Even though you may be working remotely these days, it is still crucial to focus on your professional brand. If you do not do so proactively, you may find yourself left out of key projects or that your career is not moving in the direction you want a year from now.
During this time of upheaval and transition, it’s important to focus on the answers to questions like “How do you make others feel?” “Are you clear on the impact you are making in your organization?” “What reputation you want to have?”
Here are three actions to take:
- Pay attention to your impact and influence
How are you showing up to work these days? I recently spoke with a leader who shared her concern about individuals in her organization who, even when asked to be on video calls, said ‘no, thank you’. There are definitely times when it is fine to be off-camera, but ask yourself every week, “What impact did I make this week in my career?” That may mean being on one more video call than you would like or having patience with a colleague who is dealing with some extra challenges2.
2. Deepen relationships
Connection is more important for your personal brand than ever. This week, I had a catch-up video call with one of my mentors. He began our conversation with, “Beth, how can I help you today?” What about you—how are you helping out colleagues and friends during this transition? People do business with individuals they know, like, and trust, so take time this month to schedule a call with a colleague or friend you haven’t connected with recently and find out how you can assist them.
3. Be aware of your stressors
How do you want people to remember you during this pandemic? Do you want to be seen as resilient or as the stressed-out ‘catastrophizer’? It is not an easy time for anyone but passing on second-hand stress to colleagues, friends, and family members can affect how you are perceived and ultimately affect your brand. Everyone has difficult days but spend time on your self-care and continue to focus on stress-management techniques that have worked for you in the past. It’s important to take mini-breaks during the day, keep hydrated, exercise, and enjoy some time in nature.
Your brand is what makes you memorable. What can you do today to enhance your brand? It may be connecting with a colleague, not multitasking during meetings, or spending time reviewing and updating your LinkedIn profile to better reflect your brand.