Show Up Like the Star You Are: A Guide to Rebranding

Aliza Licht

May 17, 2023

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It’s never too late for your sequel, and now more than ever, people are empathetic when real life gets in the way of our regularly scheduled programming. Everyone loves a comeback.

You don’t have to go through a scandal or social media crisis to need a rebrand.

There are many reasons why you might want to shift how people see you. You could be a corporate lawyer who is going out on your own and looking to build your own client list. Or a doctor who’s pivoting into medical device sales. You could be a freelance writer who wants to work in-house at a brand. Or a stay-at-home mom who wants to start a business. The scenarios are endless.

Everyone loves a second act.

When you think about how you want to rebrand, consider the audience you need to affect. Depending on where you’ve been, you can strategize the types of people in your network to help get you where you need to go. Your public interactions leave an impact on those around you.

Sometimes we’re oblivious to that impression, and part of your rebrand has to start with the reality that you need to change how you interact with others.

Here are just a few examples of the kinds of ways this can show up.



Starting a new job isn’t only an opportunity to advance your career; it’s also a chance to think of yourself in a new way.

If you had to name three things you want people to know about you when you start a new role, what would they be? You have a new, exciting chance to shape perception by thinking through how you present from day one in your mannerisms, verbal communication, and visual identity. Yes, you’ve nailed that interview and have been hired, but the real audition starts when you walk into that office or log onto your first meeting. Good impressions still need to be made.

It’s not easy to be the new person, but if you start by making sure you bring positive energy to the team, your transition will be way easier. If you usually take a little bit to warm up and for people to get to know you, consider putting the onus on yourself to be the one who is friendly and open.

Think of yourself like a talk show host—ask questions, and understand their roles and their history at the company and what they’ve done previously. You could also prep and do a little LinkedIn research before to see if you have any connections. Being interested in other people makes you interesting. But be prepared for the questions to turn back on you, and here’s where strategy matters.

What do you want people to know about your professional past? Come up with an answer that you rehearse (not kidding) on what to say if people ask you about your experience.

What made you join the company? Why did you leave your last role? These are simple questions that can leave you feeling like a deer in headlights if you don’t prep for them.

While not everyone would stress over a simple question like this, you’d worry if you’d been laid off, fired, or pushed out. You can never be overprepared. The information you choose to share could be a part of or the whole truth.

Note: You aren’t obligated to disclose anything to anyone that you don’t feel will help you succeed in your new professional adventure. I’d never recommend lying, but you could selectively leave out certain things.

Next, for your visual identity: Using fashion to communicate who you are before you’ve even said a word is a strategic and easy way to set the bar higher. How you show up says a lot about you. Being put together inherently says you mean business, and it also shows that you have your own best standards.

It doesn’t matter if you’re an intern or an executive; when you show up looking polished, it says that you value what you’re doing and where you’re doing it.

Also consider what shape your LinkedIn is in. This is the very first place that colleagues will look the minute they learn your name. Of course, this should be up to snuff prior to interviewing, but it’s always good to give it a once-over before you start a new role. Is your profile projecting the same image you just introduced to the company? What about your social channels? Do you want new colleagues or your boss to see those?

If you haven’t been working for a bit, it behooves you to brush up on some basics. This may sound silly to some of you, but work has changed drastically in the past decade.

If you’ve never worked in a place where the main mode of communication is Slack, get to know how it works. Perhaps the last job you had was a Microsoft Word and Excel culture, but your new job cross-functionally operates exclusively on Google Docs and a never-ending game of “Tag, You’re It” in comments. Depending on how old you are, you may not know that the double space in writing has been killed off. Are you aware of the most commonly used acronyms people in your industry employ to simplify their emails?

There’s a ton you can Google about your particular role and the terms and tools that are important for you to be adept at today.



You’re probably not going to like this, but if you can relate, you’re doing your own PR wrong or not at all. The time has come to up your self-advocacy game. You might be doing a great job and are an essential part of your team, but you’re not being valued because you don’t value yourself—or at least not verbally.

There are ways to rectify this, and it starts by making sure you’re aware of all the great things you’re doing.

Immediately start documenting your wins and accomplishments. If someone sends you an email that compliments something you’ve done, save it. Compile everything great that is shared about you or that you accomplish yourself. Raise your hand for projects beyond your regular scope that you can own and shine in accomplishing.

Then, figure out how to make these wins known. Set up a meeting with your manager at least three months before the typical review time to give her your own State of the Union.

You need to think like an entrepreneur pitching an investor. Here’s what I mean: you need to convince your boss to invest in you. Prove that your efforts and results exceed what is expected of you and, therefore, you should be rewarded with money and a new title.

Gentle reminder: your salary is what you get for doing your actual job.

Present your wins in a slideshow deck or however you believe your boss will be most receptive. If you are declined, ask what you need to do in the next few months to get to that next level and be considered.

If you’ve done everything you’ve been asked and nothing happens, you might want to try a different strategy. A good pressure test would be to get another offer and take that back to your company for a potential counteroffer. If you do that, though, be prepared to leave if they don’t bite.



