What is a Personal Brand?
Our personal brand is what people see in us. It reveals who we are, what we offer, and what we value. When we work in a company, our colleagues create a perception about us based on how we present ourselves to them. This can either be good or bad, depending on how we present our image. So, it’s important to take care of our personal image, because we always want others to think positively of us.
Personality, skills, and values
Personal brand can be broken down into three things: personality, skills, and values. They are expressed when we share our thoughts and opinions with others during a conversation. Also, working with our colleagues on a regular basis gives them the opportunity to learn about us, including how productive we are in the workplace. The goal is to create a positive personal brand that others will admire and respect.
Examples of positive personality traits are:
Examples of favorable skills are:
|Analytical||Tech-savvy||Attention to detail||Problem-solving|
Examples of important values:
Personal Brand – A lifetime of making good decisions
Creating a personal brand that’s well received by everyone takes years to accomplish. First of all, it takes time to get to know everyone we’ll meet and work with in our professional careers. For others to get to know who we are, they must be around and interact with us on a consistent basis. Once we develop some type of working relationship with others, we need to consistently make optimal decisions at work. Whether it is sharing our best ideas, sending high-quality analysis and financial modeling work to our team, or finishing a project before the due date, we’re building a reputation for excellence that our peers will find commendable.
Maintain a positive attitude
For starters, let’s develop and maintain a positive attitude about our work. Doing so leads to success and happiness in our career. It also makes it easier to attract other people to work alongside us, help us with things, or just chat with us during the workday. This attitude enables us to keep going in terms of getting things done and reaching our long-term goals. On the other hand, it’s easy to be derailed from our progress with negative thinking.
Nobody wants to work with anyone who always brings a negative outlook to work or life in general. Such people often dislike their job and working closely with their coworkers. They will likely encounter more setbacks in their careers because their approach to virtually anything is cynical and pessimistic. They rarely see the good in others and lack the belief that success will come if we keep trying and learning from our mistakes.
Aside from maintaining a positive attitude, it also helps establish our personal brand when we constantly aim to put forth our best efforts in every significant task we do.
Become a high achiever
In any financial, accounting, or consulting firm we work in, we will be judged based on our work ethic. The person who works the hardest typically receives the most reward and recognition, especially from a company that values merit. Every team in an organization values a member who is a high achiever. These are the individuals who are willing to go beyond their assigned tasks and responsibilities. Not only are they good at performing their role, but they take the initiative to complete extra tasks and help others.
Being a high achiever will get us far in our careers. We draw the attention of others, especially our senior-level coworkers. We are definitely an asset to the team, and the company will do their best to keep us, through such things as salary increases or promotions.
Once we achieve a decent personal brand, we can attract great opportunities to advance our careers.
Finding new opportunities will be easier
If others know that we are a smart person, hardworking, humble, act in a professional demeanor and are persistent in pursuing our dreams, other people will believe in us. For instance, if we decide to switch careers and look to grow in a new company, we’ll need a list of references to prove that everything we say about ourselves is true. This list contains individuals, mostly past employers and coworkers, who have plenty of nice things to say about us. Their permission is needed first. If they agree to be our reference, then they’re convinced and confident that we are the right candidate for any firm, because we have proven our favorable skills, values, and a great personality to them.
We can’t fake our personal brand. Other people can see right through us. When networking with industry professionals, they will ask questions about our academic performance and work experience, among other things. If we happen to be sitting in front of someone with the power to make the hiring decision, they could ask for our list of references. This is the part when having an established personal brand will work in our favor.
Our actions speak volumes
Action speaks louder than words. Below are some examples of actions that, if not done correctly, can ruin our personal brand.
Be on time
Going to work on time or even earlier than anybody else shows that we’re hardworking and committed to doing our very best work. It also means that we value everyone’s time because being tardy in our work schedule will leave a bad impression on our colleagues and our clients, especially when we have a meeting with them.
Following through on what we promise to do
Be a person of your word. Many people will say things they’ll do for a person, a group or a company, even going as far as making a sincere promise to get those things done. However, not every person actually follows through on their promises. Once we build the expectation of others by saying that we’re going to complete something, we should make sure that we do. Our capability and reliability are being put to the test here. The more we don’t keep our words and promises, the more people question our credibility.
Give undivided attention
Failure to make eye contact and give full attention to someone when he or she is speaking to us can be interpreted as being disinterested in the presence of that person. Having a bad habit like this can prevent us from interacting positively with the other person in the future.
Don’t create drama
Avoid partaking in petty gossip about other people in the workplace. It will hurt our personal brand because we will be forced to talk bad about other people when we entertain gossips for too long. If you don’t like a person, treatment, or particular task, handle such situations with class and dignity.
Operate with the highest level of integrity
Strong ethics and morals in place are very important in business and finance. They help us distinguish between good and bad, and between right and wrong in our daily actions. Ethics are concerned with the shared, practical principles of right conduct, whereas morals are related more to our own personal judgment of right and wrong. We must be honest in the workplace and always do the right thing for all stakeholders.
Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to creating your personal brand. To learn more and further advance your career, the following free CFI resources will be helpful: