You & Your Personal Work ‘Brand’Posted: 26th of May 2015 by Tom Clover
Everyone that you meet has an opinion of you. They may, for example, think that you are friendly and personable or, alternatively, rude and obstructive – it all depends on how you acted when you met them. Of course, this may seem unfair – after all, how could they know how you were feeling on a particular day? Maybe something bad had just happened to you, or you might simply have got out of the wrong side of bed that day. But, as unfair as this may seem, the fact remains. However, it is entirely possible to take control of how others see you by how you act, dress, or talk. All of these things can help you build a more positive ‘brand’ for yourself – which can be particularly useful at work! Ideally, you want to be well-thought-of by your colleagues. It makes the day go easier at work and also doesn’t do you much harm when it comes time for promotion! So, how can you improve your personal work brand and thereby your career prospects?
Here’s a few tips to help:
Know Your Value
Before you can expect others to respect you, you have to respect yourself. Think about what makes you stand out, the unique qualities you bring to the workplace. These will tend to be the things you enjoy or are good at too. Maybe you are great at writing reports, or perhaps your skills lie in communicating with others, or coming up with ideas? Recognising your strengths and goals will set you on the way to creating a positive image of yourself. Your personal brand needs to genuinely reflect who you are (albeit a slightly ‘brushed-up’ version) – everyone can spot a fake!
Ask A Friend
OK, so this is the sort of thing that career experts like to advise you to do but, in reality, can be a little bit awkward to do. However, if you can get some feedback from a trusted friend about what people think of you, it will help you see if you are on the right track. Perhaps you could play a game and ask your friend to write down 5 words that they associate with you? Do the same for them, and see if their words match up with your expectations. Are you ‘efficient,’ ‘friendly,’ ‘approachable,’ and ‘calm,’ or have you got to work to match your self-image to the outside world? Knowing where you stand is a good starting point to knowing how far you have to go.
Write a blog and use your social media accounts to help create your personal brand. By writing about certain topics and sharing interesting or relevant items on social media you can create a perception of yourself. The great thing about going online for this is that you can reach more people, while also maintaining a level of control. Always think before hitting send, tweet, or share. However, when used well, these avenues can really aid your personal brand – both at work and outside!
Try not to undermine your brand by acting out of character. Sure, sometimes situations may make this difficult, but if your brand is true to who you really are (see above), then it should be relatively easy to maintain. This consistency should cross over from your online activity, to how you dress and carry yourself, right through to the tricky situation of an office party! (Tip: Don’t drink too much!).
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