“Brand yourself for the career you want, not the job you have.” Dan Schawbel
Gone are the days when the term branding was used with reference to companies and products, but today, even an individual has a brand identity and a brand reputation to maintain.
To talk about this intangible, career deciding concept, IME invited Ms Ruchita Sharma, Head of Talent, India, Fidelity International.
In today’s world, it is a natural human tendency to fulfil behavioural expectations of the people around us rather than representing our own brand. We try to be what people expect us to be rather than follow our own paths. Ruchita in her discussion touched upon a few points that would help one to build a personal brand.
Build your own label
Going with the flow is often easy but is not always the right path to choose. To build one’s own label, people need to stand for something, build multiple self-brands while knowing how to personify them throughout one’s career.
Have a view
Being an achiever in terms of social indicators don't allow you edge as is commonly believed. In a crowd of IIT and IIMs, everyone is equal in that ecosystem, having a view or a clear perspective acts as a differentiator for an individual; something that helps you stand-out in a crowd. But just having a view does not count for anything if you are not articulate enough to represent them. To grab the spotlight, a person needs to be quick enough to adapt to the changing dynamics of any organisation.
The learning never stops
In the world of automation and robotics to have a job in the future, people would need to be passionate and imaginative beyond being domain experts. People need to constantly up-skill and upgrade their existing skill sets to have that competitive edge so that they can continue to add value. Lot of these new learnings are about listening, observing, absorbing and less about structured educations
Confidence versus arrogance
A personal brand has something unique… it starts and ends with you. Since building one’s own brand is not easy and when one starts seeing the success it leads to confidence which again multiplies around you and has the risk of treading on the fine line of arrogance. This is not only a denominator for all the good work you have done to build your standing but also can create serious blind spots.
Package yourself better - what’s your charisma!
A product is as good as the way it is packaged. However good your content may be, if your representation is wrong, the whole personal brand can fall apart or could take much longer to be discovered. Right from your voice, to your dressing sense, to physical appearance to your online presence; everything matters while building a brand reputation. Inarticulateness and mechanical thought process of an individual make him/her lose an ability to leverage authenticity and the banality must be avoided when we undergo for eg. Interview processes.
Every end is new beginning
Never shy away from failure, because even if you win some or lose some, you will end up learning something new. The pressure we face should make us a better professional and a better person. These are the moments of truth which help the self-brand shine thru and become stronger.