How to Define your Personal Brand in the Work Place
It’s all too easy to focus on the day job, and not put your career aspirations first. Here’s our guide to creating your brand with advice from SESAME - a unique career search and cultural consultancy for the PR and marketing industry.
Emily Buckland, Founder of SESAME says: ‘Building a personal brand isn’t down to fluke, it’s a carefully constructed process, with the strength of it ultimately made up from your reputation multiplied with your visibility. Here’s how we have helped some of the world’s biggest companies do just that, so you can apply these ideas to create an enduring brand ‘you’.
How will you stand out? Become known for something professionally. And once you have defined it, use every opportunity to show off that talent to the best of your ability. If you are a natural leader, put your hand up to run company-wide initiatives, if you enjoy sharing your skills with others, think about mentoring junior members on your chosen topic. Perhaps you are known for un-picking problems and resolving tricky situations, if so, then do a lunchtime lesson on your top tips. NB: you can re-market the content for LinkedIn articles, too.
Emily suggests “If you want help defining your skill, ask friendly clients and colleagues what they enjoy particularly about working with you and what they see as your greatest strengths. There’s bound to be a common thread running through their responses which you can build from.”
KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE:
Find out who you need to ultimately influence in the company, seek them out, and make sure they know who you are. This isn’t about brown-nosing or sycophancy, it is simply to make sure that you are on the radar of those with the final say in the business– useful when it comes to promotion time.
“Everyone likes somebody who makes them look good,” says Emily. “Your boss is a human being and making his/her job easier will win you brownie points and most importantly up your visibility.”
Emily adds “I really respect team members who proactively build a relationship with me or offer me help or an opinion. By getting to know my wider team in my old role as Head of Brand at a global PR firm, I discovered more about what made colleagues tick and in return could offer up different opportunities be that a secondment to other locations or exciting, off-beat projects.”
BE VISIBLE AND THEN SOME:
Social media has given everyone a voice, so use it to your advantage and boost your profile through the available online channels. Identify which social platforms are best suited to your industry, and most likely to get you noticed, and make good use of them.
“LinkedIn is a great tool to show thought leadership,” says Emily. “You could also look into some of the content marketing tools such as Passle, which cleverly allows you to create original insights from existing articles in minutes, and Right Relevance, which aggregates influencer content by topic, therefore helping you to find thought leadership at the touch of a button. Using these tools to share insights and offer your original perspective on topics is impressive. Make sure to follow the boss and senior leaders on their social channels, where appropriate, so that they in turn notice your profile.”
FIND YOUR FANS:
Amplify your brand with everyone. The pivotal people within a company aren’t necessarily the most senior staff, but those who are respected or that the boss trusts. Don’t just stick to your immediate team and peers; get to know everyone, from the office support staff to the board members, and treat everyone respectfully.
Be polite to everyone. Buckland adds “In my previous role, after every interview for a new team member, I would always ask our receptionist for his opinion. If someone was snooty or dismissive of him, we wouldn’t invite them back in.”
Likewise give praise where it is due. Sharing positive feedback on your colleagues to their managers will show you as an empathetic, supportive team member and someone who is great to work with. It is much better to commend than compete, so advocate wherever possible. Kindness costs nothing, remember.
EMBED YOURSELF IN THE CULTURE
Do you have a passion or hobby which could boost the office culture?
“We spend so much time with our colleagues, it’s important to inject some fun into the workplace,” says Emily. “How can you stand out by literally bringing your personality to life in the office? For example, SESAME’s Head of Communications, Rosie, is a music buff. She energised us by starting a themed playlist every Friday that all team members can add to. There are lots of ways to add to the culture of your office, and by leading the way on these you are proving your dedication to and investment in making your place the best, all-round, to work at.”
UNDERSTAND YOUR VALUE:
If you are doing a fabulous job, then you deserve to be rewarded. Asking for a pay rise can be a nerve-wracking task but try not to let your emotions get the better of you. Remaining professional and factual is the way forward, as is making sure you have a job overview when you start your role. Be clear on what is expected of you and what you must deliver to receive that rise and make sure you have the evidence to back it up. And ultimately remember it’s not personal.
If you’re struggling to identify your career purpose, or find your cultural fit, then get in touch with the team at SESAME for some advice and inspiration.
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