We all possess some form of a personal brand, whether or not it is actively constructed. If you desire to be noticed for the right reasons — that brand must be clear and concise. If it is muddled, you might be lost in the shuffle.
That brand can also be stretched beyond recognition. You may not even recognize it.
(It’s a noisy world out there.)
When people consider you (or your work) it conjures up a certain “gestalt”. While you may think your brand is clearly written in your resume or LinkedIn profile, much is invisible. It is what you do, share and say everyday.
However, it is vital to be noticed and understood. It is devastating to be misunderstood. (I’ve personally experienced this.) What you stand for as a friend. As a colleague. The type of work you envision. The roles you are aiming for. What you wish to accomplish. As, Tom Peters declared in his now classic article — we each must accept the indisputable existence of the personal brand.
It follows that building this brand requires thought — and action — and more thought.
That must begin with you.
You are person 0.
If you could conjure the ideal personal brand that represents you in the future — what would others say? How might that compare to what others would say in this moment?
You have an opportunity to impact that brand. To choose its components and even utilize it as a compass for your career. To delineate the value you bring and to decide the channels that broadcast value. However, you must first build self-awareness.
You must ask the question again (and keep on asking).
Who are you?
Dr. Marla Gottschalk is an Industrial/Organizational Psychologist. She is a charter member of the LinkedIn Influencer Program. Her thoughts on work life have appeared in various outlets including Talent Zoo, Forbes, Quartz and The Huffington Post.