Book Review: Career Distinction – Stand Out by Building Your Brand

Career DistinctionIn October 2006 I was introduced to Kirsten Dixson by Wendy Terwelp (a JibberJobber partner), and we had an hour-long, intense phone call. It was the beginning of a very cool relationship (you know, some people you just click with?). I knew her as a personal branding expert, something of a pioneer in this field, and business partner with the personal branding guru William Arruda. I vaguely remember something about a book they were writing and thought it would be interested to get my hands on it.

When I was at a conference in Kentucky a couple of months ago my booth was next to Kirsten’s and I somehow convinced her to give me her pre-publish proof of Career Distinction. I got home and immediately gave it away to a friend who is a career coach and counselor as he had been asking me for a book on personal branding. He devoured the book and has called me twice since he finished it with enthusiastic impressions/feedback.

Just to make sure you know where I’m coming from, I’ll disclose the following:

  1. I love personal branding. I think it’s possibly more critical to long-term career success than “__________.” You can fill in the blank, I’m currently wondering if it is more critical than a master’s degree (I have an MBA and couldn’t get a job last year, I’m guessing if I had a strong personal brand (and network) I would have had a job in no time).
  2. I know William and Kirsten and respect their message and their mission. I think there is still a lot of education about personal branding but think that they have been early pioneers in personal branding and are currently devoting all of their time to move the message forward. Note they are doing this through Reach Communications.
  3. I have paid for and participated in their Personal Branding Strategist program, and will soon be a Certified Personal Branding Strategist.
  4. A few of the other Strategists are also JibberJobber partners. I didn’t realize the caliber of professional that would partner with JibberJobber but it really is quite flattering to have them as my partners! (I list them below)
  5. There will be stuff from the Reach program offered through, and mixed in with, JibberJobber. This is a significant partnership for JibberJobber because it will add to your experience using JibberJobber to manage your career.

And, here’s a confession – I’ve only read 1/2 of the book (I’m reading it slowly and digesting it). I have skimmed everything and am excited to finish the other half but I wanted to do this review today because today is the official launch of their book! So here’s my two cents (this has to be my shortest book review, and my longest disclaimer :p):

Career Distinction is the bible on personal branding.

Kirsten Dixson and William Arruda have done a masterful job putting this book together. The system they have defined, mixed with branding principles, stories, case studies, examples, to-do lists and other supporting documentation makes this a must-have for anyone that isn’t retired yet. I really do believe that personal branding might be the “kool-aid” that you need for career success. And if you believe even half of that, you need to begin to understand personal branding the way it’s presented in this book.

In the book you’ll find a special link to a workbook that accompanies the book. And, you’ll get access to 15 days (which is all you need) to a special 360-degree program that they put together to poll your contacts about your personal brand (invaluable). I’m going to invite my network to give input on my brand using the 360 program and post the results on the blog (as long as they are not too flowery) – if you want to get an invite please e-mail me at jason at JibberJobber dot com.

That’s it. There really isn’t anything more to say about this book – it is the book you need on your bookshelf. Here are the JibberJobber partners that are also Personal Brand Strategists:

Note that these partners have other specialties, such as career coaching, executive coaching, job search coaching, resume writing, and more. Feel free to follow the links to their sites. If you get the book and need help going to the next level, I strongly encourage you to look up one of these partners (I’m sure the others listed in the book are the bomb, but I don’t know many of them, where I have had conversations with these listed here).

One more thing! Don’t buy the book today. I’m not sure how all this “best seller” voodoo works but William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson are asking for orders to come in TOMORROW – Tuesday, June 12. So put this in your calendar, and purchase Career Distinction – Stand Out by Building Your Brand tomorrow on June 12th! Aside from the book you’ll get some valuable goodies (see more info on their blog), but you have to do it TOMORROW (June 12th). You won’t regret it.

Want more on this stuff? I interviewed (or chatted with) William Arruda and Kirsten Dixson last week and they’ve posted the audio on their blog. It is a cool discussion, I recommend you check it out (especially if you missed our call last week).

Here are other bloggers who have reviewed this book:

Maria Elena Duron – The Buzz 101

Martin Yate – Knock’em Dead

Neil Bhandar – The Blue – My Thoughts Over Time

Walter Akana – Threshold Consulting: It’s your life, own it!

What do you think? Are you going to get this book?

11 thoughts on “Book Review: Career Distinction – Stand Out by Building Your Brand”

  1. I can’t wait to read this book — it’s been on my “must read” list since I heard of it as a mere idea of William’s a number of years ago–and now that he’s partnered with Kirsten and her on-line identity expertise I’m even more jazzed.

    I’ve seen first hand the AMAZING power of personal branding on even the most successful executives. And to have a book that now brings that potential to the career managing public is very exciting!

    I’m happy to read your strong endorsement, Jason. And I agree that the “best seller gurus” say that purchasing it on June 12 is important. So I’m waiting one last day…

  2. @Dan – cool 🙂 Now, if I could just get a buck for every book that I “sell” through a review!

    @Deb – I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. William and Kirsten have a few of your client stories in there, and I felt I got to know you better professionally just by peeking into your work life (and successes).

  3. Glad to hear everyone excited about the book! I am also a certified brand strategist through Reach and am SO EXCITED to see this book hit the shelves. I have read other books on branding and while they’re good and do give some action steps – this provides a step by step action oriented “how to” in extracting, expressing and exuding your authentic brand. I was so “sold” on William’s system and Kirsten’s expert knowledge of on-line branding that I recently certified through their program and am excited that they’ve shared their insights and resources through this book.

  4. Hi Jason! Great post!

    This is a great book because William and Kirsten really get career management as well as personal branding! I not only see it as an ‘instant classic”, but also (as I stated in my Amazon review) a new standard!

    I too am a new personal branding strategist and pleased to hear that you will soon be certified!

    Best wishes.

    P.S., Thanks for linking to my Career Distinction review at my blog.

  5. Thanks! to Jason, I have read Career Distinction! Every Professional needs to read and do what this book teaches! With Personal Branding you will stand out like a red polk-a-dot egg in a nest of white eggs! The white eggs are like Myron Morrison which is John Waynes real name!

  6. Got the book – and more than one. 🙂 Hi Jason, thanks for the kind words and awesome partnership with You and those who reviewed the book are right on target. (Check out my review on I am giving this book to my personal branding clients as part of their program, they are loving it. Especially the online workbook filled with exercises that complement the chapters in the book. Take action! Brand now!

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