A brand is any entity that establishes its own unique identity in the mind of its customers. This identity helps customers instantly identify what they can expect whenever they interact with the brand, whether it is through purchasing one of its products, or experiencing the service it provides.
The companies that are able to build a strong brand name for themselves reap dividends in the long term as not only their customers become loyal due to the consistent provision of quality products and/or services, but also because it becomes much easier to advertise new product and service offerings to potential customers by simply associating the brand name with it.
Although it is not a common practice, but we need to start thinking of ourselves as brands especially in this increasingly competitive corporate world that is demanding more specialized people with each passing day. The job pool is increasing, which means that for a single position in a good company there would be hundreds if not thousands of applicants who would be applying from around the world. Standing out from this talented pool is a tough job indeed, and that’s where self-brand building will take you a long way.
Even if you’ve already secured a position in a good enough company, working on your personal brand is essential for career growth, as it helps you identify a niche for yourself and then establish a clear image about what you are good at in front of everyone in your professional circle, including your supervisors.
The Importance of Standing Out
While it may seem like your qualifications should be enough to secure you a good enough job, you’d be surprised to know that is no longer the case. The jobs which you are really after require the absolute best, and of course the payout which they give matches their requirements. Considering this payout, many people obviously want these jobs, and hence apply for them from around the world.
If you already have a job, then standing out at the workplace is essential if you wish for your career to progress. There are going to be many people in your tier who would want that promotion that you are ready for, but considering only a few will actually receive one, there is a big chance your employer will promote only those who have a good brand.
Why? Well, because not only do they have the right skills, but they also present them in a way that enhances their personal brand, automatically building a strong case for their promotion.
What Not To Do
Brand-building is obviously a difficult task, one which is achieved through persistent hard work and dedication. Consistency is key, hence whatever qualities you choose to emulate need to remain consistent over time, or if change is required, then that change needs to be gradual.
It’s best to avoid maintaining a very busy aura, as that shows that you are either incompetent to do the job, or just like showing everyone that you are busy without actually adding any value to the company. Also, don’t give the impression that you consider yourself irreplaceable, either through your attitude or your words. You are entirely replaceable, and although you may be valuable to the company, your arrogance won’t help your case.
What To Do
The best thing you can do to build your brand is to become the master of what your job requires, as that would make you a reliable resource. Arriving early at the office and leaving after most people have gone is also a great way to showcase yourself as a committed individual. Going out for lunch sometimes is fine, but do dine at the office premises to remain available as needed.
It’s best to keep a helpful attitude to whoever may require help from you. Offering free advice to whoever seeks it won’t hurt you in anyway, but would allow you to gain the trust of your fellow employees, which will actually help you in the long term.
If you have to talk a lot about the work you’ve done to get it recognized, then maybe the work you’ve done is not a lot. Your work should speak for itself. Also, it’s perfectly fine to not know anything.
The best thing to do is to accept the fact that you are still learning and don’t have answers to everything. Be humble in your approach, and you will learn more and more with each passing day regardless of what level you reach at the company, slowly building your brand until it becomes a highly reliable one.