Being talked about can be good for your career


“Personal brand is what people say about you when you leave the room.” 

– Jeff Bezos, Founder of



Personal brand is commonly overlooked as a component of professional growth. Most mentoring conversations center on how to conduct oneself in the presence of others: how to work a room, how to initiate a mentoring relationship, how to structure a development discussion, etc.

Bezos’ quote addresses the cumulative impact of these small interactions on your colleagues’ impressions of you. Personal brand is the persistent impression that lingers when you exit a meeting or come up in conversation. Ideally, your personal brand is a consistent theme that permeates all you do, yet makes you distinctive from your peers.

What do you want to be known as – a thought leader, an innovator, a coalition builder, an institutional expert? How do you want to be spoken about when you’re not around?

Your everyday actions and online presence should speak to this aspirational future self. Participating in social and professional clubs and activities can help shape your brand. LinkedIn and other social networking sites are also useful tools for ensuring that you sparkle from afar.

About Erin Thomas

Erin L. Thomas, Gender Diversity Specialist, works to develop systematic approaches for the representation, development and advancement of researchers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics careers at Argonne while engaging both female and male staff. Dr. Thomas has a PhD in Social Psychology from Yale University, where she conducted research on race and gender perceptions in workplace, economic and social policy contexts. She also received bachelor’s degrees in Psychology and International Studies and a master’s of science from Yale.
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