Personal Branding Quiz:
How are You Doing?
By Brenda Bence
your personal brand doing? Are you presenting yourself in the best
possible light? Are you making you the brand of choice in your
out! If you don’t believe you actually have a personal brand, think
again. Just by virtue of being you in your career, you have a
personal brand. It exists in the minds of your audience – the people
who most influence your work life – in how they perceive, think,
and feel about you right now.
you have worked consciously on your personal brand or not, you may
be making mistakes that can seriously undermine your career
advancement. So, why not learn from the errors of others? Here’s a
quiz to help you determine if you’re committing some common errors
that could set your personal brand back a notch or two. The outcome
is that you’ll know exactly how to rectify the situation and keep
your brand on track.
you work on less important, easier tasks before tackling the tough
ones? Successful personal brand builders define their
priorities every morning and stick to them. If you do easier tasks
first, you will most likely find yourself so tired at the end of the
day that you won’t have energy to complete the more challenging
tasks later on – and those tasks are probably also the most
important tasks for your career. You need to be fresh and
clear-headed for the jobs that require more from you, so the best
time to tackle them is first thing in the morning.
you act like you understand something when you really don’t? One
of our worst fears is to look “stupid,” isn’t it? Worried about
looking like a fool, we often don’t ask questions. Assume you’ve
been given a task to complete, but you’re not sure of the objectives
– and you don’t ask for clarity. You might end up doing nothing at
all because you don’t know what to do, or you could end up doing
something that isn’t appropriate for that task. So, there you are –
exposed for not understanding it anyway! Bottom line: Asking for
clarification is actually quite smart!
Do you underestimate the importance of proper eye contact?
Proper eye contact is critical to your personal brand. Staring at
someone makes you appear as though you’re trying to dominate him or
her, while looking down can appear as low self-esteem or a sign of
nervousness. Find a happy medium between an intimidating
“stare-down” and averting your gaze. Watch, learn, and model
television interviewers to see how well they vary their eye contact.
Do you think how you “look” to others only means your person or
your office? Your look doesn’t stop with your clothes, your
body, your face, or even your office. It extends to every place
where you are responsible for its “look.” If you walked out to a
parking lot with a well-respected top executive, only to discover
that the backseat of his car was filled with dog hair, old bottles,
and trash, his personal brand would certainly be busted in your
eyes, wouldn’t it?
Do you ignore the importance of silence as a powerful “sound?”
Without the rests in music, there would be no rhythm; speech has
rhythm, too. So, sometimes, just sitting back and listening is the
best “sound” you can make. Done well, it can actually convey
confidence, intelligence, patience, and reflection.
Do you fail to answer questions directly? A direct question
only has one answer. For example, let’s say your company is
pondering two different campaigns your ad agency has developed.
You’re asked which campaign you prefer, and you say: “Well, Campaign
#1 could potentially be more visible and noticeable, but Campaign #2
is actually more on strategy. So, I guess there are benefits to both
campaigns.” Did you answer the question? No! Give a direct answer
first; then, explain your choice. Strong personal brand builders
Do you fear feedback? Feedback is one of the greatest gifts
we can give or receive. So, why do most people hate it? The truth is
that you really can’t develop a personal brand unless you receive
feedback to find out how your brand is working for you. Asking for
feedback says to others that you’re a professional, that you want to
improve, and that you are confident. Conversely, learning to give
meaningful feedback is also powerful, especially if you want to be a
leader in your organization. You will not only help others improve
but can also offer them the encouragement they need to excel.
Do you believe “if it isn’t 100% perfect, it isn’t done”?
You’ve heard the old “80-for-20” rule, right? “If it’s 80% done,
then it’s good enough – it’s done.” Most of the time,
this holds true, and people who don’t believe it are most likely
spinning their wheels, trying to finish that little extra bit that
won’t make a difference in the long run. At the same time, those who
do adhere to the 80-for-20 rule are finished with the
original project and moving on to the next one. Where do you
fall into this range of perfection?
How Did You Do? Count the times you answered “Yes” to the
questions above and then check your score below.
you have 1-2 “yes” answers, well done! You obviously have a
strong personal brand, but keep working on it until you reach a
score of “0.”
you have 3-8 “yes” answers, the good news is that you’ve
uncovered several opportunities to strengthen your personal
brand. Choose one or two areas that you think could make the
biggest difference in your desired personal brand image, and
create an action plan and a deadline by which you want to change
Whatever your score, learning to present your desired personal brand
image can make a huge difference in your job and your progression.
You owe it to yourself to make sure you define and communicate the
best possible personal brand for your future and your career.
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