Dorie

Clark

Dorie Clark Career Thought Leader Headshot

Summary

Dorie Clark is a strategy consultant and communication coach who empowers professionals to future-proof their careers and live their unique personal brands. She consults and speaks for clients like Google and Microsoft, writes for publications like Forbes and the Harvard Business Review, and teaches at Duke’s Fuqua School of Business and Columbia Business School. She is also the award-winning author of Reinventing You and Stand Out. But things weren’t always this way.

Before being “named one of the Top 50 business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50,” Dorie worked as a journalist, presidential campaign spokeswoman, nonprofit executive director, jazz album producer, and documentary filmmaker. That is to say, she has firsthand experience with professional reinvention, and she now uses this experience to help others reinvent themselves. Her additional areas of expertise include personal branding, communications, and management.

Specialty Areas

Writing

Highlighted Books

Clark's writing is informative, motivational, and powerful. She is the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of four books, which she wrote to “[help] others take control of their professional lives and make an impact on the world.”

Stand Out: How to Find Your Breakthrough Idea and Build a Following Around It (2015)

Join Clark as she demystifies the “mysterious and opaque process” of becoming an expert in your field. In Stand Out, she shares everything you need “to capitalize on your unique perspective and knowledge and inspire others to listen and take action.”
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Reinventing You (2017)

No matter what career phase you are in or moving toward, this book is for you, because “it’s almost certain that at some point you’ll need to reinvent yourself professionally.” If you’re not sure where to start when it comes to personal branding or professional reinvention, Clark and Reinventing You are here to help. Consider this book your step-by-step guide to navigating “today’s competitive job market” and building a career you love.
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Entrepreneurial You: Monetize Your Expertise, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive (2017)

Entrepreneurial You was intended for experienced entrepreneurs, aspiring side hustlers, and corporate executives alike. Deemed “one of the most important business books of 2017” by Inc. magazine, this book provides insights, advice, and strategies to help you build the career that you dream of. You might think of it as “a blueprint for professional independence.”
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The Long Game: How to Be a Long-Term Thinker in a Short-Term World (2021)

In her latest book, Clark challenges cultural norms in the workplace by refocusing on the big picture. Discover how making small changes can impact your future success when you start playing The Long Game today.
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Highlighted Articles

If you have a question about building your brand, navigating your career, or expanding your network, Clark likely has an answer. As a frequent contributor to publications like the Harvard Business Review and Fast Company, she writes on a range of topics in business and leadership. A complete collection of Clark's written work is available on her site. Sample articles include:

Blog

In addition to writing for the media, Clark also writes for her blog. Here, she shares her timeless career advice in ten featured posts. Examples of Clark's blog posts include “How to Succeed This Year – Even When You’ve Failed Before” and “How to Build the Ultimate Foundation for Your Career.”

Speaking

Highlighted Videos

Popular videos of Clark include her keynote talks, in which she is known for showing audience members “how to take control of their professional reputation, become recognized for the leaders they are, and make an impact.” Current videos of Clark include episodes of Better, her weekly Newsweek interview series. Each week, join Clark live or on her channel as she chats “with leading thinkers about how we can all improve our lives and level up just a little bit so that everything around us can be easier, more enjoyable, and more effective.” Sample videos include:

Reinventing You: Define Your Brand, Imagine Your Future | Dorie Clark | Talks at Google
Length: (58:22)
Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand. This in-depth look at personal branding explains how to take control of your brand and reinvent how others see you.
Dorie Clark and Steven Kotler - The Art of Impossible
Length: (31:23)
In this episode of Better, Clark and Steven Kotler discuss The Art of Impossible, Steven’s “playbook about helping people achieve peak performance.”

TED(x) Talks

The Real Reason We’re All So Busy (and What to Do About It)
Length: (7:52)
If your job makes you feel busy, tired, and overwhelmed, you are certainly not alone. Watch this talk to uncover “what is actually behind some of the business that is filling [your] days” and find real freedom in your career.
How to Future-Proof Your Career
Length: (18:09)
Learn how to cultivate a “portfolio career” and increase job security with these tips from Clark.
Finding Your Breakthrough Idea
Length: (12:48)
It’s time to share your unique vision with the world! In this talk, learn how to cultivate meaningful, lasting ideas that cut through the noise of today’s competitive marketplace.
How to Build a Following Around Your Ideas
Length: (12:22)
Dorie draws on her research and findings to help you stand out, create impactful ideas, and rise to become an expert in your field.

Keynotes

Dorie has been a keynote speaker for events at TEDx, Google HQ, and Harvard Business School, just to name a few. Her talks are designed to help her audience members understand “how to take control of their professional reputation, become recognized for the leaders they are, and make an impact.” Example topics include cultivating your professional reputation and thinking entrepreneurially inside your organization.

