Think personal branding isn’t for you? Think again.
Far from an exercise in vanity or the preserve of ambitious entrepreneurs, personal branding is valuable to anyone pursuing any kind of career. Here’s why.
Essentially, developing a personal brand is about self-awareness. It lets you look at yourself squarely and define your strong points and your flaws, your likes and your dislikes. Doing this gives you an authentic basis from which you can develop your career and build the life you want.
Remember that none of your personal brand brainstorming has to be made public – and you can continue to modify it as time goes on and your priorities shift.
Not sure where to start? Here are some simple guidelines.
Write your mission statement
● What are my core values?
● What are my passions?
● What motivates me?
Define your goals
● What do I want out of life?
● What does success look like for me now and in the future?
Measure your capabilities against your goals
● What is my training and experience?
● What are my strengths and weaknesses?
● What makes me unique?
● Who makes me happy?
Understanding your skills, capabilities and expectations clearly allows you to prioritise the characteristics and people that will help you achieve your goals, and to identify what may be holding you back.
Once you’ve defined your personal brand for yourself, you’re better able to communicate it to others. This will steadily build your confidence and give you the courage to pursue the opportunities that inspire you.
If you’re already in a job you love, consistent behaviour and communication focuses you towards the career progression you want. If you’re transitioning or job-seeking, the ability to articulate your goals and embody your brand helps to position you as an attractive candidate.
A personal brand bolsters your credibility amongst your colleagues and leaders. If they have confidence in you, you’re well placed for promotions and high-profile projects.
It also commands respect in your wider professional network. Being clear on what you have to offer and what you’re interested in allows you to stay abreast of relevant industry trends and find your “tribe”: like-minded people who will invite you to contribute to conferences, webinars, events, white papers and more.
Defining and projecting your personal brand gives you a greater degree of control over your own image in the workforce. It also gives you the flexibility to modify and grow your brand over time as your career evolves.
Remember that you have a long – and hopefully fulfilling! – career ahead of you, so it makes sense to position yourself to achieve the outcomes that will really make.