3 Step Personal Branding for Environmental Professionals

Picture a banker, a baker, a pet shop owner, and an engineer. You could create a particular avatar for each one. Now picture an environmental engineer. Did the picture change?

The reason for this is not stereotyping; it’s a reality that there are commonalities among the professions. Each of the persons in these professions got there because of a core set of values that they each have in common. These values then show outwardly.

The same is valid for environmental professionals. Environmental professionals’ values include things like a love of the outdoors, caring for animals, or caring about animal use as it pertains to sustainability, meeting new people, exploring, etc.  

There is more to your brand than just your general appearance. It is also your character, how you represent yourself, how you treat others, which all make up your reputation. This is the part that you want to be sure to take part in developing for these three reasons:


Self-awareness is a role-model leadership quality. Being self-aware means that you see yourself for all your strengths and weaknesses, and you don’t just accept them; you learn to leverage strengths and overcome, compensate, or eliminate deficiencies.

  • You can align your brand with your career goals. A colleague of mine always says to dress for the job you want, not the job you have. Of course, if you're headed out into the field for a day of wetland shlepping, you better not show up in shirt and tie. Use common sense and good judgment.
  • Your brand is an excellent opportunity to set yourself apart. Sadly, it has become a norm for people to ignore emails, cancel meetings, show up late. If you can make reliable and responsible parts of your brand, you’re already ahead of the rest.


There are just a few simple steps to ensuring that you’re coming across with a great personal brand. Remember, you’ve got a brand, like it or not, and if you don’t monitor and control it, it may not be hindering you from meeting your goals. For instance, if you’re chronically late or helplessly unorganized, you may not get the recommendation you need from a colleague who knows these things about you for a job that you want. Or you may get the job, only to be let go before the probationary period ends. 

  1. How do you want to be seen?

    Get a clear picture of what your brand is now. Thinking of it as your character and reputation may help.

  2. How do you want to behave?

Get clear on what your values are and even more apparent on the top few that are non-negotiable for you and compromise them if and only if you’ve thought out the consequences. Compromising core values is how you lose integrity.

  1. How do you want to be perceived?

Get clear on how others see you. If there is a discrepancy between how you want to be seen and how you are seen, that is an indicator of an area that needs attention.

The last thing to remember is that your brand is part of your journey. It will always be with you, and it will shift and change, but you want to be in charge of it. How will you know when you’ve done it, right? When people say those words to you that you write in step 1. Things like, “Hey Dave, thanks so much for being there for me!” or “Hey Lindsay, you have been such an inspiration to me, I can’t thank you enough!”

You can get started taking control of your brand by downloading this free worksheet.


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