Career Goals

“J” is for doing “justice” to your brand throughout the post-hireback process

Written by Paulette Pommells

Part 3 of 3:

1st article: “H” is for “Hireback” Time

2nd article: “I” is for some Hireback “Inspiration”

Branding is all the talk these days. But not many people, in my experience, think about branding while engaged in a job search. They may reason, “I just need to find work, not start a fortune 500 company.”

Tom Peters debunked this myth in 1997 with a ground-breaking article, “The Brand Called You.” He said:

“Regardless of age, regardless of position, regardless of the business we happen to be in, all of us need to understand the importance of branding.”

This includes articling students now looking for first year positions! A savvy articling student (or new-call) understands that they don’t have a whole lot of practical experience to offer. Sure, you might have worked as a summer student and, obviously, as an articling student, but the whole point is that someone is going to invest a lot of time and money into training you. As I see it, that means your brand is going to be ever more important.

According to Seth Godin, marketing guru, a brand is: “the set of expectations, memories, stories and relationships that, taken together, account for a consumer’s decision to choose one product or service over another.”

A consumer can be an employer. So when you are looking for work, you will want your candidacy to both stand out and fit the employer’s profile. Yes, I said “fit.”

I know many of you are rolling your eyes right now at the sight of that word. We are told so much about “fit” during the OCI process, particularly if we’ve not been hired somewhere. There is some truth to the concept and it has to do with branding. In other words, it will happen that a potential employer won’t see any value in the brand that you are offering. And that’s a fair position to take, isn’t it?

You wouldn’t, therefore, want to undermine the importance of “fit” just because you don’t know what your brand is or how to articulate it throughout the job search process.

That is an important aspect of my coaching work: helping clients to discover their own value so they can best position themselves in application materials and interviews.

With so many articles and resources on how to develop a brand, I like to start simply:

What are your personal values?

What are your strengths?


If you are interested, I will be hosting a series of brand-related workshops in Toronto for new-calls over the summer months:

Every year, Lawyer Coach Paulette works with articling students after hireback to help them make a graceful transition. Contact her to schedule a 30-minute complimentary call ( or visit 



About the author

Paulette Pommells

I am a certified coach with a creative approach to bring out the best of the 21st Century Lawyer! A 21st Century Lawyer myself, I was faced with a professional dilemma years ago: I had become a “successful” lawyer, and yet something didn't feel right. One day, I hired a career coach and realized how similar coaching is to the legal strategy process. I decided to share this breakthrough with every single lawyer. Today, Creative Choices™ is a sought-after technique by lawyers, law students and law firms when it comes to professional challenges of all kinds. You can learn more about this on my website or by emailing me at

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