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5 Things to Do Before You Build Your Personal Brand

5 Things to Do Before You Build Your Personal Brand

    Most people don’t take the time to discover their own personal brand. I believe the reason for this is because of the very many influences we have on our lives, from our parents, to our teachers to our managers and even our friends.  I have many friends who are instructed to become lawyers, doctors and accountants by their parent who is already in that field and wants to mold their child in their shape.

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    When you choose someone else’s career path, it can have a negative impact on your work and life.  Also, most people don’t take time out of their day to think about who they are and what they want to do for the rest of their lives.  Instead, they become so overwhelmed in the moment or are so focused on climbing a corporate ladder, that they aren’t true to themselves and, as a result, get lost.  Creating a personal brand is the easiest part of the personal branding process because social media tools are free and marketing documents are easy to make, even if you aren’t a technical expert or graphic designer.  People, as well as companies, don’t invest the time in figuring out the right branding strategy before they start using these tools, so they don’t obtain the desired output.
    In order to help you in your personal brand development, I’ve laid out five critical things you need to focus on before creating your personal brand.  They will help you with your brand positioning, as well as make you think about where you’re going (your destination), so you’ll be able to reach your goals and have the results that you desire.  I know it might seem like tedious work, but when you can communicate what you do to the right audience, you’ll be much more successful in the long-term.

    1.  Brainstorm a mission and a vision statement

      A mission and a vision statement are much different.  Your mission is what you do everyday, while your vision is your future.  To create a mission statement, you should think about what you do and why you do it.  Your mission should be simple and clear and only one sentence long.  It should touch upon your behaviors, traits and values.  For your vision statement, imagine yourself at least ten years in the future.  What will you be doing then and why?  What are you looking to give back to the world?  Both of these statements can be stored privately or publicly displayed on your website, just like a company would.

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      2.  Identify your personal brand statement

      Aside from your name and picture, your personal brand statement is the third most important asset you have on the web that helps identify you.  Your name is your online ID, while your picture is what people remember you by and experience and your personal brand statement is how you position yourself in the minds of others.  Your statement should tell everyone what you do and who you serve.  It forces you to take a niche, instead of trying to own a topic that is already full of competition.  In this way, people will get to know you and go to you for the services that you offer, instead of anyone else.

      3.  Give yourself a slogan

      Few people have their own slogan, but almost all companies swear by them.  Nike uses “just do it.”  Apple uses “think different.”  BMW uses “the ultimate driving machine.”  A slogan can get people excited about your personal brand in the same respect.  Think about how you want others to connect with you. Think of a catchy phrase to describe other peoples experience with you and then use it for your online logo or near your picture.  It can be funny or serious, but it needs to be effective and original to be remembered.

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      4.  Figure out your brand attributes

      Let’s say you’re in an interview and you get asked the question “how do you describe yourself?”  What would you say?  There are so many different words out there that you can use to describe yourself.  For instance, you can say you’re cunning, daring, intelligent, outgoing, stubborn, etc.  Other people may describe you in the same respect.  You really want what people say about you to equal how you describe yourself.  Think about your own brand attributes and write them down right now.

      5.  Discover your audience

      Finding your audience is really important because they are the people that will pay attention to your work and spread your ideas.  If you’re selling yourself to the wrong audience, they will dismiss you and it will be a waste of time.  You really need to figure out what companies or customers would be interested in what you have to offer because you can’t appeal to anyone.  Your audience should be a niche group of people and you should give them as much value as you can over time.

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      Last Updated on October 16, 2019

      How to Bounce Back Gracefully After Getting Fired

      How to Bounce Back Gracefully After Getting Fired

      Whether you saw it coming or not, getting fired is a real shock and its impact is daunting. What did you do wrong? What are you supposed to do next? When will you stop feeling so angry?

      But there are ways to deal with a layoff.

      The most important thing is to remain calm and see it as an opportunity to reflect, change and improve. This is a great time to consider what happened, look again at your needs and desires and start afresh on a stronger, more constructive basis.

      Let’s take a look at how you can bounce back gracefully after getting fired.

      1. Deal with the Shock of Getting Fired

      To lose your job is to lose your identity as a worker and as a person. Debbie Mandel, author of Addicted to Stress, states that 7 out of 10 of us define ourselves by our job titles, since work is where we spend the majority of our time and energy.