I’ve seen too many people who’ve held positions for a long time get comfortable with the status quo. They believe that their jobs are secure—after all, they’ve been there for ages! But the honest and self-reflective people know that deep inside, they were better and smarter “before.”

When time passes and experience grows, you can get left behind if you don’t evolve.

When was the last time you networked with new people in your industry? Outside of it? How long ago was your resume updated? Can you recall when you were last invited to attend or speak at a conference? Do you remember when you last learned a new skill? Have you recently shared your expertise in person and online? Presented a groundbreaking new idea? Tried to innovate in your role? Been quoted in the press?

If the answers to these questions are too hard to remember or simply no, we’ve got work to do. Your personal brand needs some Windex. Immediately start dusting it off by pushing yourself outside of your comfy, cozy, warm bubble. That bubble is going to burst, and you’ll be safest if you come outside of it on your own terms.

Relying on the status quo is the kiss of death. Everyone is replaceable.

Start marketing yourself again to show that although you’ve been around for a while, you’re still full of new, exciting ideas, and you’re a force to be reckoned with. But it’s not just your position you need to protect here. You need to plan for the future as well.

When you’ve had a long career, what comes next? How do you position yourself for a new opportunity? A future board seat? Or maybe even something grander? The answer lies in acting like every day is day one.

Bring that same curiosity and drive to this new effort, and focus on the areas that have been ignored over time. Your value hasn’t changed; you just got comfortable and stopped protecting it. It’s time to show up again like the star you are.



Sometimes your personal brand needs a jump-start after some time off.

You could have been burned-out, laid off, or fired; gone on maternity leave; or had to take care of a sick relative or even yourself. Regardless of the reason, it’s been on hiatus due to circumstances probably out of your control.

Sometimes, when you’re so focused elsewhere, the last thing you’re thinking about is your personal brand. But then, once whatever you’re dealing with is over and the dust settles, you’re left there a little less of a person than you were before.

Or, shall I say, that’s just how it feels?

When you’re on a roll, especially in your career, and something halts your momentum, it can feel like you’ve lost your magic touch. If you’ve been out of the business, you might not be aware of new advances, tools, or trends important to what you do.

Because of this, you might start to feel irrelevant. You are not. But that said, you do have to do a little work to gain back the confidence you lack because of your time off.

The first thing you should do in a case like this is to start reading. Bring yourself up to speed on what you’ve missed, catch up on what’s happening in your industry, and get familiar with what people are doing and talking about.

Next, decipher if there are some key skills that you need to develop. Is there a course you can take to get them? What holes do you need to plug in your experience?

Then, come out of hibernation and reconnect with people in your network.

Reach out to people to see how they are and explain why you’ve been MIA. If you’re usually active on social media and stopped during this time, re-emerge and share your story. Explain what you’ve been up to, and your community will understand.

It’s never too late for your sequel, and now more than ever, people are empathetic when real life gets in the way of our regularly scheduled programming. Everyone loves a comeback.



We hear the word pivot more than ever. So much has changed since the pandemic, including our priorities. But sometimes, we want to become someone new to the people around us. What do you do when everyone thinks of you one way and you need to reintroduce yourself as someone else?

Maria Brito is a great example of an extreme career pivot.

Today, Maria Brito is an award-winning art advisor with A-list celebrity clients like Sean “Diddy” Combs, but she was once a corporate lawyer in a job that she describes as “soul-sucking.”

How did Maria pivot? She decided to start paying attention to the people doing the job she wanted to do. Maria grew up in Venezuela and was exposed to art and culture her whole life. She just didn’t know it could be a career.

When Maria finally decided to take the plunge and quit her job in law, she didn’t know what she would tell her network. She was afraid of what they would say and think of her drastic move. She had no experience other than her culture-rich Venezuelan childhood and the affirmation from her friends that she had great taste.

Maria decided that the best way to convey her passion for and knowledge of art was to start casually helping friends with their art selections, blogging, and sharing her finds on social media. By watching other art advisors in the space, she also knew what they weren’t doing—and what they weren’t doing was social media.

When you want people to think about you in a new way, start talking about what you’re doing that’s new. Tell your friends and family and share it. The more people saw Maria conveying her art knowledge, the more she became known for art. But the other thing that started to happen is that people began recognizing her keen eye, and her reputation as an expert followed suit.

What’s better than hearing a story about someone known for doing one thing and completely transforming into something else? You need to own it, shape it, and share it.

That’s how you become it.

There will be a time when you’re on insecure ground and when you might feel like a fraud. That’s totally normal, but remember that the only person who knows you’re not comfortable is you. You might need to fake it a little until the people around you notice your new persona. Just know that confidence is contagious. The more confidence you exhibit, the more confidence people will have in you and what you’re trying to do.


Adapted from On Brand: Shape Your Narrative. Share Your Vision. Shift Their Perception. Copyright © 2023 by Aliza Licht


About the Author

ALIZA LICHT is an award-winning marketer, bestselling author, podcaster, personal branding expert, and the founder of LEAVE YOUR MARK, a multimedia brand and consultancy.

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