Personal branding has become a hot topic in the workforce these days. And smart employees focus on managing their personal brands daily. They understand the concept that every time someone has contact with you at work, or on social media, one of two things happen: your personal brand is either strengthened or weakened…by what you say or don’t say, and by what you do or don’t do.
So, exactly what is personal branding? In a nutshell, a strong personal brand allows all that’s unique and effective about your personal and professional style to become known (in a deliberate and managed way) to your colleagues up, down, and across the organization. And that can enable you to generate maximum value and unique “distinction” for yourself.
But why else should you care about creating and managing your personal brand at work? Let’s look at five ways it can benefit your career:
It Gives You Clarity and Direction
When you truly focus on developing and managing your personal brand it becomes a “behavior barometer.” Personal branding is all about increased self-awareness by acknowledging your weaknesses (e.g., having a bad temper, being extremely shy, or being a poor communicator) and making the necessary changes to improve yourself. But it’s also about understanding your strengths. You have to know “who you are and who you aspire to be” in order to conduct yourself in any role effectively; be it entry-level or a senior leadership position.
What changes do YOU have to make to possibly overcome a “negative” personal brand perception and/or to become the person you truly want to be? Therein lies the essence of creating and managing your personal brand.
It Expands Your Notoriety Inside and Outside of Work
Aside from wanting more notoriety at work, would you also like to stand out in your industry? There’s nothing wrong with desiring this type of recognition; it’s a very smart career strategy. Many employees would like to be interviewed by industry media or asked to speak at industry conferences and trade shows. But it typically doesn’t “just happen.”
If you strategically create and promote your personal brand as a thought leader within your industry this type of notoriety can be achieved. However it does require you to be your own publicist and to stay current on trends so that you have unique insights to offer.
No one will be interested in conducting a media interview with you or booking you as a speaker if you don’t have a fresh perspective and interesting information to share. Therefore, you should write articles for industry publications and blogs, as well as participate in conversations on industry-focused social networks, to start positioning yourself as a thought leader.
There are many other ideas I advise people on, but those suggestions should get your wheels spinning. Just know that if you make the effort, the awareness for your personal brand will expand inside and outside of work.
It Will Improve Your Job Satisfaction and Performance
As you becomes clear on your personal brand, you become clearer on your personal and professional values. This normally leads to asking yourself things like: Am I in the right job or role? Do I even like what I do or should I make a career change? Does my boss, or the company, mesh with my personal brand values? Those are all valid questions. Knowing the answers benefits you because it improves the odds of being at a company or in a role where you’re truly happy…and that is key to job satisfaction and your professional performance.
It Can Accelerate Your Career Advancement
As Consumers, we typically only buy (repeatedly) the brands we trust. This same concept applies to your personal brand. When you define and manage your brand at work, people will notice. And if you live it consistently, your co-workers and those above you, will know how you’ll react in any given situation thus developing trust in you. Just like a positive product brand, more people will “buy in” to you, and that increases your chances for promotions or being chosen to work on high-profile projects.
It Will Help You with Job Search
If you’re currently unemployed or actively job seeking, determining your personal brand will enable you to home in on the companies, positions, and bosses that will best work for you. There are many job candidates who turn down employment offers because they know it’s not the right fit with their personal brand.
Don’t just focus on the allure of a bigger paycheck or a step up in title. Those things won’t matter if you’re not happy at work…and being unhappy will tarnish your personal brand.
– Lisa Orrell, CPC, is known as The Generations Relations and Leadership Expert. She’s an award-winning author of four books: Millennials Incorporated, Millennials into Leadership, and Boomers into Business. Her new book is Your Employee Brand is in Your Hands: How Any Employee Can Create and Promote Their Own Personal Leadership Brand for Massive Career Success! CLICK HERE to get your copy. Learn more about Lisa at TheOrrellGroup.com.
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