This month, I’d like to reflect on some work recently completed with the millennial generation. A burning question they often ask is: “How do I have a successful career?” My questions in return are: “What do you want to be known for? What results do you want?”
The starting point is about who you are and what reputation you want. What do you want people to say about you when you’re not in the room?
If you were a brand, how would you summarise your value or attributes? For example, think of some high-profile brands such as Cadbury Dairy Milk and Green & Black’s. Or what about Apple iPhone or an Android smartphone? Each have strong quality attributes, delivering value.
Creating your personal brand starts with understanding what you’re good at. Can you answer the following?
● What are your unique strengths, skills and attributes?
● How do others see you or perceive you?
● Where do you add value?
● What do you want to be known for?
● What was the most successful project you ever tackled, and what made you successful?
● When faced with an overwhelming obstacle, what’s your ‘go-to’ skill to overcome it?
● What are the strengths that others acknowledge in you? Drill even further to identify themes and key strengths you want to put centre stage.
● What strengths and skills come up over and over again?
● Which skills do you enjoy using as often as possible, regardless of the task?
Also, understand and be aware of what skills are missing. What skills would you like to build but have not yet had the opportunity to practice and develop?
Summarise these questions with five strengths. For example, you might use words or phrases like ‘creative’, ‘relationship-builder’ or ‘I make the complex simple’. If you had a strapline what would it say to capture ‘Brand Me’?
To manage your reputation you need to be proactive and take control. Raise your profile within your organisation and consider the messages you wish to portray. Demonstrate and communicate your value, while also proactively managing people’s perceptions.