Your reputation – your personal brand – is your calling card in business and in life. It precedes you (think word of mouth, performance evaluations, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, etc.). How your personal brand is impacted (voluntarily or involuntarily) directly affects your career and/or business. At the same time, the trajectory of your career has a direct impact on your personal brand. Yes, there is a symbiotic relationship between the
Here are some things you can do to bullet proof your career & your personal brand – and protect the value of that calling card.
1. Never stop growing and changing – Stay curious and be open to new ideas.
New information enables you to be more flexible and innovative, both key words in staying competitive and moving ahead in business today. Rather than let your usual filter be based on experience and “the way things have always been done”, be open to allow for creativity and innovation to seep into your work and your life.
Great tennis players like Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray, Venus Williams remain great by constantly upping their game – new serves, new techniques, new strokes, new coaches. Complacency would never be part of their playbook. And it shouldn’t be part of yours either.
In order for you to be great and stay great you have to keep learning – take courses, read books and articles, attend lectures and conferences, listen to colleagues, bring on advisors and coaches, and let new ideas take you in new directions.
So grow your personal brand by increasing your experiences and expanding your capabilities.
2. Make goal setting a priority.
“In the absence of clearly defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily acts of trivia.” Author Unknown
Accidental success is rare. Goals create a road map that helps you manage your career and bolster your personal brand. By identifying your goals you can better address what you need in order to attain them –education, greater visibility, improved communication, more or different experiences. Goals provide structure and create a purposeful plan for you to build your career.
Break your long-term goal in manageable, bite-size steps – instead of shooting for a 10 year goal – think of where you need to be in 1 year, 3 years, and 5 years – and what you need to get to these milestones first. This way your goals become less overwhelming and more attainable.
3. Understand your value – What’s in it for them?
When you know the value you provide to your organization and/or your clients you can more effectively focus on strengthening those skills and talents that make you stand out. Strong personal brands are known for something – not for many things. Knowing your value allows you to magnify its intensity.
Additionally, understanding your value provides you with the leverage you need when evaluating future opportunities and negotiating compensation or fees.
4. Get out of your comfort zone – Say yes to new opportunities.
Nothing in business is forever anymore – greater efficiencies along with improved technological advances continue to shrink jobs across a wider swath of industries.
No job is totally “safe”. So you have to take more risks. Getting comfortable in your career may sound desirable but it’s a sure way to close off opportunities that might propel you forward quicker and in new directions. Greater exposure to new experiences enhances what you do and/or the service you deliver, adding another dimension to your personal brand.
No Pain, No Gain. Just choose wisely which risks you take. Always k#eep your goals front and center and know well which consequences are acceptable in the event of failure.
5. Mind your character and your reputation – It’s YOUR personal brand.
Critical components of your personal brand are your values and your behavior. Your values are as unique as your fingerprints; they define your character. Once you are clear on what your values are they become your own personal litmus test of what you want, how you want to live, who you want to be with, work with, and what you want to do.
When you live your values you are in equilibrium, you are authentic to who you are – the world is great.
Your reputation is based on how others view you. Your reputation consists of not only your values, but includes how you do your work and how you interact with others. It’s the memory people have of their experience of working and spending time with you. As we all know, your reputation is fragile and is often synonymous with your personal brand. Doing your best work and treating others with respect each and every time will ensure that you maintain the reputation you want and deserve.
Stay curious, be bold, take risks – and move forward with purpose and confidence. A strong personal brand will bullet proof your career and help you get ahead.
Do you want to find new ways to strengthen your personal brand and bullet proof your career? Then let’s talk.