Now that 2016 is behind us (thank goodness!), we have three-hundred-and-something days to make this year the best for our careers. What’s more, NOW is the time to plan and get clear on what you want career-wise. Notice that I’m saying ‘career’ and not ‘job’. Your job is not your career. Your jobs are like stations that you hop-on and off at while on your career-train.
Every one’s career journey is different, however –
there is one thing that you can start doing today that will help you progress and standout professionally in 2017.
Last week during a coaching call with a client, we were on the topic of her personal brand. Before we delved into the topic, I asked what ‘personal brand’ meant to her and she said: “My brand is how people see me, right? It doesn’t matter that much to me; I can’t change how people think about me anyway.”
Her answer wasn’t uncommon; many clients I’ve worked with have heard about personal branding but aren’t sure why it should matter to them. I’ll tell you now: whether you’re the CEO of a company, a budding entrepreneur or a full-time student your personal brand matters. Why? Because a good personal brand opens up professional doors you never thought possible.
“Branding on a business-level is common, but today branding is becoming just as important on a personal level. After all, you might work for a business that works with other businesses, but it’s people working with people and that’s what makes business relationships valuable.” Neil Patel
So how can you build a powerful personal brand in your career?
Here are my top tips that have worked time and time again for clients.
– Get an online presence that YOU’VE created
Did you know 80% of employers Google job seekers before inviting them into an interview? Yes, it’ true! Now more than ever it’s crucial that you have a website or at least a LinkedIn page that shows your career highlights, strengths and ambitions. Create an online presence on your terms and review your Facebook privacy settings…this is a common mistake that leads people away from their dream job.
– Choose an image for your personal brand
I’m not talking about the clothes you wear – although that does play a part (read my personal experience about this). I’m talking about what you stand for. If you’re passionate about customer experience, then talk about it, write about, share articles about it, join groups about it. If you love fitness, then show this in your Instagram.
Stand for something that fits into the vision for the career you want and share it with the world.
This will help you standout from the noise and attract the right people.
– Network – the RIGHT way!
I know networking is not for everyone, however you need to put yourself out there to build your brand. And, more importantly, you need to network the right way which is focussing on your needs AND the other person’s. Give them an opportunity to benefit from the relationship as well. For example, reach out to your dream employers with ideas or congratulate them on something they’ve done well. Doing this will not only help you standout but also help you secure more connections and opportunities, which will all contribute to strengthening your personal brand.
– Be YOU
If you’re known to be a grammar nerd, love doing obstacle courses or have a penchant for retro tech then develop your personal brand in light of these idiosyncrasies – the stuff in your life that makes you smile on the inside and the outside. Your personal brand is just that – personal – and it’s how you show your personality through your professional life that will help you get the career that you desire and, more importantly, one that’s based on your terms.