Resources

Courses Offered

Clark has created a variety of on-demand courses, or courses that you can access anywhere and anytime while learning at your own pace. Designed to be personal learning tools, these courses typically feature video content, writing exercises, guest interviews, and additional resources. Whether you’re looking to improve your writing or build your brand, Clark has a course to help you achieve your personal and professional goals! For more about Clark's online courses, see the table below.

Rapid Content Creation Masterclass

Write more quickly and efficiently
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Writing For High Profile Publications

Craft compelling articles, write for media outlets, and grow your writing career
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Recognized Expert™

Build your reputation, attract the right clients, and earn what you’re worth
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Women’s Leadership

Thrive as a female professional
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52 More Hours

Reclaim your time, increase productivity, and accomplish what’s most important
Learn More

Personal Branding for Creative Professionals (requires a Creative Class membership)

Build your brand, presence, and portfolio
Learn More

PERSPECTIVES

Personal Branding and Professional Reinvention

Whether you realize it or not, you have a personal brand – everyone does. To put it simply, your personal brand is your reputation. It is not what you hope it is, say it is, or wish it were. Instead, your personal brand is “what other people say it is.” How do they speak about you when you’re not around? What meaning do they make of your actions? According to Clark, these types of questions are key to closing the gap between how you are currently viewed and how you would like to be viewed. To close this gap is to take control of your personal brand, and with Clark's reinvention framework, you can do so in three simple steps:

  • Figure out how others perceive you (What is your current personal brand?)
  • Create your brand narrative (What do you want others to know you for?)
  • Live your brand (What can you do to share your unique and authentic message?)

For Clark's expert advice on tackling each phase of the reinvention process, read on!

Phase 1: Figure Out How Others Perceive You

When defining your personal brand or reinventing yourself, the most logical place to start is with your current brand. To understand your current brand, you must understand how you are perceived by others. As an initial step, Clark recommends searching your name on Google. Make a conscious effort to view the results from an objective lens and consider what someone might think of you if the only information they knew was the information contained in the search results. After all, to those who don’t know you, “you’re your Google search.”

The exercise described above is a great jumping-off point if you’re interested in learning more about your current personal brand, but at the end of the day, “it takes a village to reinvent yourself.” To change your reputation, you must be willing to ask for feedback and, more importantly, to learn from it. For this reason, Clark advises her clients to conduct personal 360-degree interviews. The goal of such an interview is to gain a holistic picture of what it’s like to work with you, work for you, or simply be around you. To conduct an effective personal 360-degree interview:

  • Make a list of people whom you trust to be honest and helpful. This may include your boss, peers, employees, team members, clients, family, and/or friends (if you can, include men and women from various fields in order to help you assemble the most holistic picture)
  • Ask them questions to enhance your self-knowledge (i.e., questions about YOU). Examples of good questions to ask include:
    • If you had to describe me in three words, what words would you choose?
    • What are my strengths?
    • What are my weaknesses?
    • What steps would you suggest that I take to get from point A to point B?
    • What are my blind spots?
    • If you didn’t know what job I have, what job would you guess I have and why?
  • Analyze the feedback. Pay attention to “what [people] say, and also what they don’t say” and look for patterns. Although it can be easy to obsess over a single comment, try to focus on the comments that were made consistentlythese are where the most valuable answers lie

Phase 2: Create Your Brand Narrative

Once you better understand your current personal brand, it’s time to ask yourself if the way that you’re currently perceived is the way you’d like to be perceived in the future. Since effective personal branding hinges on having a clear core message, this means you’ll have to get clear on the message that you want to send. To determine your core message and, in turn, create a vision for your brand, Clark recommends reflecting on (1) your difference and (2) your “war stories.”

If Clark had her own dictionary, she might define “your difference” as the experience or skill that sets you apart from others, the thing employers are most interested in, or a form of career insurance. Ultimately, your difference is what matters in the workplace because our world does not reward fitting in as much as it rewards standing out. For this reason, do not let your identity be a source of fear or concern. Instead, let it excite you, because the thing that sets you apart naturally empowers you to “add the most value” to teams, projects, and organizations.

Like your difference, your “war stories” can also help you “get clear on your brand.” According to Clark, war stories are the stories that you often find yourself coming back to. They are meaningful experiences, and they are memories that remain vivid years after you make them. As you recall these stories and memories, pay special attention to the “thread that connects them.” This thread is an indication of how you derive meaning in your life, or what you find meaningful and why, and it is vital to shaping your core message/creating your brand narrative.

Phase 3: Live Your Brand

Your personal brand can set you up for long-term success, but only if you live your brand on a consistent basis. To live your brand, (1) consider small ways to share your message with others and (2) put yourself in a position to recognize and capitalize on opportunities as they present themselves. Over the years, Clark has seen countless professionals miss the same opportunity time and again. This “perennial missed opportunity” is the one that stands before you when someone asks, “How’s it going?” or “What’s new with you?” When someone asks you a question like this, they have essentially given you an opportunity to “implant your brand” in their mind, and Clark would encourage you to take it. Instead of responding with a mere “I’m fine” or “Nothing new,” make sure your answer incorporates your career narrative, or what you want people to know you for. After all, today’s professionals are pulled in more directions than ever before, so it is imperative that you take primary responsibility for guiding how others see you.

