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PERSONAL BRANDING AND CAREER MAPPING


Posted July 27, 2017 0:48 AM

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 OBJECTIVES

  1. This content is to help trainees ensure that their your online presence can simply be optimized and not ignored.
  2. This content intends to help trainees have the right mindset about themselves and your whole career.
  3. This content is to help trainees adapt and reinvent themselves and promote their personal brands continuously to stay with the times and to take advantage of the best opportunities for their skills.

 

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Introduction

It's astonishing we claim to want a successful career but have almost no plan and rather have fantasy  about a miracle or a sudden arrival at their desired destination. If you’re not actively planning your next career move, you can be pretty sure that nobody else is either. The time to start planning it is today, no matter whether you’ve been in your current role for one day or 10 years (assuming you want to progress further in the future). Your career can grow and evolve like any other living thing if treated as such. You should be intentional about your destination and creating a career map would help you identify and evaluate opportunities as they come along. Creating a personal brand is a major step to take in achieving a successful career map.

In today’s competitive environment, personal branding is critical if you want to be seen as a leader in your field. Your opportunities expand when you have a strong personal brand and it helps to carve out your niche as a thought leader and expert. Personal branding is how you market yourself to others; it’s what you’re known for. You need to be very intentional about creating a brand which resonates with your audience, otherwise other people will create it for you and potential business opportunities may slip through your fingertips. Let us look at these concepts one after another.

 

PERSONAL BRANDING

Personal branding is essentially the ongoing process of establishing a prescribed image or impression in the mind of others about an individual, group, or organization. Personal branding often involves the application of one's name to various products. The presentation of personal branding online involves creating a voice, personality, logo, biography and even the topics you want to be known for. What you don’t want to end up with is a boring and robotic account. Perhaps even worse, a mismatch between your online personality and your real life personality. Create a distinctive mark or “signature” that other people can’t get out of their minds. It can be a logo, a symbol, or a saying you affix to the end of your personal e-mails. For example, the celebrity real estate mogul turned President of United states, Donald Trump uses his last name extensively on his buildings and on the products he endorses (e.g Trump Tower). Marketers define the personal brand in this way: "Your brand is a perception or emotion, maintained by somebody other than you, that describes the total experience of having a relationship with you."

Importance of Personal Branding

For the average person online in any state n Nigeria, you may think that personal branding is completely unnecessary to your life. This may be true. However, if you use Google, Facebook, Twitter, Chrome or any other online service that requires some of your private information, your personality is already being documented somewhere. Taking control of how you present yourself is the best way to tackle what comes up when someone Googles your name. Your personal brand should be what you want it to be.

More so, some benefits of personal branding are;

Promotions: Anyone who is ambitious and works at a company will want to move up. By building your personal brand, you become the best choice for a promotion.

Happiness: By aligning who you are with what you do and appending goals to it, you can turn “work” into a “hobby.” Get paid to do what you would count as a hobby.

 

Compensation: Personal brands command premium prices. Just like Apple and Samsung can charge more for products you can get for less, you can do the same.

Business: People want to purchase from other people who they know, like, trust. When you make those people happy that they chose you, by giving them great results, they will refer you to even more people.

Perks: Strong brands get perks. I get free books from authors and other bloggers get free products, such as limited edition Pepsi cans. Celebrities, like Halley Berry don’t have to pay for anything because of who they are.

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CREATING YOUR PERSONAL BRAND:

Start by thinking about what you think others are currently seeing as your personal brand. Treat this like a brainstorming exercise by writing down key words rather than crafting sentences. The more honest you can be with yourself now the more it will help you as you move forward – so remember to include the less positive traits as well as the good ones.

Next, take some time to think about your personal brand going forward:

  • What type of “brand” do you want to have?
  • What image do you want to portray with others?
  • How can your skills be marketed? What area or work showcases them the best?
  • What will your customers see?
  • What skills do you require? What areas could you develop further?

It can be helpful to focus on the three most important traits that will truly represent your personal brand and think about how you are going to build them. Consider how you can build these traits into your daily work so that others soon see them as your hallmark traits.

Afterwards, you can take the following steps;

  1. Set Personal Branding Goals

What do you want to be known for? This isn’t the existential version of the question. Much like how companies set social media goals, you want to set your own personal branding goals.

Some example goals include:

  • Become a thought leader in your industry
  • Be paid to speak at industry conventions
  • Be known as “the expert” on creating cocktails at home

When you’re establishing your goals, take a look at other people you admire and how they present themselves online[we will discuss further in the topic”The Power of Leverage and Leadership].

