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Personal Branding: Being an Unexpected Benefit

Image by USWeekly

Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He started out as an award-winning bodybuilder. Next up was acting in action movies. Then, governor of the state of California.

He’s proven to be a master at reinventing himself.

You may not have the audience that Arnold has, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use the same tactics to keep your personal brand fresh.

How do you go about keeping the powers that be on their toes when it comes to what you can do for them?

Capitalize on the benefits of your personal brand

The first thing you need to understand is exactly why your brand is so important.

It’s all about having a vision for your future and putting that vision to work for you.

What advantages can result?

  • A more desirable job  – if and when the time is right.
  • More valuable contacts and customers for your company.
  • Acknowledgment in your business community.

You want to always be learning new skills and growing, as an employee and as a person.

Surprise the leadership of your company by all the things you have your hand in.

Here are a few ways to amp up your brand:

  • Utilize the 20% principle. The idea is one that has been used with great results by Google employees. The basic idea is to spend 20% of your time working on something that you’re passionate about. It’s a way to get some experience in a role that is outside your normal work routine and can open the door for you to possibly join a new team at some point. If the leadership of your company doesn’t agree to this, try to find a project to contribute to during your down time.
  • Don’t be afraid to show that you’ve done your homework. Ask questions that let your superiors know that you care enough to do some research. They’ll be impressed, especially if it’s in an area that they wouldn’t expect you to be familiar with.
  • Work on honing business and technical skills. Possessing technical know-how and business acumen will create the necessary opportunities for your brand in the future. For example, as a mid-level manager who takes IT courses, even though it doesn’t necessarily apply to your current position, helps you stay relevant for the future and opens up opportunities.
  • Don’t underestimate the power of kindness and gratitude. While it may seem like an insignificant piece of advice, showing thankfulness and being kind to those you work and interact with on a daily basis can have a big impact. For example, send a thank-you note to someone who does a lot for you. Find ways to help others. Engage with people with whom you don’t normally converse and try to find ways to help them or add value to what they’re working on. You’ll be forging new relationships and you might also learn some new skills in the process!

Always be thinking ahead

Your personal brand can take some time to build. Be intentional about making it the representation you want it to be.

One timely example is to learn a language.

Consider the implications of how a second language could pave the way for you in the global market.

What if the language was coding?

Learning a technical language can open up different avenues for you in the IT market, as well as create a broader audience for your skills.

Not sure what direction to go in? Find out what jobs are the most in-demand for the future and start working toward gaining some skill in one or more of those areas.

Your employer will be impressed at your ability to reinvent yourself in order to stay relevant in the current marketplace.

What steps are you taking to build your personal brand?