I am currently doing an online course on Personal Branding and I strongly recommend you to do it if you have the time. It is a free course and takes about 5 weeks, about an hour each week to complete the week’s lessons. But before you jump blindly into enrolling a course because of my endorsement or because it is free, let me explain why I think this course is absolutely important in your career.
Disclaimer first: I’m not being paid for this endorsement. I truly enjoy myself and I learned a lot hence the recommendation. Remember, in MiddleMe, sharing is caring.
In this digital world, where the world’s getting more populated each day, it is getting harder to stand out among the millions. In short of doing something stupid and crazy that propels you into the limelight, self-branding is one of the most effective ways to get yourself noticed by current and potential employers and clients.
Personal branding is unlike most folks thinks, it is not being a hypocrite nor it is about being arrogant and boastful. In fact, far from it. It is about advertising yourself and putting yourself out there.
There is nothing wrong showcasing your talents for the world (or in your case, your company) and make them aware your capabilities.
A lot of people I know are uncomfortable with it, especially in my Asian culture where being humble is a virtue. Although I do agree that if you are really good, your work will shine so brightly that it is hard to ignore. However, it will take some time for such opportunity to rise where you can present your exceptional work. So why wait when you can those opportunities by letting people know you can achieve those standards and prove it when they assign the task to you.
I have witness first-hand on how personal branding helps a colleague to get the notice from his boss. He was a shy and timid guy, always prefer to submit his work quietly and never be the one who volunteers to take on extra work because he is always waiting for his boss to assign tasks to him. Yet, year after year, he wonders why he is often missed out in promotions. All changes when he decided to personal brand himself by talking about what he can do and like to do, he did not shy away from projects and he went to his boss to ask to participate in some of the limelight collaborations. After a year, he had a list of impressive accomplishments, successful results and a handful of personal recommendation. Armed with that, he presented to his boss on why he should be promoted and guess what? He was promoted twice his ranks!
Personal branding is also about shaping a rounded image of others have of you. Perhaps you are the all-work-no-play kind of girl or you might appear anti-social kind of guy. By letting people aware of your interests, it sparks a curiosity in them in wanting to know more about you. It is the best start to creating a strong network in the office space. I didn’t know that wallflower accounting girl can sing like Adele until our company hosted a karaoke session team outing. Nor did I realise that the techie nerd sitting four desks away is a father of five beautiful daughters until I bumped into the whole family in the mall one weekend.
One more thing that personal branding is crucial. It stands for what makes you, what you believe in, what values you carry. Whether you value work ethics and integrity or you stand for creativity and innovation, it should not only show in your work but what you tell others too.
No manager wants to hire someone with no background.
This will provide you with the substantial foundation to talk about during your next interview.
So go ahead and schedule to take the course, it is free! And I promise you that you will find out a lot about yourself. Come and share your thoughts about personal branding and if you do it as well.
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.