal-based plan.
If you haven’t already, read the following article by Anya Kamenetz (2012): The four-year career. http://www.fastcompany.com/1802731/four-year-caree…
Take note of how some individuals today have developed “T-shaped” knowledge and skills and are working towards their career goals “concentrically.”
Draw on these ideas to create your plan for achieving your ideal professional identity. How can you gain both depth and breadth of knowledge and skills at the intersection of your personal and professional interests (T-shaped)? How can you obtain or create your “ideal job” by closing in on it concentrically? That is, what experiences and skills do you need to seek to work your way towards your goal?
For instance, if your professional identity goal is to be successful European travel writer, what different skills, experiences, and branding might you need to get there? How might you learn the different languages? How might you advance your writing skills? How might you gain more travel experience? How might you become known as a knowledge expert and key influencer in the field of European travel?
Professional Identity Communication Plan
How will you craft a strong, coherent, public identity or brand? That is, what messages, mediums, and platforms might you use to develop your identity and brand?
Note: Given the scope of this assignment, this response can be brief. Perhaps create a bulleted list of key messages, mediums (e.g., written, video), and platforms (e.g., Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook) you might use to communicate your desired professional identity.