Empowerment is the ability to make decisions and take action at work. You want to work for companies and people who are comfortable empowering their employees. The more you are given the ability to make decisions and take action, the more you will actually learn about making good decisions and taking effective action. Empowered jobs are good for your personal brand because they give you the opportunity to learn, grow, and enhance your value.
If you are not an experienced employee, don’t expect to be empowered. It is an unreasonable expectation to be given the authority to make decisions and take action when you are just learning the job. But if you are an experienced, motivated, and trustworthy employee in a job where you are not empowered, then you need to be making plans to move on as soon as possible.
Your blog can help with that effort. Without naming the company you worked for at the time, blog about the times you have made decisions and taken action. Discuss why you did it, how you decided what to do, and the results of your action. Don’t be afraid to discuss difficulties and failures. Anyone that is truly empowered will tell you that ambiguity and occasional mistakes come with the territory. If you claim to have never failed, a savvy reader will know that you are not being fully honest. Instead of covering up failures, discuss how you recovered and learned.
If you’ve never had an empowered job, take a hypothetical situation and discuss how you would handle it if you were the employee or manager in that situation. For example, if you experienced poor service as a customer somewhere, talk about how you would have done things differently if you were the employee or manager. Be professional and empathetic in your criticism, but demonstrate your depth of knowledge and innovative thinking with the solutions you propose in your blog post.
Brand yourself as someone that seeks and merits empowerment.
Bret Simmons is an Assistant Professor of Management in the College of Business at the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), where he teaches courses in organizational behavior, leadership, and personal branding to both undergraduate and MBA students. He has a Ph.D. in Business Administration from Oklahoma State University. Bret practices personal branding at his website Positive Organizational Behavior where he blogs about leadership, followership, and personal branding. His purpose is “to change your mind about the value of partnering with others to build healthy, responsible organizations where everyone can thrive.” You can also find Bret on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin.