Why Your Personal Brand May Be Holding Your Career Back

Personal BrandingBuilding Your Personal Brand Has Become Essential to Advancing Your Career

Personal Branding has come of age because times have drastically changed from when my father began his career. Gone are the days when you started your career with a company and fully expected to retire with that same company.

Most people change careers a number of times throughout their lifetime.

There was a time when if you worked hard and invested your blood, sweat and tears into a company, you could expect a certain level of loyalty back from the company. However, today there is no guarantee of a job, nor is there loyalty from the company. Hard work and commitment is quickly tossed aside in the name of “business”.

See Your Job As a 2-Year Contract

Many consultants, including myself, advise clients to look at their current job as a 2-year contract. Even-though you may not actually be in contract, there is wisdom in an employee having the perspective that their job is only for 2-years. Why?

Here’s the logic. if an employee approaches their job with this perspective, three things should result:

  1. A Higher Level of Engagement – Knowing your job isn’t a “sure thing”, you should work with a goal to have your contract renewed. If you know your contract is going to potential not be renewed, there should be a higher level of engagement. The standard of excellence is raised knowing someone else could potentially win your contract.
  2. A Healthy & Active Network is Maintained – Knowing your job may end in 2-years, provides much needed motivation to keep your network and professional connections alive. Often, it is easy to become complacent and neglectful of our connections until we are in desperate need of potential job leads or referral.
  3. New Skills Are Developed or Kept Current – Most jobs are evolving and changing at a rapid pace. Technology is moving fast! Businesses often struggle just to keep up, which means for those who choose to sit still will be left behind. Take a look ahead and see what skills you may need to perform at a high level, then make a plan on how you are going to develop those skills. Don’t wait for your company to take the inititive (they may not), rather you take charge of your career. You set your own course to success.

If you have a job, be thankful. Work hard. Have a high standard of excellence. However, don’t do it, expecting loyalty back from your company. Do it because you’re a professional. Then, work knowing that your position may be eliminated. In other words, “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.”

Build a Competitive Personal Brand

If you are one of these people who has no desire for advancement or personal success, then this is where you should hop off this blog, because the information I’m going to share will be of no value to you.

However, if you have professional goals for a certain amount of financial success or professional achievement, what I am about to share is essential to the advancement of your career.

To compete today, professionals must take charge of their own careers by discovering their personal strengths and interests, then leveraging those strengths to make themselves stand out from their peers.

Great Careers Don’t Just Happen

To some the concept of building a personal brand sounds like a marketing gimmick, however it is anything but a gimmick. Great careers don’t just happen, they are the result of hardworking professionals successfully aligning their best qualities to their career.

Many Are Unclear About Their Strengths

This sounds easy. This is however the irony. Most never see their careers advance, because they are honestly not even clear about what they are good at doing. And, if they do know what they are skilled at doing well, it may not be clear how that strength can be leveraged to move their career along, so they can achieve their goals.

Make no mistake about it. Great careers go to those often with great personal brands.

Although, the path to building your personal brand is highly personal and something very unique to them, the process of discovering it, then defining it, so you can then communicate it to your world is very similar for everyone. There may not be “one way” to building your brand, but there is “a way” that has been developed and proven to be highly successful and facilitating professionals through the process.

Benefits to Following a Proven Process

There are some real benefits to following this proven process in building one’s personal brand, some of them are:

  • Confidence in your path
  • Clarity on what is needed to get the best results, because thousands of others have followed the same path and achieved great results
  • Avoid missing important steps in the process
  • Keeps you on track. Without a clear path, many get detoured on tangents or bogged down in the process, which can derail their success
  • Ability to measure you progress

A Brief Overview of Building Your Brand

The following is an infographic style overview of the process of building a personal brand. It’s a fun way to take a simple look at your path to a personal brand.

 

The success of your career is significantly impacted by your ability to have clear direction and purpose, coupled with the leveraging and aligning of your strengths to that vision. The mere fact you are working with purpose sets you apart from so many today.

It’s Time to Create a Brand Called YOU!

It’s time for you to put some serious thought to taking your career serious. Take charge of it by creating a Brand called YOU!

 

Brent Wells
CEO & Executive Brand Strategist
Say It! Communications

 

To learn more about this topic, go to the Say It! Communications Personal Branding Portal. You will find a number of resources on the topic.

Or, Download this Free Ebook, An Introduction to Personal Branding.



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Infographic: Learn to Build Your Personal Brand

Link: Learn How To Build Your Personal Brand [Infographic Brochure]

©2012 Brent Wells, Say It! Communications

Please don’t make alterations to the document, but you are free to post, share, and refer to the Infographic. All I ask is that you provide a link back to this post. I’m grateful for you sharing it.

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