Who are you? Is that too deep a question? Okay, who are you as a business professional? Still having trouble? How to brand oneself is a challenge familiar for many. In a LinkedIn article, ITMPI Director Michael Milutis describes four reasons why you might struggle with self-branding:
- “What will people think?”
- “I don’t know what I want.”
- “I know what I want, but there are too many ways to brand myself!”
- “How do I decide whether to connect with someone?”
A More Marketable You
If you suddenly decide to apply a “brand” to yourself, you might worry that colleagues will perceive this branding as a night-and-day shift. In other words, they might think you are trying to become a totally different person—possibly to hop ship to another office. But it is easy to alleviate a fear like this: All you have to do is build your branding slowly and organically. Additionally, if you think it could help, you can talk to your boss about your intentions with the branding. You can explain that you are just trying to better align yourself with the career trajectory you want to have.
Another issue with branding is just not knowing what you want. It could be that you are—as once happened to Milutis—“drowning in the big picture.” Rather than try to decide what you want out of your whole life right this second, you could instead focus on just where you would like to be six months from now, or in one-to-two years. Work things out incrementally. Be agile with your career!
Conversely, maybe you do know what you want, and the problem is you want everything. Milutis describes how to hone in on something more practical:
Remember: your online profile is not a resume, and it is not a CV. It’s much more akin to a business card. So think in terms of the basic structure (Top Line Descriptor, Industry Vertical, Summary, Current Job Description), be mindful of your 6, 12, or 24 month goal, and try to get the puzzle pieces to fit. The good news is that once you have a clear vision there are an almost infinite number of good ways to organize the same data, or to tell the same story. The bad news is that most people are paralyzed by this. Why not reach out, at this point, to a colleague or outside expert for help?
Lastly, when deciding who to connect with (in a LinkedIn setting), always make sure there is an internal logic that agrees with your ambitions. You do not need to have physically met every person that you add, but you should also not be adding every random person who comes along either. Your network should mean something.
You can view the original article here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-four-reasons-people-struggle-self-branding-michael-milutis