Taking your career and brand to the next level!
We cross paths with hundreds of people each day. We stop and talk with some, we collaborate professionally with others, and even more connect with us online. When you think too hard about it, the fear can ooze in. All these people looking at us and formulating opinions that we can’t control. It’s important to remember that you control over how you see yourself, who you want to be, and how you want to live. Here’s how to make it work for you both personally and professionally.
#1 Live By Your Core Values
Everyone has things they value most about themselves and others. If you’re not used to it, it can be hard to think this way, but once you start looking , you’ll see the values that are most important to you popping up regularly.
How to get started: Make a list of 10+ values. If you need inspiration, research common values. Think about what people have complimented you for in the past. Think about a quality that’s taken you far. Think about what you love most about yourself. Narrow your values down to three and see how they sit with you. Core values can change over time, but at a fundamental level, values are your soul telling you what you need to feel fulfilled and balanced.
#2 Craft Your Story
Sometimes we feel like our track-record is all over the place, but it’s really our interesting and unconventional histories that make us special and position us well to bridge a gap. A lot of innovation starts with connecting the dots between two ideas that have not been connected in that way before. Your story is all of your meaningful dots being connected in a powerful way to showcase your unique brand.
How to get started: Keep your story short but engaging, and use it when you position yourself, whether in person or when you’re writing a bio. Try crafting a three sentence paragraph that touches on ‘why you are the way you are (history), what you believe (values) and what your mission is (passion & purpose).
#3 Define Your Mission Statement
Mission is an intimidating word. It feels like a lot to take on and for some of us, it’s difficult to imagine defining ourselves by one mission. Instead, think of it as something that you’re passionate about and that you feel you’re good at ( bonus points if you feel doing whatever that is makes a positive impact in the world.)
How to get started: Check out the Japanese Concept of Ikigai, which helps you map your purpose at the centre of four key categories: what you love, what you’re good at, what you can get paid for, and what the world needs.
#4 Practice Continuity Across Social
Once you have a clear idea of your values, your story, and your mission, you’ll want to practice that continuity across your social channels. This can be particularly important from a professional standpoint; if you’re objective is to highlight your leadership qualities, your digital presence should speak to this across the board.
How to get started: Patrol your online presence and remove anything unsavoury and out of alignment with the personal brand you’ve crafted, then consistently craft your bios across channels like LinkedIn and Instagram. Amp that up another level by getting more strategic. If you’re aim is to showcase leadership, consider writing articles as the expert on a subject, identifying opportunities to lead teams outside of professional capacities, and ensure your work experience highlights your leadership proficiency.
#5 Embody Your Brand IRL
Last but not least, take some time to think practically about how you can embody your brand effectively in real time. If compassion is part of your value-system and mission, but you don’t really listen in conversations or show much understanding, you have a disconnect.
Growing this self-awareness can take time, but like the old adage, “actions speak louder than words”, you can’t be all take here. Work on creating a few action steps to really live your brand in your day-to-day life.