My professional experiences have taught me that it's always important to manage the perception of me. Or as many say, the Brand called "You". This sounds simple enough, but in reality it's not simple at all. In my opinion, it's extremely difficult! I'm still learning and navigating through managing my personal brand and will be for a long time. I believe this is an ongoing development area as I grow and learn through experiences. But I've learned a few important tips along the way I think are worth sharing:
- Others' perception is their reality, regardless of whether it's correct.
- Managing your personal brand needs to be top of mind, all the time.
- It's a long, difficult process to change a specific reputation, once it's been established.
- Others are more likely to try and bring you down. Only YOU can control bringing you up!
- Before you can effectively manage your brand, you have to know who you are and what you stand for. What are your beliefs? What are your values? Do they conflict with your professional culture? How do they align with your professional culture?
- When making decisions, always trust your instinct.
- Don't make a specific decision because you think someone else wants you to make it that specific way.
- Others can influence your brand, but only you can actively manage it.
- You are who you hang out with- at least that is the way others will see it. Surround yourself with people who you view in the way you want to be viewed.
- Be disciplined in your decision making- from daily behavior in the workplace, to after- hour events, to personal weekend plans.
- Don't be afraid to make mistakes- and even laugh at yourself sometimes.
- The rumor mill is always running- make good decisions so the rumors aren't about you!
- In your professional environment, the way your manager views you is the way your next level manager will view you. Word travels up.
- Enjoy the ride- managing your personal brand is an ongoing development process!
So how are you managing the Brand called "You"? What do you stand for? Do you know how others view you and are you soliciting feedback? Do others view you the way you want them to view you? How can you actively manage your personal brand today?