Your manager is not responsible for your career. You are. They are responsible for your output. So, waiting until annual review time to determine your goals and accomplishments is not the best idea.

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In today's competitive job market, it's so important that you keep learning and growing. But, you know what? Time is scarce. It is hard enough to get the job done each day let alone plan for the next step in your career.

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For so many people, it seems like an insane idea to have a personal brand. The truth is, we all already have one. It might not be formal or something we think about all the time, but it is there. So, it's time we start really defining what it means, and how to display it consistently across the web and in real life. Related: 7 Key Ways To Promote Your Personal Brand For Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, personal brand is what people say about you when you're not in the room. And while Jeff is spot on, it's a little difficult to know what people are saying about you when you're not there, so, I prefer to talk about personal brand as the intersection of who you aspire to be, how you are perceived by others, and who you really are as a person. A personal brand is not fluff, or buzzwords or keywords on a resume. It's deeper than that. You're deeper than that.

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You've reached a point in your career where you have a defined and consistent personal brand. And that's awesome. But, like any brand marketer will tell you, it isn't enough to build the brand - you have to manage the brand. You need to be a steward of the brand. A brand manager is someone who consistently works to generate awareness, influence, and affinity all in an effort to continually build brand equity. In a nutshell, that is what a brand manager does. So, how can we start applying some of those principles to our personal brand? How do we become our own personal brand manager? Related: 5 Ways To Create A Consistent Brand While this sounds like a full time endeavor, it isn't, it simply takes thought and planning and before you know it, it is second nature. Here are a few tips to maintaining and managing your personal brand:

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