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Your Personal Brand: The Personal and Professional You

Does my personal brand matter at work? Absolutely. Your personal brand knows no bounds between personal and professional life. It authentically presents your differentiation, purpose, and the value you bring consistently across both aspects of your life. It is virtually impossible to be two people at once.

Employees who actively manage their personal brand are more likely to be recognized for their contributions, considered for promotions, and entrusted with leadership roles and responsibilities. Their reputation precedes them, enhancing their visibility and appeal to decision-makers.

As your professional calling card, personal branding is essential to establish credibility, trust, and influence among colleagues, subordinates, and superiors in the workplace. It helps you to connect with others. It serves as the “guidebook” to you. The combination of what you do inside the work setting and after-hours speaks to you as one whole person.

At work, regardless of your level in the corporate hierarchy, communicating a strong personal brand signals expertise, reliability, and professionalism, and can enhance your reputation and standing within the organization.

What you are known for within the workplace and during out of work hours speaks volumes. It makes you a more interesting person, and as a side benefit, enhances your life. But there is no room for jarring juxtapositions if your primary goal is to establish trust in the workplace.

Translating your personal brand – your differentiation, purpose, and value – to the workplace is critical. Ask yourself:

  • Are you known for delivering exceptional work product day-in and day-out? Are your deliverables on time and on point? It is the differentiated work that you do that makes an impression. Inconsistency is rarely rewarded.
  • Are you known for your problem-solving skills and specific expertise? Having a reputation for getting things done, even making it look easy, often leads to recognition and advancement.
  • Are you asked to join committees and special projects based on the skillsets you can contribute to the team and the company? Are you known for sharing knowledge, providing solutions, and building relationships across the organization? This type of teamwork enables you to showcase your unique skillsets, experiences, and perspectives and by sharing them, you add value to others within the organization.

Personal branding can serve as a powerful tool for inspiring and motivating others within a company. The positive difference you make often serves as an example to others, resulting in your serving as a role model or mentor. This positioning in turn helps you to gain trust from more senior levels of the corporate hierarchy. And when your impact as a role model is aligned with corporate values, mission, and culture, it is noticed.

If you believe your personal brand is getting in the way of your professional success, ask yourself:

  • Are you better known as the life of the party versus being an adept party planner?
  • Are you constantly advocating for change versus being the ambassador of change for company-wide initiatives?
  • Are you at odds with your company’s values and branding or evenly on par with your employers’ purpose and mission?

If your personal brand is getting in the way of your professional success, it may be time for a bit of self-reflection, specifically by asking yourself: Are you where you should be, given what brings you joy in life? Or is it time to make a change?

The good news is that a personal brand is rarely one-and-done. It iterates as you evolve. To help you continuously focus on your personal brand, click here for a guidebook to help steer you.