I just contributed to another article on personal branding. Key thoughts below for you to consider in strengthening your own personal brand! Believe in Your Brand: Don't Be Switzerland! Define your strategies, goals and objectives and define mechanisms by which your core "personal brand" tenets can be applied in the career marketplace. You must be clear in your role and objectives. Understand your strengths and developmental opportunities. Leverage the core tenets of your brand in the pursuit of the next career and/or personal development opportunity.
Reset Regularly: Starting over is never easy. Sometimes it is necessary and not always by choice. All of us, at some point in our lives, are forced to make difficult decisions that involve a "re-start" or demolition of some practice and starting anew. At times, and especially in this market, we are forced to "reset" our career plans. With a positive attitude, a "reset" can turn into something very constructive and fulfilling.
Be a Pioneer: Venture into "unknown or unclaimed territory"; be open to new thoughts, research or development ideas; engage your consumers / customers in the development process; lead the way and identify ways to manifest a culture of trust within your organization
Network Within and Outside Your Four Walls: Networking may be defined in three ways - Inter-Company, Intra-Company and Community. Employees should take time to understand the structure, leadership, and culture of the business, get involved in programs that touch many different aspects of the company and explore opportunities to learn more about the industry. Building a network of friends and business colleagues should be part of each individual's career management plans.
Lose the Language: Drop the negative or harsh language. It does nothing to benefit a business or personal situation. In most circumstances, it detracts. It tears someone down. It creates discomfort in a family environment. It demonstrates insecurity. It absolutely subtracts from the value of your personal brand. Interestingly enough, the "office talk" is frequently about the individuals that are using the trashy language or demonstrating negative behavior - and this is a lasting impression that does nothing to help one's career. How you treat and talk to others has long-term implications.
Engage in Social Networking...Smartly: Absolutely sign-up for Linked-In and Facebook today. Learn about social media and the opportunities that exist online to connect with old friends, current business colleagues, customers and future business partners. Social networking sites are powerful - and will continue to grow and change as technology continues to advance. By choosing to not participate, you lose out on yet another opportunity to build your brand, develop relationships, get out of your comfort zone, and make connections in a way that was never even possible only a few years ago. Social media is a powerful tool for individuals and businesses that are building, maintaining and/or growing brands. Engage.