Many in our industry have heard me speak about strategic meetings management, General Data Protection Regulation, business travel, and other industry-related topics. Most recently, I have been asked to speak about personal career branding, and how as an industry we need to have a greater awareness of our personal brand, and how having a brand can help or hurt your career trajectory.
Whenever I speak about this topic, I use excerpts from my book, Your Personal Brand, Your Power Tool to Build Career Integrity to help travel management and meeting professionals optimize their own career opportunities by developing and focusing on their personal brand.
What Is Your Personal Brand?
Your personal brand is a powerful statement about who you are, your work ethic, and how you get along with others. Your brand is just as important—if not more important—than your career achievements. Common sense, right? Yet, you would be surprised how many people have no awareness or interest in their personal brand. They are too busy working in their jobs and corporate roles, whether buyer or supplier, and working on and maintaining a strong personal brand is just not a priority or concern. That is, until they lose that job and need to scramble to update their resumes and LinkedIn profiles, and send out letters and notes to their network, recruiters, and head hunters.
To start the New Year right, here’s some tips for building and promoting your personal brand.
Build your network! Most job opportunities come from people in your own network. Those industry connections are invaluable. Treat them like gold and keep expanding and developing your network.
Keep an updated profile on LinkedIn. Most people have a LinkedIn profile but many don’t keep it updated. Whether you are looking for a job or not, LinkedIn is the number-one website used by corporate HR departments, head hunters, job recruiters, and executives to recruit talent. If your profile is not current, your opportunity to be recruited for a dream job is forever lost because you aren’t present to those looking for talented professionals.
Make your social media posts are consistent with your brand. A good way to validate whether to post something or not is to ask yourself, “Will this picture or my comments reflect poorly on me and my brand?” If the answer is yes, don’t post.
Be level-headed on social media. Don’t post anything when you’re tired, under the influence of any substance, or especially when you’re angry. Even if you delete a post, it still lives on. I cringe when I see people arguing on social media. Pick up the phone and take it offline!
As busy as you may be, make time for yourself! Carve out 10 to 15 minutes of personal time every day. Your employer isn’t going to do that for you; you must take control and self-allocate “me” time. That’s when you should focus on your career objectives, personal brand, and, most importantly, put your brand out there!
In 2019, make time for yourself and your brand; take ownership of your career and thrive. You are worth it and in control of your destiny. Don’t squander your time—make everything matter because time is a precious luxury. Happy New Year everyone!