In the increasingly competitive talent market, it’s becoming even more important for employees to develop their personal brand. Thinking about how you brand yourself, conveying the collection of values, experiences and associations that people attach to you can distinguish you from the crowd and get you noticed. While your individual brand is important to you personally, it’s also important to your team, your department and the wider organisation.
This often requires you to adapt your brand depending on who you’re addressing. Whether it’s internal or external contacts, your boss or those you manage, associates from where you’re based or those from different regions, all these factors need to be taken into consideration when presenting yourself in the workplace.
Promoting your brand internally
For those already thinking about their brand, the focus tends to be on how their professional reputation is viewed externally in the market space. But the single most important way of developing your brand is to be seen in person by your internal peers. Networking is often seen as a purely external exercise, but internal networking is just as important.
How you’re able to contribute to the overall strategic direction of the organisation will be dependent on the positive personal brand you’ve established with your leaders, your peers, and your team. It’s about your ability to build a personal brand which transcends your current job title and makes you an attractive prospect for internal promotion.
Your cross-cultural personal brand
One of the most complicated issues I personally face comes with working with nine different countries across EMEA, all of which have very different approaches to how they do business. Values and ways of working contrast dramatically and how you manage and present your brand to each region must be tailored.
How you present yourself needs to be dialled up or down to fit local cultures and to reflect the audience you’re focusing on. Gaining first-hand experience of understanding the values and cultural differences of each region and the ways in which their local teams work is invaluable to your employee branding strategy.
Organisations today are multicultural and multilayered, with employees often having more than one reporting line or boss. How you manage your personal styles with multiple people is a skill, but one that could see you do extremely well if mastered correctly.
Brand building takes time and needs to be consistent, but thinking about these will help make you a more realistic proposition for internal promotion and more attractive to external search executives who are eager to find not just great candidates but also inspirational executives that their top talented candidates will be clamouring to work for.