Individual branding is critical if you want to progress your career - who’s in control of your reputation at work - you or your colleagues?
If you don’t take a proactive approach to building your personal brand in the workplace, you’ll soon find that others do it for you.
Whatever you want your reputation to be, you need to have a plan of action in place so that others perceive you in this way.
If you sit back and do nothing your colleagues will either consciously or sub-consciously pigeon-hole you. And once you become known as a certain ‘type of person’ it’s difficult to change the way others think of you.
Taking responsibility for your career is down to you. Planning on how you’re going to get from where you are to where you want to go is crucial if you want to be successful and achieve your aims.Below is a simple five point plan to help you build a strong foundation for your individual branding.
Define who you want to be
Before you start on your individual branding, you need to have a clear idea of how you want to be perceived.
It’s impossible to plan your career if you have no focus on where you want to end up.Defining who you want to be and how you want others to see you is the first step to personal branding success.
Speak up for yourself
It’s very rare in the workplace that you’ll come across a colleague who wants to champion your achievements and good work. If you don’t do this yourself on a regular basis, the chances are, no one else is going to do it for you.
Making yourself heard and not being afraid to speak up when you have suggestions, ideas or feedback will raise your profile in the workplace and help you stand out from many of your colleagues.
Have clear goals in mind
Career progression is usually a marathon rather than a sprint. With this in mind you should map out where you want to be in stages rather than just having the ultimate goal of running the company or becoming a partner.Having clearly defined goals will help you evaluate your individual branding progress and if your efforts are having the desired effect.
Get yourself known in your industry
Branding yourself shouldn’t just be confined to your own organisation. Getting yourself known externally can lead to new opportunities.
Attending networking events and mixing with influential people in your line of business can reap rewards. You never know who knows who and by getting yourself out there and active in your local business community your individual stock will rise.
It’s your career and in most cases you get back what you put into it.
Being proactive inside and outside of work can help raise your profile within your company.For example, you may want to set up an online magazine for your company and take charge of the project.
You might also want to be proactive in arranging social activities or charity events outside the workplace to help demonstrate your organisational abilities.Take control of your individual branding by following these five steps.
Remember your career and reputation is your responsibility; don’t let other people define you.