Being an avid networker, I meet new people all the time. For example, in the past few weeks, I met a woman who is looking to change a career direction but is not sure about what would be the best fit for her and how to get there in France. Another woman told me that she felt fed up working for a low salary and is pondering if she should launch her own small business. I also met a manager who had been asking for promotion for the longest time. The fourth person, an expat artist, was struggling to connect with right people in the art world…
Those four people had different challenges yet they shared one thing: none of them was clear about own personal brand and thus was not consciously using it for her/his goals and purposes.
In fact, most people shy away from defining their personal brand. According to surveys, less than 15% of people have truly defined their personal brand and less than 5% are living it consistently at work. Why? Many believe that personal branding is for celebrities like Kim Kardashian or Leonardo DiCaprio. Also, clarifying one’s personal brand can be extremely challenging and requires a tremendous amount of self-awareness, action and accountability.
Here is the thing, though.
Whether you like it or not, to be successful today, to step up your game and get out of shadows, you need to build not just your career.
You need to define and build your brand.
In fact, you already have a personal brand. It is the perception of you by your colleagues, bosses, partners, clients and friends. Yet your current un-defined and un-managed brand may or may not be serving you.
Today I want to share with you a simplified version of the personal branding process, so that you can start thinking what side of yourself to show to the world and how you can position yourself best for success.
1. Define who you are and your unique abilities.
Try to define yourself in 5 words. What are the key words that describe your accomplishments and personality? What are the words that describe best what people (colleagues, clients, customers, friends) experience when they interact with you?
One CEO I’ve coached had her key words as innovation, women’s health, international, people-oriented. The key words for my personal brand are international, multicultural, mindful communication, women’s leadership, courage.
2. Understand other people’s perceptions of you.
Speak with many different people to understand what they see as your biggest strengths and see how that fits your own perception of yourself.
To know you’ve discovered your personal brand, try to make this equation equal:
your self-impression = how people perceive you
3. Manage and communicate your brand:
Use following tools to communicate your brand and raise your visibility:
– business cards
– work meetings
– resumes and cover letters
– blog or website
Summer holidays is the perfect time for stepping back and taking a bird’s eye view over your career. Clarity over your personal brand will boost your self-confidence and help you decide on your next step, find a better positon faster, or be successful in launching and running your own business. You will also communicate more mindfully with everyone.
I’ll repeat it once again:
Taking time to discover your personal brand, manage and live by it will help you achieve your career aspirations faster.
If you are interested in personal branding work with me in September, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.