Career and Business: You are Your Brand!

October 25, 2013

brandOne of the things that was driven home while I attended the Financial Blogger Conference recently was the importance of developing your own brand. This doesn’t even have to apply only to those who have their own businesses. Even as you work to climb the career ladder you still need to manage yourself as a brand.

Your Smiling Face

Among the first lessons taught at FinCon was in the opening keynote by Pat Flynn. He talked about first impressions. The way you impress others with your personal branding can make a big difference later. Whether you are looking for business clients, or whether you are trying to climb the corporate ladder, you need to consider how you want to present yourself. Because you will become a brand that others recognize.

Pat also talked about the importance of connecting your smiling face with your brand. He talked specifically about including your image on a blog to provide that connection with others, but the idea is transferable. When people see your face, what do you want them to think? Are you competent? Are you capable? What do you stand for? Can you be trusted?

These are all things that you need to think about as you reach out to others in all aspects of your career.

The Importance of You as a Brand

In the past, many workers held between one and three jobs. Workers didn’t change careers very often. You could expect to work at a single company for most of your life. You might move up the ladder, but, really, your personal brand didn’t matter as much. In the past, you just had to get the job and you were pretty much set for life.

Now, though, it’s common for people to hold down more than seven jobs throughout their careers. And with the job market somewhat uncertain, many workers are branching out and starting their own businesses. In the past, the company you worked for was part of your identity. Now, with so much career switching, that sort of identification doesn’t exactly work. You’d have to change your identity every few years!

Instead, work on branding yourself. Being able to identify yourself with a certain skill set can be helpful as you look for new jobs, advance your career, and even as you strike out on your own. Rather than just borrowing the values and attributes of your employer, you need to develop your own branding.

Thanks to social media, this is possible. You can create a brand around your own personal abilities. This makes it possible for you to separate yourself from your current employer and define yourself as someone who might be attractive to many different employers – or even clients (if you decide to start your own business).

Think about who you want to be, and how you want to present yourself. You want to be genuine, but you also want to make sure that you are careful about your image. In today’s world, you truly are your own brand. You need to make sure you like your brand image.

How do you feel you’re managing your own personal brand? Leave a comment!

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Miranda

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Miranda
Miranda writes about personal finance almost every day. An experienced freelance writer, she's covered your money online and in print from every angle and is always looking for new ones.

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