How to Brand Myself as a Rising Star in My Professional Area

Are you passionate about your work? Do you want to showcase your strengths? Do you long to be recognized for the work you do by your peers, professional associations, and future employers? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then here are some quick tips to help you become a rising star!

Get noticed. You can raise your profile in a variety of ways, but you must be intentional about it. Getting noticed is what will differentiate you from others in your field.

Join professional associations. Groups or organizations that cater to individuals with interests similar to yours are essential if you want to stay relevant, enhance your knowledge, and keep abreast of the trends and issues shaping the future of your profession. Here are a few ways to make the most of your membership in professional associations:

  • Volunteer: By volunteering your time and actively engaging in professional associations, you strengthen your networking skills, build your human and social capital, and create opportunities for people to get to know you.
  • Present your work: Submitting conference session proposals can seem daunting. Don’t be intimidated by the process. Presenting and sharing your knowledge with peers is your chance to truly shine. Practice, practice, practice. Be confident and be sure to wow your audience.
  • Hold leadership positions: This will not only help build your leadership portfolio, but also provide you with opportunities to showcase your talents to your peers and future employers.

Publish. If you really want to enhance your presence, credibility, and elevate your brand in your professional area, consider publishing. These are some good places to start:

  • Non-Peer-Reviewed Journals: These journals do not typically require a high level of scrutiny; however, they usually do require that you be an expert in your field.
  • Peer-Reviewed Journals: These journals are typically for the more advanced researchers and professionals, and are very competitive; however, if you are a novice or have little experience, consider co-authoring with a more seasoned professional or mentor.

Capitalize on social media. The power of social media is extraordinary. Showcasing your knowledge and expertise through various social media platforms (blog posts, videos, LinkedIn, etc.) will provide numerous opportunities to quickly brand yourself; however, social media is meant to be fed regularly with fresh content. So use it often and stay relevant by keeping on top of all the new trends.

Become a resident expert. Be that person who knows and understands his or her area of expertise better than anyone. Make significant contributions to your field. Ensure that you have opportunities to share your work with your supervisor and the campus community. Ask yourself, How does my work intersect with the work of faculty, other departments, the administration, or the greater campus community? This is also a great way to gain buy in and support for your work.

Fundamentally, when you do good work, you should get noticed—and opportunities to become a rising star should abound. But if they don’t, follow the tips you’ve been given and you’re sure to shine.




Quincy Martin

Search Associate - Spelman Johnson

Quincy Martin earned his B.M. and his M.Ed. in Counseling and Development from Lamar University, and his Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Spanning nearly 20 years, Dr. Martin has served in various capacities in higher education administration at both the community college and university levels leading multiple units, programs, and functions in student affairs. Prior to joining Spelman Johnson, he served as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at Triton College. Dr. Martin has been an active contributor, national award winner, presenter, and leader with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) serving on the Board of Directors, reviewer for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, faculty member for the Mid-Level Administrators Conference, and recipient of the Outstanding Community College Professional Award. Dr. Martin is currently a faculty member at Governors State University.