The pandemic has accelerated the changing face of work in a way that we could never have imagined.
Companies that we expected to grow year on year have collapsed and people who have spent their entire lives training and working in their dream careers have seen their industry disappear overnight.
The world that we look to move into after the pandemic will not be anything like the world we had in 2019.
We need to adapt in order to survive – and know that while we may still give our all to our career we have no idea what is right around the corner.
At Winning in Work, we encourage all employees to build a personal brand. This brand is like an ever moving CV. It empowers the employee to know they are in control of their destiny. It builds motivation and it helps them visual goals and how to work towards them.
By having a personal brand you are reminded this is your career and it is down to you to grow, develop and promote yourself. Employees with personal brands are more likely to receive promotions, job offers and tend to enjoy their work more than employees who have created their own personal brand.
And the benefits are not just for the employee. Employers who encourage their employees to build personal brands also receive higher employee engagement internally and externally, more people wanting to work for them. With platforms such as LinkedIn, happy employees can provide a wealth of free marketing for smart companies.
So to get started with building your personal brand, ask yourself, what do you want to be known for in your career?
What does your personal brand look like at the moment?
What are your 5 year career goals?
Whether you are looking to climb that career ladder, obtain a board position or even change industries, at a time where we cannot be sure of what happens in the future, this is the perfect time to build your brand, network with people in your industry and get noticed for the work that you do. A chance for employees and employers to support and collaborate to create awareness.
Here are a few tips to build a successful brand:
1. Remember you can’t take back a social media post.
Before I worked as a career coach, my background was in professional services and you would not believe the amount of stories I heard about people discussing confidential information in public or even writing discriminatory comments on social media. If you are choosing to create your own personal brand then remember you are in the public eye and anything you do say can be linked to your company. If you wouldn’t say it to the CEO or your mother, then do not write it on social media. If you are on LinkedIn also remember that every comment you write also comes up on your connection’s newsfeed – so it’s that old adage, if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.
2. Get confident with talking about yourself.
Not in an arrogant way, but be proud of your successes, what you have achieved and what you have worked hard for. Whether this is updating your bio on LinkedIn or introducing yourself to new colleagues, acquaintences or bosses, get a short 1 sentence elevator pitch so your first impression is always confident and consistent. For example, “Hi, my name’s Nikki and I am a Career Coach at Winning in Work.” And always have a backup response should someone ask for more information. Many of us struggle with talking about ourselves but people if we do not talk about our achievements then no one will know about them.
3. Don’t be afraid to share your knowledge.
A good way to get noticed is to write articles or thought pieces. I would suggest you steer clear of an opinion piece that is too controversial unless you have the studies and facts to back it up but if you have something you would like to write about – share your view and offer a perspective to your readers. It’s a good way to start conversation and get you noticed.
Also look at offering to be a speaker at an upcoming conference or being featured offering an opinion in an industry magazine, although firstly make sure that if you are being featured as someone who works at a particular company then the company Marketing/PR team are aware and have given the OK.
4. Network internally
Your colleagues know you – Great! But what about the rest of the company? It’s time to expand your wings and go wider than your immediate team. Look at joining a charity initiative taking place in the company, put your hand up for company-wide projects, ask your manager how you can get more involved and meet other departments, join or set up a sports club to connect with colleagues outside of the workplace. By fostering those extra relationships you get to see the company’s bigger picture and you never know when you’ll need to call on those relationships in future.
Everyone has a reputation at work whether it is good or bad. By proactively looking at your brand you have the chance to create how you want to be seen and how you can ensure your brand works for you.