I recently attended a lecture about personal branding. As someone looking for full time employment, this is a topic close to my heart. But personal branding is not just for those looking for a new job.
Personal branding is important for everyone who strives for career success. You might be looking to change job function, change industries or land a more senior position in your current company. In all of these cases your personal brand will play a crucial role in your ability to achieve your goal.
What is My Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is your reputation. It is comprised of your thoughts, beliefs, words, and actions. It is all the unique factors that differentiate you from everyone else.
The act of personal branding then is how you market yourself to others. This branding hinges on people’s perception of you.
Unfortunately, we are not able to control they way people perceive us. We are only able to influence the way we are perceived. So it is critical to know your brand and to clearly communicate it to others so their perception of your brand is as close to the reality as possible.
Why is a Personal Brand so important?
Gone are the days when you would work for the same company for 20 years. Whether by choice or necessity people are changing jobs much more frequently than ever before. These days it is normal for workers to only stay at a company for 1-3 years.
Technological advances, commoditization of work in many sectors, mass outsourcing of jobs, and unstable markets have all led to more people fighting for fewer jobs.
Therefore, in order to differentiate yourself in such a highly competitive work environment you have to have a strong personal brand that describes who you are, what you are about, and what makes you valuable.
With so many candidates available and so little time or resources to evaluate their talents, the person with the strongest personal brand is the usually the one who is chosen from all the faces in the crowd.
So what exactly are you doing to build a strong personal brand?