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Developing Your Personal Brand – Despite the Odds

February 11 2019 - by Dr. Lois Parkes, CLP's Regional Project Manager

I came across this quote from an unknown author recently – Every job is a self-portrait of the person who does it; autograph your work with excellence.

This is definitely a creed that we should all embrace. However, how does one embrace such a value, when you believe that your work environment is lacking in vision, as well as the correct values, performance standards, and general professionalism? Let us face it, this is an all-too common challenge in work organisations.

However, I want to encourage you, the reader, that, despite your work circumstances, you owe it yourself to maintain and develop your best possible personal brand as a professional. This is about developing and honing your skills and competencies, and having a track record of excellent performance in the most holistic sense – output, attitude, work relationships etc.

Here are a few reasons why developing and maintaining your personal brand is critical:

  • Your personal market is wider than you think – As an HR professional, I can think of numerous examples of persons accessing promotional and other opportunities, not because they applied for a job. Instead, others saw the quality of their work (their brand), and headhunted them. It is important not to be consumed by the lack of appreciation for your contribution to your organization or team. Your work is still being noticed. Opportunities for growth and promotion are also not confined to your immediate work environment; the world is your oyster.
  • Negative consequences for a poor brand - Note that the principle at (1) also works in the reverse. A poor track record of performance (a poor brand), can also result in missed opportunities. It is very easy to look at others and tell yourself that others are getting away with shoddy work, and are still be promoted. However, as a Jamaican proverb says, “Puss and dog nuh have the same luck,” (translation – cats and dog do not have the same luck). In other words, you might not be so fortunate to have a poor personal brand, and still be promoted. Yes, this seems grossly unfair; however life is unfair at times; embrace that reality and move on.
  • Adhering to core values – Ultimately, you will not find any peace when you are living outside of your core values. If you truly value excellence, you will be tormented by a poor personal brand. You will be living below even your own personal expectations of yourself.

Ultimately, we each must ask ourselves, “What is the story I want to tell about my personal brand?” Make it a story you can proudly recount.

Let me here your ideas on how to maintain your personal brand, despite the odds.

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Alicia Wellington - Reply

I live by the  moto "whatever you do, do it unto the glory of God." This shapes my perspective about who really is my boss and also influences the work ethic that I bring to the job.

Lois Parkes

That's an excellent mantra, Alicia. Thanks for your feedback