By Irina Skaya
As Bob Dylan once sang, “The times they are a-changin’.” In addition to the acceleration of baby boomers, globalization and the changing media landscape, the workforce’s organization is undergoing reconstruction. For example, emerging technologies such as Blackberry, Wi-Fi and mobile phones, which created a “work anytime, anywhere” mentality are blurring the boundaries between personal and work life. A 9-5 work schedule hardly exists for most people and soon, with the help of social technologies, we’ll be working 24/7. As you continue to work from remote location and for increasing amount of hours, your personal brand must be powerful and strong enough to impact your employers.
In this increasingly competitive marketplace, personal branding is just as important as corporate and product branding. Personal branding does not mean the shameless self-promoting, where one toots his/her own horn and spends working hours to update their MySpace profile. Personal branding means you will be able to clearly communicate your unique promise of value that you have to offer. With the ad-vent of social media, many employers will, “Google” the prospective candidates or look up their profiles on Facebook, Linked In, and other social networking sites. So, being good or having a great resume is no longer enough to succeed. Now, it is important to have strong search-engine visibility and brand recognition.
What is the secret formula of successful branding? According to Dixon’s and Arruda’s Career Distinction: Stand Out By Building Your Brand, the three C’s: clarity, consistency and constancy are key.
• Clarity – be clear about who you are and what you are not; understand your unique value
• Consistency – continuously expressing your brand with different communication vehicles
• Constancy – always keep your brand visible
They also highlight the importance of networking with your targeted audience. Instead of communicating your brand to the entire world, it is crucial to convey your brand to a targeted group of individuals who will help you achieve your career goals. The easiest way to brand yourself is through the Internet. You can use several online identity tools to build your brand:
• Join the blogosphere
• Create a web portfolio
• Prove yourself, not just say you can things: show articles, awards, white papers, video, press re-leases, schedule of speaking engagements, etc.
• Use online networking sites
From politicians and entertainers such as Barack Obama and Oprah, strong branding is crucial for their success. In the age of social networks and user-generated media, self-branding is no longer just for the wealthy and the powerful; it is also important for career-driven individuals.