      Being laid off affronts your sense of self-worth—it implies that you simply are not good enough. It’s no wonder you feel confused and emotional.

      The first thing, then, is to take some time to digest what happened and deal with the overflow of sensations. People who quickly recover from the pain of a job loss tend to do two things very well:

      First, they accept their feelings of sadness, anger, fear and shame as a part of the natural healing process.

      Second, they do their complaining to a friend.

      Never call out your boss in the office or on social media. It’s a bad form to speak ill of the company you work for. Stay stylish, and your employer will speak better of you when you need a reference.

      2. Stay Away from the Drama Queens

      Mass layoffs are, unfortunately, very common. If this is your situation, then you may be surrounded by a lot of angry people, ruminating and lamenting their fate.

      “It’s not fair!” they say. “After everything we did for this company! We don’t deserve this!”

      You’ve lost your job and that’s tough. But please resist the urge to join in the negativity. Positivity is by far the most important attitude to apply right now. If staying upbeat means you have to limit your exposure to the Negative Nellies, then that’s what you have to do.

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      Remember, life is not harder for you than it is for other people on this planet. You live in a democracy, you have freedom of choice and you enjoy a certain material abundance.

      Stay positive and focus on what’s going well in your life and the exciting future opportunities available to you. Getting fired is only a temporary setback.

      Staying positing could be challenging in a difficult situation, so these tips can help:

      10 Questions To Ask Yourself To Stay Positive When Facing Difficulties

      3. Take a Break and Let the Dust Settle

      Instead of running straight into another job that may not be the right one either, take a short break to recover from the job loss. You need a week or two to de-stress and meditate on the next step.

      Be attentive to your need for self-care during this interlude. Everything goes so fast these days that we often do not stop to think or give ourselves the permission to do a little mourning.

      Getting fired is a big shock: you need time to refocus and take stock of the new reality. Do not make things harder for yourself!

      What you need is to pause a while and do some self reflection:

      How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life

      4. Be Anchored in the Present

      Since you no longer have a hold on the past, but have not yet designed your future, try to build yourself up with the present. What do we mean by that?

      We mean that right now is the only time you have any control over. Focus on that instead of losing yourself in memories or reliving the awful day you got fired over and over in your head.

      Get up at 7 a.m. each day, whatever happens. The body needs rhythm and habits. You will feel much more energized if you keep a consistent routine. Maintain a healthy lifestyle, revisit your budget, play sports, volunteer. Take care of the practical stuff like claiming unemployment. Enjoy the small pleasures of everyday life.

      When you’re busy, there’s no room for the inner critic to raise up and derail you. Keep active, and you will gain more of the precious energy you need so much to move forward.

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      Try these things to help you live in the moment:

      34 Ways To Live in the Moment And Grow in the Moment

      5. Understand the “Why”

      There are lots of reasons why people are fired. Sometimes the mistake is yours and it’s embarrassing to admit you backed yourself into this corner.

      Other times, it’s not your fault. Businesses change direction all the time—maybe yours is going through a major transition or merger and your job is disappearing.

      Either way, to give the situation some closure, you need to understand why you were dismissed. What slipped? What could you have done differently? Was your boss really out to get you or did you do something to put your job in jeopardy?

      Be honest with yourself. It’s not easy to admit that you might have dropped the ball but it’s the only way to turn the situation into a learning experience. Ask yourself:

      What skills do you need to improve?

      Is there training you can access, or learning you can do?

      In the end, did this job suit you that much? Were you happy there?

      Reflecting on these questions can help you put things into perspective. What lessons can you learn to avoid reproducing the same pattern in your next job?

      6. Find out If You Were the Right Fit

      Hiring decisions ultimately come down to personality. You can study for an interview all you like, but every candidate who is chosen for interview has the right credentials for the job.

      The final decision comes down to personality. Who does the recruiter like the best? Who is a better fit for the company culture? That’s the person who strikes it lucky.

      Firing decisions are based on personality, too. Slacking off, insubordination and playing fast and loose with the company rules—these are the official reasons why people are getting fired.

