When thinking of a company like Google, immediately brand ideals such as, innovation, creativity the internet come to mind. When thinking of Michelle Obama, immediately things like openness, authenticity, courage and personal dialogue come to mind. And Grab? Travel and convenience.
Although those are some of the biggest and well-known brands globally, each of us also has a unique personal brand that has significant value if used in the right way. Our personal brands are our own personal voices and represents the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want the world to see. It describes each of us, and what we do spoken and unspoken. In times of great change investing in your personal professional brand can pay off enormously in the job market and the pursuit of your professional and personal goals. Let’s take a look at why developing your personal brand is so important.
What is Your Personal Brand?
A personal brand is how you promote yourself. It is the unique combination of skills, experience, and personality that you want others to see. It is the telling of your story, and the impression people gain from your reputation both online and offline.
Even if you don't think you have a personal brand, trusts me you do. It is what people think of you and the work you do and how you have conducted yourself doing that work. Your brand is ultimately the conversation going on about you while you are not in the room. In the digital age of work your brand is the reviews you have amassed from the freelance work websites, or the Linkedin recommedations or followers that you have amassed on your Zoom webinars.
The question is: If someone mentions your name, business or professional work what do you want them to say? More importantly do you know what your brand is and are you taking control of it?
Pro Tip: Seek feedback from trusted peers and mentors about how you are perceived it is a good way to find out about your current brand. Once you know how you are perceived, it’s easier to take steps to manage that perception.
Why Would You Want a Personal Brand?
A personal brand is yours to create, continually build and nurture. That’s one of the beautiful things about your personal brand 'YOU' are ultimately in control. With the changing nature of work – where we now all work remotely, and more and more workers are now adopting freelance work or project-based work. Building your personal brand is essential in developing your professional reputation and truth be told, your brand and personal voice is becoming stronger than your resume. So, if you want to advance your career in this more complex world of work and make an impact, building a brand that replicates the strong attributes that you want to portray is probably the most important career investment you can make right now.
Pro Tip: Building your brand is sometimes unintentional: If your naturally empathetic, reserved and thoughtful people will have these perceptions. Learn to embody your brand without thinking of it as an intentional action let it come naturally, this will also be portrayed as being authentic and genuine.
Why is Personal Branding Important Now?
Covid-19 has ushered in a world where we connect online first and meet later or not at all. The pandemic has completely disrupted professional norms of behavior everybody is adapting to a new way of doing things.
Post-COVID, these trends will only accelerate with the ability to connect with anyone, anywhere and at any time. We now all live predominantly in a borderless digital world where connection and transparency flow seamlessly on the internet. If you weren’t Zooming or Teamsing during the lockdown you weren’t connecting at all. So, the need to maintain and keep your professional profile up to date and actively engaged is essential.
Furthermore, we are entering into an era where personal influence is more important than positional influence – the global economic crisis has upended many industries and the high-flying professionals that occupied them, just think of the thousands of high flying and highly paid pilots that are now permanently grounded. COVID-19 taught us that positions come and go, but who you are as a person, what you stand for and your ability to influence others by being yourself is all that remains.
The big takeaway is that in a world where you can work from anywhere means that the job opportunities can also come from anywhere – we are no longer location specific in deriving career opportunities.
What this means for your personal brand: Instead of concentrating on developing yet another version of your resume, invest time in sharing your voice online. Your voice can carry online and if you have good ideas, people will become aware of your brand and opportunities will be there for you.
So, what is your brand? Are you aware of it and are you managing it? Are you embodying it in all you do? Hopefully the answer is yes because your personal brand is a very important piece of successful career growth.
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half the sky (HTS) is a career platform for women in Asia. We connect women to career opportunities at companies that care. We also want to equip you with information, tips and strategies to navigate the workplace today and the future.
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