Career branding and the art of managing one's professional brand is an issue that I have been speaking and writing about for more than 10 years.  At first people thought it was just a novel idea with little application to their own lives. Now, as the impact of the "new normal" economy becomes a reality, healthcare professionals — from physicians and hospital executives to early careerists — are taking a second look.

Doing a good job is no longer a sufficient standard to ensure upward mobility or uninterrupted employment.  Brand management is rapidly becoming an essential career competency.

When I entered the healthcare industry in the mid-1970s, a graduate degree in healthcare management was a ticket to virtual guarantee of landing that hard-to-get first job. Now, as universities pump out increasing numbers of aspiring leaders at a time of economic and regulatory transformation, landing a good healthcare management job with upward mobility is anything but a guarantee. Lower rates of reimbursement and the gradual transformation of the healthcare services segment from sick to well care, will pose increased career management challenges for these new graduates as well as experienced executives. 

The importance of understanding personal brand management and developing a robust network of professional contacts will be essential competencies to ensure a successful career.  

© 2011 John Gregory Self

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