Last week, I read Dorie Clark’s Reinventing You with great interest; it’s a relevant book for anyone interested in personal branding success.

Reinventing You, subtitled Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future, Reinventing You offers a step-by-step guide for evaluating your current brand, your career goals, and the branding success strategies that will help you achieve your goals.

Each chapter focuses on a different stage in reinventing yourself. Each chapter describes the tasks involved, with examples from Dorie’s previous clients which span all levels, from burned-out veterinarians to successful CEO’s. There are also specific tips associated with each stage.

Knowing when it’s time to reinvent yourself

One of my favorite sections was the list in Chapter 1 describing signs you should reinvent yourself professionally. Signs that it’s time to reinvent yourself, in Dorie’s words (with my introductions)  include:

  1. Rebirth. You’re at a new phase in life and you want to be known for something different.
  2. Rebound. You’ve been laid off and need to ensure you’re in the best position possible to land a new job quickly.
  3. Advancement. You want to move up in your company and you need to take control of your reputation.
  4. Misconceptions. You’ve been trying to win a promotion, but feel you’re being held back by misconceptions about what you’re capable of.
  5. New challenges. You’d like to move into a different area of your company, perhaps from legal to human resources, or from sales to finance.
  6. Youth. You’re just starting out in your career and haven’t build up a powerful resume yet, so you need to find another way to stand out.
  7. Career change. You’re changing careers and need to make a compelling case that your unusual background is an asset, not a liability.

The challenge of complacency

Although Dorie’s list covers just about every possible trigger to change, the biggest challenge is often complacency.

It’s too easy–especially in mid-summer–to be complacent about the security of your job.

There’s also the tendency to put off reinventing your personal brand when you’re young and you have a steady paycheck…and your friends are renting beach houses.

It’s too easy to think, “I’m young, there’s always tomorrow!” and put off the serious work of reinventing your personal brand for your future career success.

However, the fortunes of many have changed dramatically since 2008. Those who have proactively built or changed their personal brands are better off. In many cases, though, the lifestyles of those who trusted in the security of their status quo may have been seriously compromised.

For those who are ready for change, Reinventing You is a great guide to have along with you as you proceed through the various steps.

As a bonus, the Appendix contains a 7-page Professional Reinvention Self-Assessment that can help you decide when and how to get started reinventing your brand.

A note to those who want to write a book

Do you want to write a book to build your personal brand? Reinventing You is an excellent model of writing a nonfiction book to build your personal brand by helping your readers achieve the change they want to achieve. (See Write Your Book to Help Reader’s Change.)

It’s a slim, concisely-written book with short, focused chapters. Frequent subheads guide the way. Chapter 1 is also an excellent model of beginning a book with a strong statement of purpose and an equally-strong statement of what the book is not about!

Is it time for you to reinvent your personal brand? Are you taking daily steps now, or are you “waiting till the fall” or “the first of the year?” Share your comments or questions below, especially if you’ve already read Reinventing You.


Roger C. Parker offers advice, counsel, checklists, and worksheets to help you build your personal brand. Download his  99 Questions to Ask Before You Start to Write  workbook and ask him a writing question.