Branding is not just for big companies anymore. All of us need to be aware of what makes us unique and the strengths we bring to the world of work. I have four strategies that I think will make you stand out and assist you to define your brand! Figuring out your brand is a process that does not happen overnight. We need to be patient as we begin the journey but the most important part is to get started.
The first strategy is to determine your unique strengths that make an impact in your career. Are you prepared to answer the often asked interview question: “What are your top strengths that you would bring to this position?” We should always be prepared for this question because it is important whether we are working or job hunting. A great way to find your unique strengths is to get feedback from colleagues, customers, your Manager and anyone that sees you in action. Many companies have 360 tools and many times I recommend that my clients create their own mini feedback survey or if comfortable ask the individual for feedback.
The second strategy is developing an online presence. Too many people wait till they are out of a job to focus on social networking. Having a connection plan is key to your success! Being able to develop relationships with others needs to be a proactive plan. Connecting face to face is most effective but we cannot underestimate the power of the internet. I often ask during training sessions, “how many people in the room are on LinkedIn?” Many professionals think LinkedIn is another version of Facebook. I am clear to my clients that LinkedIn is a professional business networking site than can have an enormous impact on your career. Make sure your profile reflects your brand. Add updates so individuals know if you are attending seminars or professional conferences. This is an important second step in your brand journey.
The third strategy Is ongoing professional development. Make sure you spend the time to stay updated on the competencies that are key to your brand. Even with our busy schedules it is so important to make sure you are taking time to sharpen your skills. There are many positive outcomes from taking a day to attend training. In addition to helping you recharge, it is important to stay up to date with the latest strategies and initiatives. It also gives you a time to connect with others and share your brand. I will be attending in October, Career Directors International Conference in San Diego. It is an opportunity, I look forward to every year to learn the latest career development trends for my clients and to continue to refine my brand. My branding journey continues…
The fourth strategy is focused awareness. It is so important to realize that what can energize one colleague can stress another. Be really clear on your behaviors that energize others but also create conflict. This key step is crucial because by having awareness of your personality style and how you problem solve can make a huge impact on your work success! By having heightened awareness you can also present your brand to others so you stand out and are better than the best! In the song “Its my Job” written by by Mac McAnally and covered by many musicians including Jimmy Buffet, he shares his brand of being better than the best as a street sweeper. If you get a chance, listen to this song…it will change how you face your day tomorrow!