We're in a whole new world of employment -- one that has continued (and will continue) to evolve and one that is MUCH different from the employment world of our parents and grand-parents. The days of joining a company that you stay at and retire from are LONG GONE and will likely never return again. Job changes occur more and more frequently and career changes are more common than ever before.
We are no longer "Who we work for." Tagging your identity strictly to a company and "co-branding" your work-life with a company name are strategies that have less meaning and are impossible to sustain as a PRIMARY means of your identification. Companies come and go through mergers and dissolution -- even BIG names lose their "wow" factor and brand identity .... think of names like Enron, Arthur Andersen, NationsBank, Eastern Airlines, and countless small and mid-sized businesses.
The better strategy and one that we all must embrace if we're going to enjoy lasting career success is to firmly establish our Personal Brand. We have much more control over our own Personal Brand, and it's the "thing" that stays with us regardless of where we're "physically" employed or who we work for.
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Our Personal Brand reminds people "who WE are," it becomes "what WE are known for," and it represents the "market" perception of our value proposition and personal competitive advantage. A highly effective Personal Branding Program is key to continuously communicating our Personal Brand "to the world" and constantly "pinging" our contact network with highly useful content that reminds them of who we are.
So, what are some of the key benefits of a compelling Personal Brand -- i.e., exactly what does it do for us? A compelling Personal Brand is a HUGE BENEFIT -- without question. Consider the following indicators of a Powerful Personal Brand:
- Always on the Radar Screen and "The Short List." When an opportunity comes up in your field -- a job opportunity, a new business opportunity, etc., you're on the list that gets called or contacted. Having established yourself as a "thought leader" or expert, and having constantly broadcast that expertise to your network, you remain on their mind when something important comes up.
- Frequent Calls for Speaking Opportunities. In situations where an expert is needed to speak on an important topic or in an important role (e.g., keynote speaker), you are often contacted and at least presented with the opportunity.
- Frequent Calls from Leading Executive Recruiters in Your Area of Specialty. Leading recruiters in your field KNOW YOU and are very comfortable with presenting you as a candidate for a new job opportunity, or call you frequently to ask you if you know someone how might be a good candidate. This is a great place to be in from a career management standpoint.
- Frequent Requests for Interviews and Articles in Trade Publications. The press and and PR professionals reach out on an ongoing basis requesting interviews for articles in your field of expertise. You're frequently asked to submit articles or you proactively submit articles for publishing.
- Opportunities Appear "Out of the Blue." A new client "appears out of nowhere," a business deal drops in your lap, you get a call from someone you don't know well with an incredible business opportunity, you're the first one called for an amazing job opportunity, you're asked to speak at a major convention .... the list goes on. Think it can't happen to you .... Why not?
- Visibility to Leading Influencers. You're known by leading influencers in your profession and area of specialty. They may not KNOW you, but they KNOW OF YOU because of your proactive and memorable personal branding efforts. People with influence can help you accomplish big things, and are usually willing to do so because YOU have consistently given to THEM in some way -- information you shared, referrals you've made, etc.
- Frequent Engagement with Other Thought Leaders. You have frequent conversations with other thought leaders -- some who share your specialty and some who are thought leaders in other related areas. You help CREATE the next direction and are a member of the "R&D Team" for your field of knowledge.
- Network Gravity. You have incredible network "gravity." People are drawn to you, opportunities attract themselves to you, you become a magnet for all kinds of good things.
IMPORTANT NOTE: You do NOT have to be a "CELEBRITY" to achieve the above, but you DO have to put conscious thought and EFFORT into the process of developing and communicating a compelling Personal Brand. It's up to you to CREATE THE PERCEPTION in the marketplace of what you WANT to be known for and what you represent.
Personal Branding is a PROCESS, an ongoing process .... and IT WORKS MAGIC for you if you do it with passion and sincerity. MAKE IT HAPPEN .... Start TODAY.