The Power of Perception: How Your Personal Brand Can Impact Your Career Trajectory

The Power of Perception: How Your Personal Brand Can Impact Your Career Trajectory

Your personal brand is a critical part of your career management plan, but it’s often an area that we don’t consciously think about or plan for. Your personal brand is the perception others have of you and it can impact your career trajectory in significant ways.

WHAT IS A PERSONAL BRAND?

Your personal brand is the image you project to others based on your behaviour, communication, and appearance. It’s essentially how you choose to represent yourself to the world and it encompasses your values, skills, expertise, and personality. Your personal brand is the reputation you have in the workplace and it can influence how others perceive you and your professional abilities.

WHY IS PERSONAL BRANDING IMPORTANT?

Personal branding can positively impact your career trajectory in several ways. A strong personal brand can help you:

  1. Build credibility and trust: A consistent personal brand can help build credibility and trust with colleagues, managers, and clients. By consistently demonstrating your skills and expertise, you can establish yourself as a thought leader in your industry.
  2. Increase your visibility: A strong personal brand can increase your visibility in the workplace and beyond. By creating a powerful online presence through social media and networking, you can expand your reach and connect with potential employers or clients. A lack of visibility is something that holds many women back in their careers. Often we mistakenly believe that if we put our heads down and do the work, our work will speak for itself. In fact, making it all about the work is one of the most common derailment factors we see for women. Talking about the work you’re doing, the impact it’s having and building a memorable personal brand can really fast track your career success.
  3. Advance your career: A strong personal brand can help you advance your career by opening up new opportunities for growth and advancement. By building a reputation as a trusted expert in your field, you can increase your chances of landing new projects, promotions, or job offers.
  4. Stand out from the competition: In today's competitive job market, it's not enough to have a great resume and qualifications. A strong personal brand can help you differentiate yourself from others and make a lasting impression on potential employers or clients.

GETTING TO THE HEART OF YOUR PERSONAL BRAND

Building a strong personal brand requires self-awareness and authenticity. You want to incorporate your skills and credentials, your passions and interests, as well as your core values and beliefs. You want to leverage your strengths and build your brand from a place of personal integrity.

The most powerful question to consider when it comes to your personal brand is: what do you want to be known for?

Here, we’re looking at the sweet spot of your strengths, your purpose, and your relevance. Some helpful questions to ask yourself include:

  • What are you most passionate about?
  • What do you want to spend your time talking about or doing? (a really good pointer in the direction of the brand that you want to build).
  • What are the foundations you want to build the next phase of your career on?

Something to remember is that if you want to be known for everything, you risk being known for nothing. As you do this work, think about whether you have too many things listed because that will dilute the core one or two things that you really want to be known for. Be intentional about what you want to be known for, and then align yourself with opportunities that will enable that.

When you’re looking at engaging in projects, your criteria for selecting roles, when you’re working on initiatives, really focus on things that strengthen your desired identity. You get to manage your brand narrative, to align with what you want to be known for, the stories that you tell about yourself, what you’ve done in the past, and what you want to do in the future. What’s the ideal role that you are moving toward and how do you start acting with intention to build your brand in that domain?

Here are some tips for building a strong personal brand:

  1. Define your unique value proposition: Identify your strengths, skills, purpose and expertise that set you apart from others in your industry. Use this as the foundation for your personal brand.
  2. Develop a consistent brand image: Your personal brand should be consistent across all channels, including social media, networking events, and in-person interactions. This includes your messaging, tone, and visual branding.
  3. Build a strong online presence: Use social media platforms such as LinkedIn to showcase your expertise and connect with others in your industry. Engage in relevant discussions on social media; start a blog; write articles for LinkedIn or other outlets to get your voice into the marketplace, aligned to the brand that you want to build.
  4. Say yes to relevant opportunities that will raise your visibility and help build your brand: Take on projects that are aligned to what you want to be known for. Be selective. Look out for the hot projects, the ones on the CEO’s or key leader’s radar. These are often brand and career making roles.
  5. Seek out opportunities for growth and learning: Attend conferences, workshops, or training sessions to improve your skills and expertise. This can help build your credibility and enhance your personal brand. Volunteer to speak or help out at industry events.
  6. Network strategically: Build relationships with others in your industry who can help you expand your reach and connect with new opportunities. Connect with key leaders inside your organisation and experts in your field externally.

Pro-actively building and managing your authentic personal brand is essential for career success and it’s one of the best ways to create a career you love that feels purposeful and meaningful. It’s a topic that the women in our Women Rising Program find incredibly powerful. Cassandra Klintoff, a Partner Account Manager at Microsoft, described how the personal brand audit from Module 3 was her breakthrough moment in the program.

Want to dive deeper into your career roadmap, personal brand and how to build both of them successfully? Learn more about the Women Rising program, where we support thousands of women with our evidence-based curriculum, community and coaching. Find out more about the program and register your place today.

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