Many of the lessons we are learning on branding and reputation management are coming directly from recruiters or the perspective of potential employers. A personal brand is not something we take off at the end of the day and put back on when we turn up at work. It is about our skills base and the traits that we can sell in relation to money – that being our career.
Particularly in Queensland, the current job market is tough. Things have changed and it is no longer simply just about retaining your job. According to Right Management’s survey, over 40% of people who acquired their most recent role did so through their networks. So, in times of job uncertainty and possible redundancy, it is also important to create some insurance around your role.
These are my top tips for ensuring you have a strong personal brand which helps you stand out:
Identify what you want to be known for and check-in with yourself that this is also aligned with the authentic and real you.
A great way to check is to look at the times when you felt most productive during your day? When did you feel more energized or just simply lose track of time when you were working on a task?
Check that the messages you are sending out are consistent with the authentic you.
Ask those who are most open and share with you and get some feedback or undertake a 360-degree anonymous assessment.
Check-in for inconsistent messages.
If it is important to you to be remembered as respectful, then do you turn up to meetings on time? Do you provide an agenda and don’t waste other people’s time? Do you follow through on what you said you were going to do? Are you a good communicator and keep people informed? Words really are cheap without the actions to back them up. Check to see what messages you may be sent out which are inconsistent with your values.
Create your action plan of easy steps.
You may need to work with a coach to decide ‘what is the best step from here that will achieve the best results?’ This can mean updating your LinkedIn page, creating agendas for meetings, and allocating time in your calendar to get personal work completed.
Check-in and follow up after any performance reviews or assessments.
Check-in with those who gave you feedback, ask your coaches, or use 1-1 meetings with your manager to check if they have noticed any improvements or changes.
I recently worked with a CEO who was feeling stressed and challenged. During our coaching session, we discussed his confusion around his values alignment and connection to the other people within the organization. After undertaking a branding exercise we discovered that feedback from his family highlighted that they found him to have a great sense of humor and he was fun to be around. However, at work, he found it very difficult to use humor leaving him feeling disconnected from others. As a result of this exercise, he then began to introduce humor into his meetings including sharing his own personal amusing stories in presentations.
Just by doing this simple task, he then experienced a greater connection with his team and felt far more congruent with his values. He then began to feel less stressed and stopped dreading going to work.
Jane Anderson is the founder of Inside Out Coach.