Vocate is here to help the job seeker become more empowered and successful on their career path. If you read our article 3 Questions for Discovering Your Personal Brand, you’re ready for some more tangible advice. Now we’ll walk you through cultivating your personal brand in the workplace.
Arriving late, not participating in meetings, needing people to follow up with you – these are all things that others could easily interpret as signs that you are undependable or unfit for a promotion.
1. Becoming aware of yourself
We all have active brains and our thoughts far outnumber what we externalize to others. As seen in dating, we often expect others to read our minds. Why did you think I wouldn’t like that? Didn’t you know I love carrot cake? Becoming aware of yourself requires being aware that you’re giving people a limited amount of information to work with. Perception can only happen when there is something to perceive. How people perceive you is entirely dependent on what you do and say, what you externalize. It is no different in the workplace. Arriving late, not participating in meetings, needing people to follow up with you – these are all things that others could easily interpret as signs that you are undependable or unfit for a promotion. No matter if you have perfectly reasonable explanations.
This is also where your story comes into play. “There’s Lisa. She skydives and is a real risk-taker. I bet that’s why she loves sales – for the thrill.” Your story is what helps people figure out who you are, where you came from, and why you’re here. We rely on stories to understand our coworkers or potential hires.
2. Your unique value proposition
In line with the awareness of others’ perception, knowing what makes you unique will help you stick out, be remembered. This will also help you craft your story. Identifying your strengths and weakness will create an impression on people. What you know and what you can do will turn out to be the base of your personal value proposition (PVP). Moreover, your PVP differentiates you from others and helps you to be a step ahead, and in turn, you become more placeable in job roles. No one is hired for being “really good at lots of stuff.” But they are hired for being “just the right person for the job” based on special personality traits, skills, and talents.
Smart people are the ones who not only know what they are doing but also take time to self-reflect. Now let’s look back at your experiences and interactions in the workplace (or college environment if you’re a student). Take some time and write down the words that you think describe yourself. Now, think about the words that you think others would use describe you. Do the words you use and the words others use to describe you align?
It’s common that your own words will not perfectly align with descriptors from those around you – but it is important to be aware of the words that did not match. Let’s say, you describe yourself as a leader but your colleagues think about you as a follower. This may be a chance to change the way they think about you. Start volunteering to organize projects, motivating others, or joining decision-making meetings. This will impact the people around you and make them see something new in you.
4. Reinvent your personal brand
Just like updating our phones we need to update ourselves. Take some time out to reinvent new things like skills, interests, and passions that you have recently developed. And then tell people about it! This will help improve your personal brand story and let people know the new you.
Vocate wants to help you stand out. Stay tuned for more articles about personal brand as well as other career discovery materials. You will also find more resources in the job seeker library!
Cover image: pexabay.com