What does your brand say about you? Are you famous or infamous? Are you sought out for projects or are you the last one picked? Is your professional image not quite what you had hoped or expected at this stage of your career? Even if you don’t think your brand is good – take heart – it isn’t too late. You can always begin anew with the brand new “YOU.” Your income and opportunity for advancement may depend on it.
In order to get where you wish to go, you need to have a good idea where you are starting. Find out what your brand is now. You can ask trusted colleagues for an honest assessment, but make sure they know you won’t take it personally. Take a look at your recent performance reviews – ideally, a 360 review, but even something from your line manager will help.
You can also ask yourself these questions:
- Are you asked to help solve problems or are you the source of the problem?
- Do you show up on time – for work? For meetings?
- Do you hit your deadlines or miss them?
- Do others seek you out for advice?
- If you were your own subordinate, would you want to work for you?
- Do others constantly ask you to clarify your requests or your message?
All of these activities can give you valuable insight into the real or perceived flaws in your brand.
Don’t forget about the physical attributes that make up your brand. Unfortunately, we live in a world where too much stock is put in appearance. While it might be easier for you to ignore your appearance, research indicates that appearance matters, not only in terms of job opportunities, but also in relation to pay. Dressing neatly and taking pride in personal hygiene are relevant. If you have let yourself go in this area, it may be time to take a second look in the mirror. Whiten your teeth, get your hair styled, and buy a new suit if you need to spruce up your look. Your visible image sends an important message about you.
Once you have identified areas you want to focus on for improvement to your personal brand, create an action plan. If you have shortcomings, determine the steps you will take to make some changes. Define your strengths and create a plan for implementation to add value in your current position.
Here are a few additional ideas that may help:
- Provide encouragement to others and frequently thank them for a job well done.
- Get a few professional coaching sessions to improve your business communication style.
- Keep a change of clothing in your office in the event of emergency.
- Be sure your work area is neat and orderly.
- Volunteer to do something you are truly passionate about and invite others to join you in your cause – but don’t be too pushy.
We can all use a bit of house cleaning from time to time. Undertaking a rebranding campaign will keep you fresh and help you define new attributes that will establish your expertise in your focus area. The more you can do to create a positive impression, the more you will be perceived as a valued employee who is on his way up the corporate chain of command.