These include known thought leaders in your community as well as industry experts. How do they post and what do you like about them?

What you want to be known for usually doesn’t match up with what you’re currently known for and that’s OK. Growth is important in every part of your life and that’s why the next step is key in personal branding.

  1. Audit Your Personal Brand

The easiest way to audit yourself is to search online for your name. Make sure your internet browser’s cache is cleared or that you’ve opened the search in a private browsing window. This way you can make sure you’re receiving the same results as anyone else would be when searching for your name.

When searching for yourself, take note of who else pops up if you have a common name. How can you make yourself stand apart from everyone else? Don’t just stop at your name either. Search for combinations of your name with keywords from your goals.

Now it’s time to take a look at your social media profiles and website.

Take a look at key points, such as:

  • Profile consistency: Profile photo, bio, cover photos and website links are all similar.
  • Overall look: Colors, fonts and style are all similar.
  • Website: Whether it’s through an about.me page or your own site, you have all of your social media profiles linked in one place somewhere.
  • Social media handles: If possible, make sure all of your social media handles are the same. If your name is too common, either find a new username or create separate public profiles that can be distinguished from your private ones.

After completing your audit, you should now know where your pain points are. Now, to devise a plan on how to reach your goals.

  1. Establish a Personal Branding Strategy

Your personal branding strategy should read like a company’s branding guide. From the previous steps, you should already know your goals and where you’re at for reaching them.

For example, if you want to be known as a social media expert in the food and drink industry, search for common phrases and see what comes up. If your name isn’t on there or if you aren’t as high as you’d like to be in the search results, write down a plan to create relevant posts.

A big mistake that new people make to personal branding is thinking that they need to promote themselves all the time. Just like you don’t want to hear a company’s sales pitch over and over again, you also don’t want to talk about yourself all the time.

Take some time to find relevant articles and engage with the community that’s already established around your desired field. If you want to be known as someone who is on top of Instagram news, start sharing new features and your opinions on them. The more consistently you share about this topic, the more people will start to associate you with that topic.

  1. Analyze Your Strategy

After a few months of posting according to your strategy, you may find that you’re not getting the engagement you want. Maybe people aren’t clicking on links or you feel like you’re shouting into the abyss.

Take time to look at your social media analytics just like you would for a company. Are you responding and engaging with people you follow or are you only sending Tweets out with the hope that someone will reply?

  1. Become an Influencer

This last step is optional and sometimes it’s already decided for you. If you’ve been posting about a certain subject and interacting with people on the topic, chances are that you’re seen as an influencer in that field. Influencers are coveted by companies now as another way to reach new audiences.

To take a look at how you rank among influencers, visit Buzzsumo to see where you are in relation to others in your field. This is what brands see when they’re researching for influencers. Make it easy for them to contact you by having information on your website about working with companies.

CAREER MAPPING

The Career Map is a proprietary framework that was developed to assist individuals with the creation of a map unique to their own goals, aspirations, and career. The Career Map can be beneficial to any individual, from top-level executives to entry-level job seekers.

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As trainees, your career map is a living document. The version you create shortly after you land your first job should look very different to the version from a few years later. If you allow it to evolve gradually over time, it will serve you well through all the twists and turns on your journey, and will help you immensely should you ever decide to chart a completely different course.

Once you have your career map, it serves two main purposes:

  1. Providing focus about what your next step should be - you are aiming for one of a short list of roles, so you can put your professional development efforts into activities that get you ready to take that next step. For example, if your next step is to lead a team, look for opportunities to lead project teams or mentor others in your current role.
  2. Gives you a point of reference for any opportunities that come to you. You can assess each opportunity against your short and long term goals to see if it will truly serve your purpose, or if you’re just attracted to it because you are flattered that they asked.

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Assignment

  1. What type of “brand” do you want to have?
  2. What image do you want to portray with others?
  3. What skills do you require? What areas could you develop further?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-laermer/the-myth-of-personal-bran_b_341574.html

https://sproutsocial.com/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/amanda-yuill/is-your-outdated-career-m_b_7245648.html

http://www.wow.com/wiki/Personal_branding?s_chn=78&s_pt=source2&s_gl=US&v_t=content

http://www.wow.com/wiki/Personal_branding?s_chn=78&s_pt=source2&s_gl=US&v_t=content

 

 


Tags: PERSONAL BRANDING, CAREER MAPPING
File Under: education
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