With all the holiday banter about hunting for the perfect gift, perhaps to find that gift we need only search within ourselves.
From the time we are young, we live with a process in which we lose our voice and shutter our authentic selves. All through childhood we are told "don’t say that," "you didn’t mean this," "you can’t do that"; it propels us into an adolescence-without-identity, an identity subdued by silence.
So much time in the business world is invested in talking about branding — but what about our own 'personal brands'? Companies and workplaces are no more, no less, a compilation of personal brands, melding together to unite the strength of each for the benefit of the whole. Having our own individual brand is important for our success and for the success of those around us.
In the sea of job seekers out there, how do you differentiate yourself? How do employers display their brands to attract the right talent? The answer lies in the concept of personal branding. When interviewers probe deeply, the patterns that are established will become much clearer if you know what your personal brand is. Branding as evidenced by the consistent recognition of such companies as TJ Maxx or HBO, enables those who are looking to know in advance what they are getting. The same holds true for you and your brand.
When giving our references, either to future clients or on an interview, being clearly branded goes a long way toward understanding your style and your potential contributions. Cultural fit is a key predictor in a successful hiring experience. Having both the company and the individual speak clearly through their authentically branded selves will enable everyone to function in happier and healthier ways. We all have authentic selves; the gift is in packaging it clearly so that it can shine out to others.
So, how do you keep your voice from being drowned out in an ocean of others?
You might begin by taking time to ask those who know and love you best "What can I always be counted on for" or "What makes me special?"
At cSubs, for example, Peggy’s strength is her attention to detail. She can always be counted on to make sure nothing is missed and that her clients' experience will be seamless. Everyone she works with knows this about her and respects this as part of her contribution to the team. While Peggy isn't consciously branding herself, she still is creating a powerful brand. Everyone who meets her knows the Peggy brand.
We get in trouble because as we create our business persona we edit out who we are, i.e., our hearts and our smarts. By permitting less of our authentic selves to percolate to the top, we look like everyone else. What sense is there in that? Does Revlon look like every other cosmetic brand?
According to Cathy Salit of "Performance of a Lifetime," you need to "actively and authentically create your character by showing more of who you are and consciously choosing how you show up in every meeting and every conversation."
My gift to you this year is this invitation: At your family gatherings, look to find your reflection in those whom you love and thus discover your personal brand. Your authentic brand will be a gift to all you meet for years to come.
Julie Sue Auslander, M.Ed, WPO, WBE
Chief Cultural Officer/ aka President
cSubs a service of Corporate Subscription Management Services, LLC
Corporate Subscriptions Simplified
tel (201) 307-9900 ext. 101
A Women-Owned Business • www.csms-usa.com • Ramsey, N.J.