In our conversations with top female executives, we have noticed that one of the most popular topics discussed is the importance of managing your personal brand and how this influences your career advancement. But what exactly does it mean to manage your personal brand and how can you do it effectively? Believe it or not, your personal brand consists of more than your outward appearance. Of course how you present yourself at work is very important, but when you think about your personal brand, you need to take more factors into consideration.
Your personal brand is always working. Whether or not it is working for or against you is completely in your control. Every time you enter a conference room, a networking function, or a team brainstorming session, you need to be thinking about how other people perceive you.
Take a look at the list below to see what factors are the building blocks of your personal brand. Making sure that you are always putting your best self forward can help you get noticed by the people who matter. This could lead to career changing opportunities such as getting a sponsor or being chosen for an overseas assignment.
When managing your personal brand at work, you should take the following factors into consideration:
Tip #1 – Develop Your Emotional Intelligence
This term has been around for a long time, but recently it has earned buzzword status among workplace organizational experts. Whether you are aware of it or not, your emotions will drive many of your decisions, and even your relationships at work. Developing your emotional intelligence means expressing your feelings when appropriate and knowing when to keep yourself in check.
A 2010 research study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior argues that a high emotional intelligence is actually a strong predictor of job performance. Tuning into your emotional intelligence will help you become a more effective contributor, especially when you combine your high EI with competency for your job and industry.
Tip #2 – Continually Work to Increase Your Knowledge and Skills
Aptitude plays a very important role in your personal brand. You should always be developing your knowledge and skills both inside and outside of the office. Cultivate hobbies that allow you to develop transferable skills you can apply at the office. Take the time to participate in volunteer work on the weekends.
Remember, your personal brand is all about YOU as a total package. The more you diversify your personal and professional skill set, the more you can bring to the table.
Tip #3 – Be Aware of Your Online Reputation
This may seem like the most obvious component of managing your personal brand, but with the increasing popularity of social media websites, you need to be even more aware of how you represent yourself outside of the office. Be careful about what you put out there in the social media world, and know that your actions outside of the office can be just as important as your contributions in the office. Google yourself and see what results are displayed. This is the best way to gauge whether or not your online reputation needs some improvement.
Tip #4 – Find a senior level executive to emulate
One of the best ways to enhance your personal brand is to find a role model at your firm to emulate. By taking the lead from someone who has successfully climbed the ranks, you can learn what factors contributed to their success and apply those things to your own career advancement. Ultimately, if you can find a sponsor or a mentor to actively participate in your career growth, it will elevate your personal brand to a new level.
When you successfully manage your personal brand at work, you attract positive attention to yourself from the people that matter in your company –the key decision makers and team leaders that will be integral to your career advancement. Following these simple tips is an easy way to make sure you are always putting your best foot forward at the office. Your personal brand speaks volumes about the type of employee and person you are.