Everyone's talking about this. But what does it exactly mean and why should you care?
In the most basic terms, your personal brand is your image. It’s what you want people to know about you. It’s your reputation. It’s your style. It’s your credibility. It’s your personality. It’s your marketing.
If you are serious about your career, you’ll make sure that your personal brand is ‘on point.’ I’m not saying flawless, because guess what? We are all flawed. But what I’m saying is that your personal brand should make people want to know more about you. Your personal brand should make people want to hire you and work with you. Your personal brand should align with your goals.
Why do you care? Well, this is not a thing you set and forget. Personal branding is an ongoing process of establishing a positive, authentic image and maintaining it. Your personal brand can mean the difference between getting in the door and getting a promotion; even getting a seat at the table, and being in the room when decisions are made. But if that's not happening for you, you should seriously ask yourself what is going on?
Are you experiencing these 9 dreaded things?
You are frequently passed over for the most interesting, important, or high profile assignments
You can’t seem to gain new responsibilities, and your current ones are being chipped away
You increasingly feel that your skills aren't and aren't being utilized
You aren’t sought out or taken seriously by colleagues and managers
You’re being passed over for promotions
Your honest self-assessment tells you that your expertise doesn’t always fit present-day needs; you aren’t up to date
You sense disregard for your authority by those above, below, or around you
Your ideas for improvement aren’t welcomed
You experience notable indignities, such as being overlooked in meetings, being left out of the loop on key decisions, or being omitted from important e-mails, meetings, and even social gatherings
If you're experiencing any of these things, it may not be that you're paranoid. It may very well be real. But why?
If you feel like you just can’t seem to break in to that circle of ‘influencers', then let’s take an assessment of these three key career busters:
Yes, appearance. I wouldn’t expect you to be a sloth in a corporate even casual environment but let’s review.
Are you ultra-casual on casual Fridays?
When you walk into a room, can you be taken seriously?
Are you following the crowd?
If you want to be taken seriously, dress for the position you want, not the one you currently hold. Stand out from the crowd. Make a bold statement that you’re here for business.
If you’re appearance looks as though you didn’t put in the ‘extra’ effort, then why would they trust you with extra responsibilities.
2. Online Presence:
This should be a no-brainer but it must be said. Your online persona can and will be seen by many people. Put in a simple Google search on yourself. What comes up?
If you’re not proud of that picture of you or that quote you posted, it’s time to delete them, make them private, and start establishing a positive image.
Your goal here is to always put forth an image that is true to who you are.
3. Your behavior:
What adjectives would your colleagues use to describe your personality, work ethic, style, and your relationship with them? If you can't think of anything or honestly assess for yourself, then chances are you've done some things you're not proud of.
Your goal here is to protect your reputation and be professional, respectable, and credible. Remember, the professional community you belong to is relatively small.
You’re in control of your personal brand and your career. Assess your current state, including your work environment. How are you treated? Is there room for improvement? Is there room for growth?
At the end of your assessment, you may find that after you’ve implemented change, you’re still not getting anywhere, then it may be time to re-invent yourself elsewhere.
Make a decision today to re-establish your positive image and protect your brand. Your appearance, online presence, and behavior should all be aligned to who you are as a person and your authentic self.