Shut your eyes and imagine it’s 2020. You work for a global company made up of thousands of unique and diverse personalities all contributing their part for a greater good. From improving the world, to helping create innovations that make our communities and homes safer and more convenient, and by adding value to business, it’s an exciting place to be.
Where will you be in five years? Will you grow and feel fulfilled with your career and life?
Achieving your ultimate destiny is no different than a market leader like Celanese reaching its goals. Both control their futures. Both require a clear vision, discipline and reputation-building game plan to ensure their audiences see their value. This public image or brand creates trust and sets expectations that people and organizations count on.
We as individuals are brands too. We create our personal identity by showing up everyday, doing what we do best, honoring our commitments, adding our unique value to our work and doing extra things that reflect our individual personalities and values. When we are conscious of our personal brand and strategic about our actions, we put ourselves in a position to accelerate our path to success.
If you’ve not thought much about your personal brand, the process is simple. A few small moves can have a big impact.
To start with, set your goals. Where do see yourself? Are you an innovator? An influencer? A contributor to team? Or a leader? Will your remain in your current field or will you move to a new one?
Next, take a look deep inside yourself. Identify your passions, your values and interests. Assess your skill set and expertise. Being aware of these traits is important, as this will help better define your purpose and will uncover the best ways to reflect and communicate your brand.
There should be alignment with who you are and where you want to go. If there’s a gap, this may be the right time to redirect your career course. As the world and organizations continue to change, new opportunities are emerging. Keeping your eyes and mind open to the skills that will be required to benefit from these changes is critical.
Now, visualize your future. See yourself exactly where you want to be. Are you a top customer service representative in China, a senior engineer over 50 colleagues or even the president of business unit? To make this a reality, here’s where your personal brand action plan comes in. This can mean increasing your visibility, amplifying your credibility and building a bigger network of fans.
Brand visibility is a result of targeted, frequent outreach with relevant messaging. You may be a wealth of insight and knowledge, and ready to contribute more, but if the right influencers and audience are not aware of this, you could be missing exciting opportunities. Change this by getting involved in company and industry activities. Let your supervisors and peers know you have bold ideas. Establish an online voice by participating in social media channels with content that reflects your expertise and brand persona. Show your presence and leadership by volunteering for work and charitable causes and actively collaborate with others.
Brand credibility is earned by stellar performance, integrity and associations with other admirable brands. Find ways to produce and demonstrate value. Whether this means going the extra mile on a project, posting a smart article, commenting on one of Celanese’s three blogs or volunteering for an important role with a company committee or an industry association.
Your word is your brand too. Keep your promises, meet deadlines, don’t gossip and always be an example of highest professional standards. And don’t underestimate the power of association. Chose your friends and colleagues wisely as they too are a reflection of your brand.
Your network is the backbone of your personal brand’s connectivity. A strong community of professional contacts can build lasting relationships and bridges to more opportunities. Make sure your business networks off and online via LinkedIn and other social sites are active with influencers that matter, and your profile is updated with a professional photo and information that best highlights your value and expertise. Be responsible with your personal social networks too as in many cases the line of divide is blurred and your content is also public and permanent.
The world is changing. It can feel fast and furious. It’s more competitive than ever and also filled with endless new opportunities for rewarding personal growth. The landscape has no boundaries due to increased globalization, social media, and technological advances. We are all on stage everyday. If you want to take your career to the next level, managing your personal brand gives you more power and control to achieve anything you want.