Your personal brand hugely affects your career – it’s more than just your CV

Personal branding isn’t just for business owners, entrepreneurs or freelancers; everyone has a personal brand, whether they like it or not, and it has a huge (and growing) effect on your career opportunities. A personal brand is defined as the ‘intentional effort to create and influence public perception of an individual.’ That may seem overly manufactured, but really, a personal brand is everything that makes you, you. A good personal brand shouldn’t deviate from who you really are, but it does take conscious effort to realise what that brand looks like and how to use it advantageously. Defining your values is vital to owning and developing your personal brand and it is the first step to getting to grips with how you are presenting yourself to the world and importantly, to potential future opportunities.

What makes you different?

Simply being you. You already stand out and you are different. Finding your personal brand is all about discovering what’s different about you!

I know it’s easier said than done, but I promise you it’s worth it. People (potential employers, colleagues, managers, mentors, investors – whoever) need to make a connection with you – by finding something that they have in common with you.

In today’s competitive climate, finding your personal brand is an absolute essential.

Finding your personal brand

Here is a helpful starting point to gaining clarity on who you are and what you have to offer – right now.

Start your journey but simply answering these questions below.

  1. How are you here doing what you’re doing?
  2. Why do you do what you do?
  3. What do you love about what you do?
  4. What frustrates you?
  5. What would you love to do all day?
  6. What would an ideal day look like?
  7. What do you want to do in future?
  8. What do others love about you?

Focus on the most human and personal elements of your answers. Your personal brand and brand story is, after all, not just a list of your life history, skills and your success – it’s so much more than a CV… People connect with us and follow us because of our stories, especially about our vulnerabilities and adversities, and how we overcame them.

Finding your personal values

Your personal values should mirror the things that matter most to you and what is important in your life – now is not the time to come up with a list you think others want to hear.

Here is a random and small selection of values to get you to start thinking:

Resilience Achievement Fun Humour Growth Success Ambition Adventure Wisdom Security Beauty Kindness Integrity Intelligence Compassion Independence Authenticity Wealth Equality Honesty Creativity Challenge Balance Awareness Selflessness Sensitivity Harmony Bravery Productivity Family Loyalty Enjoyment

Your values will come naturally to you. If you feel you should ‘conform’ and choose values that aren’t the perfect match for you and your future career moves, you’ll fail to meet them. Trying to live by prescriptive personal values will only result in a lack of transparency.

It is incredibly important for you to identify your values early on, as these form the foundation of your personal branding. These values set the rules on how you communicate, who and what you attract, what motivates you and what it is you want to achieve.

Having personal values that are true to you will resonate with your ideal employers and set yourself apart from your competition, with clear goals and boundaries on what it is you bring and what it is you want to achieve.

Learn more about discovering your personal brand and why it matters on the first Education Series with Sally Inkster on the 6th October 11.30am (an email will be sent to members).

Sally Inkster

Sally Inkster is a personal branding expert. She helps her clients to discover both their values and their unique story in order for them to attract more of what they want in life.

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