Networking

Any professional knows that networking can be (and often is) intimidating. We all want to make connections, but we all fear seeming or feeling like a user. If this predicament sounds all too familiar to you, Clark's networking advice can help you reframe the networking process, turn interactions into opportunities, and make authentic connections like a pro.

First, don’t network to gain something; network to gain friends. While career advancement is a goal that many of us have, this should never be your sole reason for reaching out to someone. If it is, they will more than likely sense it, and the relationship you could have developed will vanish before it even begins.

Second, be yourself. Authenticity is powerful, especially in the world of networking. As you expand your network, Clark encourages you to be confident in your uniqueness, show that you are human, and remind yourself that everyone else is human too. Additionally, follow these tips to make connecting more authentic.

  • Figure out what you have to offer, and don’t be ashamed to self-promote
  • Join fewer groups and dive deeper within them. This will produce more genuine connections than joining too many groups and merely involving yourself at a surface level
  • If you are introducing colleagues, make sure you speak with them separately beforehand. If you don’t, you may end up caught between two frustrated parties and harm your own relationships
  • No asks for a year. Clark's rule of thumb is to avoid asking someone for a favor until you have developed a genuine connection/friendship. After all, it is crucial that people feel as though helping you was their idea; not something they were coerced into doing

Third, do networking your way. Before you dive into expanding your network, consider:

  • What types of events you may enjoy (and what types of events you may not)
  • Whether the people at an event are people whom you would enjoy meeting, talking to, and learning from
  • Whether the timing of an event is optimal for you and where you are in your career
  • Creating your own events (This can make for a more comfortable and authentic experience for some, because having more control over the place, time, guest list, etc. gives you a better idea of what to expect)

Fourth, research the people you’d like to connect with before you reach out to them. By searching for commonalities and mentioning them when you reach out, you will show the other person that you genuinely care about the relationship. This will also help you make a more authentic connection right off the bat.

Fifth, follow up. According to Clark's research, this is where most people fall short in the networking process. Often times, these people fall short because they focus so much attention on the initial connection that they forget to nurture the relationship in the future. To combat this pitfall, Clark suggests setting a schedule and sticking to it. Decide how often you want to reach out to various people in your circle and do your best to stay in touch. This will help you deepen your relationships and develop connections that last in the long-term. (Note: The frequency of reaching out may change or vary from person to person as your career shifts and your relationships evolve. According to Clark, this is perfectly fine, but letting your connections fade is not!)

Sixth, don’t give up on connecting with powerful people merely because they may seem out of reach. Clark can assure you that there is no such thing, and she suggests you do the following to get noticed by influential figures:

  • Start a blog or podcast where you can interview others, connect, and create content. This is an opportunity to gather advice, and it gives others a platform to share their ideas
  • Interact with the posts of influential figures on a consistent basis (i.e., retweet them, comment on their posts, and/or mention them in your own)
  • Brainstorm ways that you could be of value to them
  • Stand out by making yourself interesting (compelling people like to meet other compelling people!)

Social Media

Social media can be a powerful tool for sharing your ideas and moving the discourse forward. That is, if you use it effectively. When it comes to using social media, Clark has gathered the following advice from “social media power users” in order to help you understand what to do and what not to do if you want to develop valuable connections and have your ideas heard.

Do:

  • “Be consistent” – Building a following is difficult, but it becomes much more attainable if people have a general idea of when you will upload content. Schedule your postings and stick to your schedule (from social media power user, Jay Baer)
  • “Be responsive” – Interacting with your audience is just as important as creating and sharing content, as interaction will deepen your connections, expand your following, and help you tailor future posts (from social media power user, Chris Brogan)
  • Be mindful when you decide who to follow – Seek out the voices you want to learn from and listen to (from social media power user, Vala Afshar)
  • Have conversations. It is important to remember that “social media should be a conversation, not a monologue” (from social media power user, Marsha Collier)
  • Hit send – Every post would be perfect in an ideal world, but this is not the world we live in. Even if your post doesn’t seem perfect, post it, because doing nothing on social media is the biggest missed opportunity of all (from social media power user, Jay Baer)

Don’t:

  • “Chase numbers” – Following everyone in sight just to see how many follow back will read as inauthentic and make it difficult to separate the voices you want to listen to from the ones you don’t (from social media power user, Marsha Collier)
  • “Be a perfectionist” – No post will be perfect, so if you wait to share until one is, you might never post at all (from social media power user, Jay Baer)

Sources

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