When people hear the word “brand” they instantly think of “products” or “things on a store shelf” or “cool stuff we can order through Amazon.” The last association people make with “brand” is to themselves. Branding is not just about products. YOU are a brand. And, if you’re seeking a new career or looking for your next job your personal brand is your foundation for success.
Understand that building a personal brand is not a future activity or something that you are going to start doing. Your personal brand exists right now, this moment, whether you intended it to or not. It can be found by anyone ‘shopping’ on the social media ‘shelves.’ Don’t believe me? Google search your name and you’ll find places where your personal brand is visible to and accessible by anyone; especially employers, hiring managers, recruiters, and job posters. Your personal brand exists offline as well. Ask people you know and work with how they would describe you, what you are known to them for, and what your distinct traits and skills are. Even stay at home parents have a personal brand!
YOUR JOB SEARCH RESPONSIBILITY IS TO CONTROL YOUR PERSONAL BRAND AND TO MAKE SURE THAT IT IS WHAT YOU WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW ABOUT YOU AT ANY POINT IN TIME
To design your personal brand you need to:
- Describe with utmost clarity what you want your next career to be and set measurable benchmarks for knowing when “you’ve arrived.”
- Create your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) based on what you have to offer in terms of your (a.) natural skills and abilities (eg, music, problem-solving, writing) (b.) transferable business skills (eg, team building, budgeting, programming) (c.) passion (the answer to the question, “If money was not a concern, what would you want to spend your life doing?).
- Market your personal brand to those who can help you achieve your career success and who you, in turn, can help.
Designing your personal brand is about taking control of your career visibility and regarding your job search as asset management. Too many people get a liberal arts degree and “fall into” a career only to acknowledge years later that they hate what they’re doing. That doesn’t have to be you or if it is you can re-market yourself into a different career. Oh, and keep in mind: we are complex creatures and career-ing is an iterative process that probably will happen more than once, perhaps several times, in your life. So, learning how to design your personal brand will make the future even more manageable.
Here’s a quick and easy design exercise incorporating all three steps above:
I want to use my natural talents of: __________, __________, __________ combined with my __________, __________, __________ skills to make an impact in the ___________________ industry.
Don’t be fooled by the brevity of this foundational exercise. Invest some time in it. After all, this is about YOUR personal brand and YOUR career. What could be more important?
Once you’ve written down several versions of the above exercise and picked the one that resonates the most with you, write your Personal Brand Statement. And, remember: in business, your personal brand needs to leave a lasting impression or you risk being ignored. Your personal brand statement is basically a catchphrase that says something about your expertise and what makes you unique. It gives people a quick glance into what you can do so they’ll be able to understand how you can be of benefit to them. And, if it’s catchy enough, that’s how people are going to recognize and remember you.
My own personal brand statement is, “Creating meaningful careers by design.” What’s yours? Once you’ve come up with it tell the world. Use social media like Twitter and LinkedIn. Incorporate it into your LinkedIn Summary on your profile, the posts you create or share, and your status updates . Put it on your website or blog if you have one and your email address. Promote YOU offline by engaging with relevant persons at conferences, workshops and meetups. Always Be Branding!
“CREATING MEANINGFUL CAREERS BY DESIGN”
Schedule a FREE 15-minute career consultation with Certified Professional Career Coach Garrison Leykam at https://calendly.com/garrison-1