So, what is a personal brand – what does it even mean? Your personal brand is essentially how you promote yourself; your skills, experience, knowledge or most importantly, your personality. It’s what people think of and visualise when they think of YOU. Don’t panic. I’m not talking about when you had too many chardonnays at the Christmas party. I’m talking about what you stand for, what your expertise is and how great you are with clients, customers and colleagues at work.
Here are a list of tangible ways you can maintain or even build your personal brand at work:
Social media can be really damaging to your personal brand. Vet ALL OF IT. No potential employer needs to see you at your friends 30th snogging the bar tender. Set your account to private if you need, just make sure what they can see is professional – trust me, people look. Make sure your profile pictures are appropriate and less of the firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you have a LinkedIn account too, with a corporate looking photograph and updated profile…it’ll take you twenty minutes max.
Knowledge is power as they say, so always be willing to learn. With information now so easily accessible, there really is no excuse to not always be educating yourself. Always try and do what you’re doing well, with as much initiative as humanly possible. Even if you’ve just started your first role ever, try and be the best – or at least give it a good go. Listen to podcasts, read a book, look at Google News – there is never any harm in learning. You could have been in the workforce 2 or 20 years, it really doesn’t matter, you always want to be an expert in your field.
TRACK YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS
Keep track of your accomplishments; there is never any harm in this! Sometimes you just need to toot your own horn a bit. Jot down everything you are proud off, and all of the tangible things that you have achieved in your job or career to date. Where appropriate, upload these to LinkedIn or add to your CV. Sometimes, there is no shame in showing off a tad!
Even when you’re not networking, you’re networking! This can be done so easily and efficiently; it really comes down to treating people with respect. People want to work with people they like. So try and show your best self as much as possible in the workplace. I know it’s hard especially when Monday morning rolls around – but try your best! Being warm, charming and informed in a conversation will make you instantly likeable. It’s all about making the most of any opportunity presented to you and building lasting relationships. Maybe that person will need something from you in the future, maybe you’ll need something from them! Oh, and a thoughtful thank-you email after you have met someone doesn’t go a miss either.
Practice self-reflection! People that are amazing at what they do are always improving and never complacent. It’s important to be honest with yourself about what you are doing well and…not so well. Don’t be critical but providing honest tangible feedback to yourself is important. This is exciting, it gives you the opportunity to grow, both in your personal and work life! Staying open to change is the trait of superstars!
Above anything else, be you! There is only one you, so sing it loud and sing it proud because after all, it is your PERSONAL brand.