What is a Personal Brand?
Our personal brand is what people see as our identity, who they see us as and what qualities and things they associate with 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 the image we present. 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 components: personality, skills, and values. These things are often expressed when we share our thoughts and opinions with others during a conversation. Working with our colleagues on a regular basis gives them the opportunity to learn about us, including how productive we are in the workplace.
In all your interactions with others, keep in mind your goal of creating 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 and recognized by everyone takes years to accomplish. First of all, for others to get to know who we are, they must be around and interact with us for some time. Once we develop some type of working relationship with others, we need to consistently make optimal decisions at work. Whether 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. Maintaining a positive attitude helps lead to success and happiness in our career. For one thing, it keeps us well-positioned to take advantage of opportunities to move ahead. It also makes it easier to attract other people to work alongside us and help us accomplish things. A positive 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 for negative thinking to derail us from making progress.
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 co-workers. Being continually cynical and pessimistic tends to close people off from taking advantage of good opportunities that come along. A better attitude is one that sees the good in others and believes that success will come if we keep trying and learning from our mistakes.
It helps establish our personal brand when we constantly aim to put forth our best efforts in everything we do and in all our interactions with other people.
Become a high achiever
In any corporate environment, you’re at least partially judged based on your 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 any organization, values a member who is a high achiever. These are the individuals willing to go beyond their assigned tasks and responsibilities. They’re not merely good at performing their role. They also take the initiative to complete extra tasks and help others.
Being a high achiever will help you realize your maximum potential in your career. Doing so draws the attention of others, especially our senior-level coworkers. When you are recognized as being an asset to the team, companies will make extra efforts to retain your services. That can mean such things as extra salary increases and promotions for you.
Once we begin to establish a positive personal brand image, we can more easily attract the best opportunities to advance our careers.
A Positive Personal Brand Creates Opportunities
When others recognize us as, for example, smart, hardworking, humble, professional, and persistent in pursuing our dreams, they begin to believe in us. This can benefit you in any number of ways. For instance, if you decide to switch careers and move to a new company, then we’ll need a list of references when we apply for a new job. Good references are easy to come by when we have established our good qualities with co-workers and bosses.
We can’t fake our personal brand. While you want to make a conscious effort to try to ensure that people see you as you want them to, it’s important to be genuine with the image we project. Don’t try to be something you’re not – just strive to be the best possible version of who you really are.
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 everybody else shows that we’re hardworking and committed to getting the job done. It also conveys that we value everyone’s time. Constantly running late communicates a lack of respect for other people and the fact that they have more important things to do than wait for us to show up.
Follow through on what you promise to do
Being a person of your word is a critical component of your personal brand. 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, and those are important tests to pass in building our personal brand.
Give people your 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 and/or disrespectful. Think about how it makes you feel when you’re talking to someone and they don’t appear to be listening or paying attention. In contrast, think about how good it makes you feel when someone gives you their undivided attention. For example, it makes you feel important if, when you go to speak with someone in their office, they tell their secretary, “Hold my calls and make sure I’m not disturbed while I’m talking with (you).”
Having a reputation for making other people feel important can be another key part of developing your personal brand.
Don’t create drama
Avoid partaking in petty gossip about other people in the workplace. If you don’t like a person, treatment, or particular task, handle such situations with class and dignity. In any event, you don’t want to get a reputation as someone who talks bad about other people behind their back.
Operate with the highest level of integrity
Strong ethics and morals in place are very important in business and in our personal relationships. They help us distinguish between good and bad, 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 strive to 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:
- A Career Guide to Private Equity Jobs
- Financial Accounting Job Titles
- What Do Investment Bankers Do?
- Personal Banking Internship
- No One can Choose Your Attitude for You
- Your Attitude is Not a Victim of Your Emotions
- Be On-Time
- Traits That Will Help You Be a Relatable and Successful Business Leader
- Take the FREE Building Your Personal Annual Plan online course through Getting People Right