A lot is being made of building a personal brand lately. And no matter the circle, it really is a good idea to have a clearly defined personal brand. This is especially true if you are in the midst of growing your career, or finding a new position. What isn’t so great is that developing a brand sounds like a very lofty idea that is not easily executed. It sounds hard, but I am here to tell you: It really isn’t all that hard. Related: 5 Ways To Boost Your Professional Profile With Social Media We can get a really solid start in easy six steps. Ready? Let’s go!
You go to work, you do your work, and you come home wondering where this is all going. You wonder what your next step is. What you can be doing to elevate your career. So, you ask your manager. And your manager stares at you blankly and points you to your projects. You’re confused and head back to your desk. It is too easy to continue this routine until you get frustrated with your current situation and start looking elsewhere. Related: Unhappy With Your Career? Manage Up! What's the problem with this story? You’re not managing your career. You’re doing your work. You’re talking to your manager, but you aren’t actively managing your career. You’re actually looking for your boss to manage it for you. Problem is: Your boss is busy managing his or her own career. So… you need to start managing yours. You need to own it.
Having a clearly defined personal brand can be the difference between top candidate for the position or promotion and also-ran. In an effort to get a leg up professionally having a clear, consistent personal brand is a boon to your career. Related: 6 Easy Steps For Building A Defined Personal Brand However, developing a consistent brand can be a little daunting or even a confusing proposition. But it doesn’t have to be. It can be as simple as the following five steps.
Building a consistent personal brand can be quite an undertaking. A personal brand means many things to many people. To Jeff Bezos of Amazon, your personal brand is what people say about you when you aren’t in the room. I believe the personal brand is the intersection of what you’re great at, what you aspire to be and who you really are. A personal brand is rooted in you as a professional and as a person. Which all sounds perfectly wonderful… once it’s done. Related: How To Build A Consistent Personal Brand To develop a strong personal brand, you need to know what you’re great at and what you aspire to be and overlay that with the characteristics that make you unique. A personal brand should be concise and easily understandable. Which is why it is often hard to craft. The challenge is that we are actually complex people in the professional world. So a statement of who you really are, what you're great at, and what you aspire to be would tell an employer all they need to know seems tough in our 140 character world. But it isn’t. Here’s the #1 shortcut:
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.
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:
In my career as a marketer, I have had the good fortune to advise businesses on developing their brand and go-to-market strategies. I’ve taught companies how to use storytelling in their marketing and how to develop a message that is unique and sticky. Related: 6 Ways To Show Your Value Without Being A Jerk Over the course of the last few years, I have transitioned these lessons to personal branding. The mistakes and successes are strikingly common. Everyone wants to tell everyone everything. Businesses want to get into the nuance of the product they’ve developed. And when we talk personal branding, we, too, want to get into nuance and details. And my message to everyone is the same: You’re audience wants to know how you’re going to solve their problem. They don’t care about whiz-bang features; they care about their problems. In personal branding, your boss or hiring manager doesn’t care about the “responsibilities” you have at work. What they do care about is how your awesome skills will solve their work problems. Which is why responsibilities do not matter; accomplishments matter. You should think about your “unique selling points.” What are the 5-10 things you’ve done that are just awesome? Don’t think “responsibilities," think “accomplishments.” The SVP of Google’s hiring team, Laszlo Bock, stated that you should frame your accomplishments as “I accomplished (x) as measured by (y) by doing (z),” which is so brilliant in its simplicity, but, the problem so many of us run into is, "Uh, what did I accomplish?” Or, “I don’t have numbers to support my efforts.” It is where we always get stuck and stop. We are too busy working to manage our careers in an active way. But it doesn’t have to be really daunting. It can be as simple as making a "Top 10" List. Could be "Top 5." Could be "Top 1," depending on how awesome that "1" is. Then, the question becomes “What goes on that list?” Here’s my point of view: Look at your career to date and examine four specific things:
CAREEREALISM’s motto is “every job is temporary." Even still, sometimes it is really hard to know if you are having a bad day, a bad week, or it is really time for you to move on to greener pastures. Because this is such a tough thing to ascertain, the team at CredHive built this handy, dandy little infographic to help you know if you should stay or you should start getting your act together and find a new job. Related: 6 Ways To Avoid Burning Bridges By Leaving A Job With a whopping 88% of CAREEREALISM readers looking for a new job in 2015, we’d like to help you zero in on a few things. First, we want you to know how urgent your job search should be. Should you get your career experience and accomplishments organized in the next few months or days? Should you be updating your personal brand now, or next week? And even if you should stay put, you should still be actively managing your career. While you might want to stay put for now, your next review or promotion could be right around the corner. The second thing we’re hoping this little graphic can help you with is to figure out what you’re looking for in your next job. Is a career path important to you? How about goals? It might help you try to learn more about the company culture and perks. You also need to be sure you interview your new manager. A recent Gallup poll found that more than 50% of workers have left a job to get away from their boss. And while this infographic lacks any basis in science, we believe that life is too short to be in a job that doesn’t meet your needs. So, take a look at our fun little infographic, it’s supposed to be fun. We hope you’re entertained! This post was originally published at an earlier date