The third post in a five-part blog series on women in leadership
By Priti Shah
What kind of coffee did you drink this morning? What shoes did you choose to wear today? These everyday decisions are often driven by loyalty to a brand. You know what you like based on your past experiences and will rely on this knowledge to meet your future needs. Those shoes you love wearing today will drive your decision the next time you’re shopping. So why does “branding” matter? What do your shoes and your coffee have to do with your career and personal goals? How does identifying your personal brand benefit you in your career and personal life?
Your personal brand is who you are in your combined personal and professional capacities. Your personal brand is how others will remember and know you. This identity carries with you as your career develops, as your interests change and as you change organizations. Your personal brand is your way of communicating your strengths. What do you do best? What are you passionate about? What motivates you? What value do you add to an organization? Having a personal brand will help answer these questions. Creating your brand identity provides an opportunity to succinctly articulate what makes you stand out.
So, how do you get started in building your unique brand? Here are four steps to get going:
- What do you do best? Take 10 minutes to reflect and then 5 minutes to write down a list of things you are great at. Everything counts – from choosing paint colors for small spaces to leading teams at work or coaching your child’s intramural sport. All of your experiences have value. Consider including personality traits like creativity, patience, or ability to solve complex problems. Your combination of traits is what makes you stand out – give yourself credit for being yourself.
- Confirm you have the right list. Talk with friends, colleagues, mentors, and your family. Can you validate the traits on your list? Is your list complete? How does your perception agree or diverge from theirs? What did you learn from these conversations? Revise your list accordingly.
- Prioritize your top 3 strengths. After your reality check with your personal and professional networks – pick and prioritize your top 3 strengths. How do these make you stand out from others? Do they authentically represent you and your beliefs? What makes these characteristics or skills most valuable to an organization?
- Finally, create your tag line. Write a one sentence overview of your strengths. How does your combination of skills, talents, values and personality traits work together? How can you use these to advance your personal and professional goals? Your one sentence becomes your tag line – your way of introducing yourself to others and your way of branding your resume, LinkedIn account, and email signature.
Identifying your personal brand provides you an opportunity to learn and articulate what makes you stand out and how to leverage your uniqueness.
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Coming next week is 3 Ways to Transform Unconscious Bias.
Priti Shah is Vice President of Leadership Product Strategy & Corporate Development at Skillsoft.