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      But all of these reasons boil down to one thing: personality. Specifically, they signal a personality clash between an employee and a manager, or an employee’s fit with the company’s culture.

      Here’s an example:

      Suppose you were fired for “not being a team player.” Some people, namely introverts, lose energy when they are surrounded by other people and gain energy when they are on their own. Forcing an introvert to continuously work on a busy, noisy team without any solitary rest periods means the job is a mission impossible. This employee will never perform at her best.

      Or how about the time the Kansas City Star newspaper fired Walt Disney for a perceived lack of imagination? Talk about a clash of personalities![1]

      Getting fired can be a signal to turn inward and do some self-reflection so you can better understand your personality and how it might fit in with corporate culture.

      In particular, personality assessments based on Isabel Briggs Myers’ sixteen personality types can help you to understand your own work style and how you can find a job and workplace that better match who you truly are.

      In many cases, it is totally liberating to realize that all the crap you had to deal with was just down to a clash of work styles and not something you did wrong!

      7. Rediscover Your Strengths and Talents

      A personality test can also give you clear insights into your strengths, weaknesses, motivations and work potential. Do you have leadership abilities? How do you communicate and manage conflict? What benefits do you add to an organization?

      Identifying your working style should be your top priority right now, otherwise you risk accepting a new position that has all the same problems as before. The last thing you want is to reproduce the same old dramas the next time around.

      When you become aware of your potential, you will have the confidence to search and find the type of work you love.

      For example, getting fired from your banking job may have knocked you sideways. But you have some stellar home decorating skills, and a personality test shows that you are curious, flexible, rational and resilient—all the traits of successful entrepreneurs. Maybe this dismissal is an opportunity to launch the business you’ve always dreamed of but never dared to admit to yourself?

      By considering all your special skills and talents, you increase your chances of finding a job you would really enjoy, and not just the one you can do.

      8. Get the Word Out

      At this point, you should be ready to take action and move forward with your job search. Let’s not sugarcoat the situation: getting a new job is tough. It helps to have a clear idea of the direction you want to go in, a list of all your crossover skills and a freshly polished resume.

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      Look around for inspiration. Talk to recruiters in your sector to establish what they consider to be your most valuable skills. Use all the resources at your disposal: job search agencies, headhunters, work coaches, careers websites and so on. These resources can help you match your qualifications to the job requirements and ensure you have the right keywords on your resume.

      Don’t hold back on marshaling your networks. Put friends and family to work to pop up leads, and don’t be afraid to ask for referrals. Sometimes the simple act of getting the word out to the people who know you is the surest way to find work fast.

      9. Anticipate Questions and Know How to Answer Them

      Even if it wasn’t your fault, getting fired can hurt you if you don’t know how to explain why you were let go. You have to be honest here and tell recruiters the truth. Even if a would-be employer does not specifically ask why you left your previous job, it is better to clarify the situation upfront before it comes out in your references.

      The best approach is to take your share of responsibility and show that you want to go forward and that you understand the lesson.

      For example, suppose you got fired for asking the difficult questions that no one wanted to answer and your candidness set people on edge. Acknowledge that some people perceive your communication style as abrupt and explain how you’re taking steps to increase your diplomacy skills.

      A recruiter can be seduced by someone who knows how to evolve and who shows a great energy for personal development.

      10. Adapt and Persist

      Throughout this journey, you inevitably will go through moments of self-doubt and disappointment. There are undulations in every road, and these are the normal steps for regaining self-confidence after getting fired.

      Stay tough! Don’t conclude that your future is hopeless just because the dream job doesn’t land straightaway. You open a positive path when you maintain focus. Have the confidence to know that the perfect job for you is out there.

      Remember, you are not alone. Many people walked this road and they would urge you to keep the momentum. Stay open-minded and go where the opportunities take you: it will bring you closer to the job you really want.

      Coming Out on Top

      While getting fired isn’t the ideal situation, it isn’t the end of the world either. Even if feels like a doozy right now, you will get through it and emerge happier on the other side.

      Be clear on what you want, have courage and believe in yourself. In the end, you may decide that getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to you. It can be the catalyst for a powerful, career-fulfilling change.

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      Featured photo credit: Jesus Kiteque via unsplash.com

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