Careers, Personal Branding, Sales and Marketing, career advice, career management, entrepreneurs, leadership, personal brand management

What Are They Saying About You?

Mary Rosenbaum | March 22nd, 2012

What do people say about you when you leave the room? Generally speaking, if it was a professional situation, they would mention your title and responsibilities. If it was a more relaxed environment, they might talk about your character, how easy or difficult you are to work with, your values and how they impact the way you deal with others, your aspirations, and even your family situation.

Your personal brand is more than just your title and responsibilities. It includes the actions you take that directly reflect your values, your passions, and your aspirations. Your personal brand, your reputation, is constantly changing as your actions reflect your experiences, your challenges, and the influence of others. But no one action can define your personal brand.

The big buzz over the past couple of weeks has been the very public way in which Greg Smith resigned from Goldman Sachs. He has definitely altered the way people think of him – those who know him and even more to the point, those who never heard of him before but now have a strong opinion of him.

I have heard people say that he has really branded himself. But as what? There are many different points of view as to the motive behind his actions. He has been labeled moral, vindictive, whistleblower, spoiler, spoiled, hypocrite, honest, dishonest, and I could go on.

One act does not constitute your personal brand. Personal branding is all about who you are in your entirety. Not a reflection of one action – but – that action is incorporated in your brand. Whatever Mr. Smith decides his next step will be, it will define and strengthen the direction his reputation, his brand, will take. It will provide added insight into who he is and why he did it.

Your personal brand is always a work in progress. A few years ago I’m sure Mr. Smith didn’t have a clue that he would make this public declaration nor be the focus of so much discussion and conjecture in the news and on the airways. His action was a result of some experience – one that affected how he viewed the world – his values and sense of purpose. By taking this strong a stand Mr. Smith has impacted his reputation, his personal brand, but the direction is still anyone’s guess.

How about you?

- Do you know what others are saying about you?

- Have you defined your personal brand in a way that accurately reflects who you are today and hints at what you want to accomplish in the future?

- Do your actions strengthen your positioning of how you want to be known?

You are in control of how others view you. So don’t be surprised by what they are saying about you and take control of your personal brand.

For tips for entrepreneurs and small business owners these articles on FoxBusiness should be helpful.

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Happiness and Success

Mary Rosenbaum | March 5th, 2012

“Success in life can be defined as the continued expansion of happiness and the progressive realization of worthy goals.” Deepak Chopra

In today’s 24/7 world where boundaries between work and play are more fungible, your satisfaction with work takes on a larger and more prominent part of your overall level of happiness. The days of leaving your work behind once you leave your office are as much of a distant memory as the gold watch you once hoped to receive at retirement after 30 years of working for the same company.

Whether you’re a baby boomer, a Gen X, Gen Y or millennial, your needs are all the same – enjoying what you do, feeling valued for your contribution, achieving the goals you set for yourself, and living a life that has sufficient balance between work and play.

Over the past few years two more elements have gained prominence as being integral to your overall happiness. Autonomy over your career and authenticity, being who you are in all you do, have become important in achieving higher levels of satisfaction and success.

It’s up to you to make the most of what you do and what you hope to achieve. Be honest with yourself and take the following self-assessment so you can take what steps you need to attain the success you want, however you define it.

Ask yourself:

  1. Am I doing work that satisfies me? Does the work I do employ the skills and talents I enjoy using? Do I continue to be challenged in my work? Am I passionate about what I do?
  2. Do I feel valued for my contribution? How am I valued?
  3. Can I define the value of my contribution to my company/clients?
  4. Can I articulate my goals? Do I re-evaluate them regularly to see if they continue to make sense?
  5. Am I taking the necessary steps to attain my goals? Are there intermediate steps that would be beneficial to my ultimate goals?
  6. Am I in control of my career? Am I where I want to be? Do others view me the way I want to be seen?
  7. Do I work on my relationships with family/friends in a way that keeps them growing and interesting? Do I spend enough in-person time with those people who matter to me?
  8. Am I taking care of myself so I am fit in both body and mind?
  9. How do I contribute to the “greater good”? What do I do that goes beyond my immediate needs?

10. Am I giving as much as I can to those who might need my help?

11. What am I doing to ensure that I continue to grow professionally and personally?

I know there are many other questions you can ask yourself and we would all love to hear what they are, so please share them.

How do you measure success? If you agree with Deepak Chopra’s definition of success, then once you have completed this self-assessment create your game plan for expanding and improving your building blocks to happiness and success.

Utilizing her experience of over 25 years, Mary Rosenbaum empowers careerists and entrepreneurs to gain greater clarity and more effectively communicate their unique promise of value. Strong leadership means leading with your strengths. Get her free report Top Strategies for Getting Visible and Getting Ahead.

Follow her on Twitter @careersguru