Master Your Personal Brand
By Brenda Bence
In today’s topsy-turvy marketplace, job security may seem
like a pipe dream. In the midst of downsizing, stock market
confusion, and layoffs, how can you make sure to keep your name off
any pink-sheet list? One key way you can create employment insurance
is to learn to define and effectively communicate your unique
personal brand at work.
Here are some personal branding tips for insuring you’ll have
a job even if times get tough:
needs of your audience.
We tend to think that personal branding is an ego thing – that it’s
all about “you.” But just as successful corporate marketers make
sure their products fill a need for consumers, personal branders
have to make sure their brands fill their audience’s needs as well.
If you aren’t exactly sure what your boss needs from you, ask!
Then, do all you can to meet those needs. Become indispensable. It’s
a surefire way to make certain you remain valuable in the eyes of
strengths, and leverage them all. What talents and skills do you bring to your company?
Are there any strengths that you aren’t fully utilizing at work? Can
you offer more skills than you offer now? Give every talent that you
have to your company, and you will be someone your company can’t
afford to lose.
Go beyond your job
As you leverage
your strengths, think about doing more than your job description
specifies. Anyone who does only what is required of them will be
among the first to go in a layoff situation. That’s why strong
personal branders look for ways to go beyond their job descriptions.
Be prepared to show flexibility and versatility. Find ways to be
proactive, getting tasks done before you have to be asked to do
them. Think about making your supervisors’ jobs easier for them. Not
only will you become a great asset to your employer, but you’ll also
find you will take greater pride in what you do.
Do you want to be known as one of the best in your company at what
you do? Use experience, education, and endorsements to elevate you
to a top-performer image. What experience do you have that proves
you can perform certain tasks on the job? Are you using all of your
appropriate past experience that you can? Can you take a seminar or
a course to strengthen your credibility on the job? Are you asking
clients and supervisors for endorsements or testimonials that you
can use to show your value?
Be mindful of your
personal brand character.
Think of your brand character as your overriding attitude, temperament,
and personality. It’s like the difference between Pepsi and Coca
Cola. Their ingredients are pretty much the same, but each brand has
a “character” all its own created by smart marketers. The same holds
true of smart personal branders. Remember that employers want to
work with people they like. Is the character that you display on the
job the type of character that will appeal to your audience? This is
a critical part of successful personal branding.
Everything you do must communicate your personal brand. If you
remain consistent with your brand, your employer will know that you
can be counted on to deliver every day. This means that you must
look and sound the part of your personal brand, too. Dress
professionally, and make sure to speak articulately. Study body
language, to learn how to present yourself as open and friendly. All
of these efforts will not only help you keep a job but may even get
Learn to manage
We have all fallen
prey to knee-jerk reactions, but they’re almost never worth it. Nine
times out of ten, you’ll look back on an angry response and wish you
could turn back the clock. So, at a time when you think you might
fall prey to a knee-jerk reaction, learn to take a breath, and hold
onto your emotions. Take the time you need in order to express your
opinions rationally. It will do your personal brand good… and you
won’t regret it later.
Maintain a positive
Don’t get sucked into the abyss of “misery” that seems to spread
whenever the stock market takes a dive. No matter what is happening
around you, thinking negatively will do nothing to help. In fact, it
may just take you down with the ship. After all, science is
beginning to discover that your thoughts may have more power than we
… well, thought. So, work on keeping your thoughts positive
and expect the best. It will not only make your life easier during
trying times but it can also help you create a better future …
sooner rather than later.
Whether or not
you worry that your job could be in jeopardy, mastering your
personal brand is one of the very best ways to not only insure job
security, but to command a higher salary and advancement in your
career as well. Becoming known for your powerful personal brand puts
everyone on notice that you’re someone to watch. What better job
insurance is there than that?
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