The inestimable Mr Peters wrote about “Me Inc” way back in 1997. Prescient as ever that Mr Peters; a clever, clever chappie. Distinct or Extinct! Harumph!
As long as the sands keep shifting – and they are going to – you simply must take ownership of yourself as a recognisable brand within your workplace. What’s your alternative? Don’t do it? Risk being perceived as some kind of commodity? In a world where we are all, by definition, mostly average at most of what we do, I contend that that is a high risk strategy. Some thoughts from a discussion on Q102:

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People avoid this kind of thinking in much the same way as the majority of people job-hunt rather than career-hunt. That kind of short-termism will keep meat in the cold part of the cave … for a while. The more evolved caveman however, is stealing a march on those who live from hunt to hunt. If Tribe A is the happy-go-lucky, carefree tribe whose hunters only sharpen their spears when supplies of meat in the cold part of the cave start to run low and Tribe B is the more down-to-earth tribe, whose hunters have mostly turned to farming, fencing in pastures and domesticating their meat supply; I know which tribe is more like to survive a harsh winter.

Back when hostile takeovers involved clubs, flint axes and skulls, Tribe A would never go hungry. Nowadays however, society frowns upon such measures, so you simply have to invest some time and energy in your personal brand. When people say “Seth Godin” or “Guy Kawasaki” or “Garr Reynolds” the people those guys talk to have an instantaneous reaction, based on their perceptions of the brands those guys have become.

So you’re a low level Analyst. You don’t want to be a household name. You don’t want to be a web superstar. Fortunately, you don’t need to be either of those things. But you do need to be known. Noticed. Noteworthy. Maybe you’re not quite the Purple Cow of your department, but you need to be thinking about how you are going to distinguish yourself from the Analyst herd. What would it take for you to pretty much automatically land the next promotion that arose in your department? How did the last few people get those opportunities? It’s probably not simple merit that’s making the difference, but surely it can’t all be ass-kissing? What steps could you start taking today that would be the first steps towards being a shoo-in for that opportunity?