Personal Branding Your Career For Success
By Donovan Grant
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Your personal brand could determine the future of your career. Aparently, career management and career design are out. Personal career branding is in!
If you’re like most people, you’ve heard the term ‘personal branding’ being used liberally on social media by solo-preneurs, small business owners and of course Mr Virgin, Sir Richard Branson.
Well guess what, it’s time for us employees and freelancers to become the architect of their careers too.
Why is a brand important?
Of course we all know what a brand is; just think Nike, Macdonald’s and John Lewis. The question we really want to know is why do we need to brand our career right now?
Simple answer: In this increasingly complex market place we operate in, people want to know who you really are well before they meet you. This actually holds true in career, relationships and life.
Social Media has changed the game for recruiters, companies and us the workforce. The result? You’re already in the spotlight whether you like it or not!
"Personal branding is about managing your name — even if you don’t own a business — in a world of misinformation, disinformation, and semi-permanent Google records. Going on a date? Chances are that your ‘blind’ date has Googled your name. Going to a job interview? Ditto.” ~ Tim Ferriss, Author, 4-Hour Work Week
What is your brand?
Simply stated, your personal brand is a blend of your personal values, attributes, drivers, passions and strengths. It’s the thing that differentiates you from peers and competition.
So, what does your personal brand look like today?
You’re not alone if you don’t have an answer to that question. In fact I remember during an career planning session with a former line manager and I told him “I really want to grow my career brand this year.” He looked at me as if I asked him to lend me a million pounds!
My guess is that most people are not taking time out to focus on their personal career brand. And it’s no surprise…, the company is not doing it for you either. Yes, you have a solid service history, healthy salary and track record of project delivery. But, what do people say about you when you are not in the room?
“Too many people overvalue what they are not and undervalue what they are.” ~ Malcolm Forbes, Publisher
Determine your brand
So how do you set the game up in your favour? Discover your personal brand and give yourself a better chance of success.
Here are few great reasons to spend time focusing on your personal brand right now:
- Get carity on what your perceived and actual value is
- Makes it easier to map out your future career path
- Helps you stand out as a specialist and natural leader
- Raise your confidence and boost your image
- Enables unique opportunities that did not previously exist for you
Assess your brand
Okay, let’s take a closer look at how well Your personal brand is rated today. Take a look at the five criteria below give give yourself a score of great or needs work.
Brand is unique: Does your brand offer a unique promise of a value?
Brand is consistent: Does your brand offer consistency in attitude and outlook?
Brand is memorable: Do you create memorable brand experiences that set you apart from the average?
Brand brings value to others: What is the value that you bring to your team and company that you are known for? How effective are you at delivering this value?
Brand is trustworthy: Are you someone who delivers time and time aagain and others can rely on you?
So how did you score your brand. Are you in great shape or do you need work?
Keep your brand visible
One thing for sure, most of the people only assess their career status at annual review time or when seeking a new job. By doing this, they miss out on looking after their career throughought the journey.
“All of us need to understand the importance of branding. We are CEOs of our own companies: Me Inc. To be in business today, our most important job is to be head marketer for the brand called You.” ~ Tom Peters in Fast Company
I’m inviting you to “do not be like most people”. Take a stand and become the architect of your career. Whether you are moving up, moving out or staying in your career role, look after your personal brand. It could well mean the difference in your promotion, bonus or even a new job.
So, what’s your next step in building your personal brand? My advice, take a look at any areas you rated needs work and get started today!
Your personal brand needs to be managed for life and not just for career changes.
From my heart to yours
Are you for or against personal branding in your career? Why so? Please share your thoughts in the comments below – we value your honest opinion.
To learn more about career branding and mid-career transitions, contact us at donovangrant.com or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, remember to download our FREE “CAREER HEALTH CHECK” tool by clicking here.