In today’s job market, the question isn’t whether or not it would be wise to have a personal brand – but how do you take the first step? It is becoming more and more difficult to stand out from the crowd and ‘be noticed’ for those promotions and positions that you would like to have. With a very limited amount of positions available, it becomes increasingly clear how important building your personal brand becomes.
People know you. They have associated positions and characteristics to you. They have built an idea in their mind about you. Building a personal brand entails you taking control of the characteristics that are being assigned to you. You decide how you want to be known and the career path that you’d like to take. What do you want people to think of when they think of you? What positions would you like to be considered for?
Step one in building your personal brand starts with mapping out the brand that you desire. This is worth investing time in.
It is the building block to the position you want, the pay you desire and the company you’d like to work for. Think of characteristics that you would like to be associated with you. They need to be distinct. They need to differentiate you and your skill-sets from a whole host of other people. It can’t be as simple as dependable. That is an unsaid expectation, not a differentiator. Think of the things that differentiate you from 100 other people that do the same job.
Step one is simply to DEFINE your personal brand. Determine what your brand should be. Once defined, you can then reinforce it with LinkedIn, Plaxo, Facebook, and Twitter. You can reinforce it in email and inconversations. People in your network WILL HELP YOU if they know what you desire.
For those that can’t easily define their brand, ask some of your close co-workers how they’d characterize you, your work, and your work habits. Listen for frequently repeated characteristics and assets. These will help you to define your brand.
I am a business developer. My work brand, simply stated is: I am a trusted advisor to senior executives in healthcare in the Dallas/Ft Worth area in order to help them create game changing bottom line strategies for their organizations. My personal brand is straightforward; I am an author, speaker and career coach that helps to motivate employees to achieve the success that they desire. Your brand should describe you. It should be simple. It will tell others something about you and what you are good at. It will help you to be noticed and improve your chance at those positions you’d like to have.
Bethany Williams is an expert in business development and healthcare operations. She has held high level positions at IDX Systems Corporation, GE Healthcare, Perot Systems Corporation, and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Williams shares her stories and helpful tips on career success through her book, Winning Strategies for Women, and a popular motivational blog. She volunteers as a life coach and mentor for employees around the globe through her website and personal one-to-one visits. She currently works as an executive at a big four accounting firm and lives in Dallas with her husband, Michael, and her three children. You can find her on the web at www.bethanywilliams.org.