One of my new found obsessions with Fernweh Society is branding! Love it or hate it branding is a huge part about running a business? Think about a company – if you didn’t think that their brand was in sync with yours you likely wouldn’t buy from them, do business with them or promote them right? To add to the mix, you appreciate knowing the company’s brand and understanding their goals right? So what is the difference with your personal brand?
On a personal note, I remember a couple years ago when I was looking to switch up my job. I was working with a recruiter to find a good role. One came along that was seemingly a “dream job” but in reality, a dream job for someone else. When I told the recruiter that the role didn’t fit with my personal brand, he didn’t know what I was talking about. I was confused that he didn’t use that lingo? Is it a millennial thing to talk about?
I think a personal brand is so important for a variety of reasons not only your career journey but just your journey in life. Decisions are hard to make no matter what the subject matter is. How are you supposed to create a framework for those decisions. I think values come into play. Values are a component of your personal brand. To make things easier I put in a list!
Why is a personal brand important?
Expedites decision making & creates direction – If you already have outlined values that are important to you, then when a new challenge or decision comes your way you can easily look back at your BRAND which will act as a decision making framework. For example, if your personal brand is creative but grounded then doing very technical work for an insurance company likely isn’t something that is going to get you out of bed in the morning, its technical on technical. Another example, if your personal brand is very entrepreneurial then working in a large company where you can make little or no change, won’t keep you interested, you need an environment where you can create impact in your role. By knowing and understanding your brand, you can determine possible circumstanced in your life that you will enjoy. This will also help you create a bit of a career or life journey for yourself, all the while staying true to your values of what is important.
Supports you to stay true to yourself – I think we have all been guilty of “chasing the shiny penny”; also known as the grass is greener on the other side. Sometimes we long for things that maybe are not the right decision for us in the first place but we get so wound up with the idea of having it. Your brand and its guiding values will act yet again as a bit of a check list that you can compare against with whatever new opportunity comes your way. If it matches up with the majority of the things that YOU have stated are important then it could be a really great thing! If it doesn’t and you were simply lusting after it, well, hopefully this is when it becomes a reality check that you should let it go. In the short term you might feel deflated but in the long run, this will support your happiness.
How to determine your personal brand?
Be introspective – This takes serious effort, I almost feel like I should do a whole post on this in itself! Looking at why you feel certain ways about experiences in your life, both career and otherwise takes heaps of energy but it is worth it in the long run. I would say that everyone will have different things that prompt them to look inside themselves and evaluate their decision making processes but for many it starts by struggling or a feeling of unhappiness. I mean when else are you prompted to make big changes!? Look at what you like in your current situation, look at what is not working and REALLY try and dig down as to why, this will determine your values.
Brainstorm – This is an exercise that you can literally go to the dollar store, get a huge piece of bristol board and start writing things that come to your head; things that you like on one section and things you don’t on another. I mean yes, you can write things like cupcakes, but more importantly think about life general things. I value creativity, I value feeling a challenge, I value building something from scratch. Things I don’t like: being caught up in office politics, being judged on my work due to my age, working in an environment with little or no respect for others. These are more general statements but can translate into values of your personal brand.
In career I think as outlined above, having your personal brand is an amazing tool whether you’re an entrepreneur or work for a company. When you’re in a company setting you have to play by someone else’s rules. By that I mean, when you work for a company that isn’t yours you have to function within a certain set of boundaries. You may or may not feel synergy with those boundaries and then it is YOUR DECISION if you want to align with them. By knowing and understanding your personal brand, you can find a company who’s brand aligns with yours and essentially a place where you will be happy to spend at least 8 hrs a day. When you’re an entrepreneur you must use your brand to determine your strategy, which companies you want as clients and which clients you want to be associated with.
I hope you guys are thinking about your personal brands and what makes you happy. Put it into practice and see how your life is changed!
HAPPY BRANDING MY FRIENDS!