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Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

Your Personal Brand is Equal to Your Google Results

    People you know or have never met yet are googl’ing you. Let’s face it, you’re even google’ing yourself! At the end of

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      2007, the Pew Internet Research Team found that 47% of people search for information about themselves online (Self-Googling), which was more than double 5 years ago. It’s a pretty safe bet that percentage has climbed to over 50 or 60% by this year.

      Some people might can it ego-surfing, but it’s actually a good practice to see what results come up for your name. Your teachers, friends, family, boyfriends and girlfriends and coworkers are google’ing you either for fun or because they want to learn more about you. Hiring managers want to see if you have a clean record in Google, which is your permanent record because every move you make (yes even a blog comment) is stored there forever. Before I went on a second date once, the girl Google’ed me. If she hadn’t liked what she saw, the second date wouldn’t have happened. Try doing it right now and see what you get.

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      There is no hiding from Google!

        Google keeps track of just about everything you do on the internet. It patrols and captures your online behavior, such as when you post on your blog, tweet using Twitter, join social networks, comment on other blogs, write articles for online news sources and more. Aside from the content you create and distribute over the internet, other people are talking about you, which means that Google has a complete picture (almost like an autobiography) of your life. In the digital age, Google is your resume, your permanent record and a journal of your life. Your children and children’s children will be able to find out everything about you when they grow older. “Mom, look what I just found out about Dad in Google.” Your personal brand can’t hide from Google. There is one major exception to this though.

        Common names

        If your name is common, such as Mike Smith, then it will be very hard to own your Google results. There are over 54 million results for “Mike Smith” in Google. You won’t be able to compete with the athletes and musicians on the first few pages. If your life goal is to rank in the top ten results, that may be achievable, if you either become very famous or work extremely hard at building content each and every day for your entire life. At the age of sixty you might find out that Google changed their algorithm and you’ll lose all that hard work. The point being is that you’ll have to differentiate your name in order to rank high. I typically recommend you use your middle name or a nickname in this case. The worst case scenario is that you change your name completely ;).

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        Celebrity names

        Celebrities are very fortunate because they get mass media attention, which means traditional media sources (NY Times, ABC News) write articles about them. These sources rank extremely high in Google. We’re talking Google PageRank’s of eight and higher! Your blog posts about these celebrities will never end up on the top twenty results for their name unless you are Perez Hilton. If your name is the same as a celebrities, you are in big trouble. Try searching for Christina Aquilera (21 million results), Britney Spears (88 million), Lil Wayne (40 million) and other major celebrities. Personally, I don’t have any friends with these names, but even with C-level celebrities, you don’t stand a chance. If you are stuck with a celebrity name, I suggest that you build your brand around an area of your expertise or interest and connect it to your brand name.

        Unique names

        While growing up, you might have been made fun of people of your unique name because it was “different.” Although you were ostracized and made fun of, right now you get to laugh at everyone else! With a distinct name, you are able to easily manipulate the results for your name on search engines. When you go to your high school reunion and see your friends, you’ll get the last laugh because you can be visible and control perceptions, while they simply cannot. When you Google your name, whether you have results that reflect your brand, you’ll see how hard it will be to rank high for it or not. Depending on the competition, it may take you a few days or a few months. Over time, if you work very hard, you’ll own the top ten results for your name.

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        In my next post, I’ll talk about what you can do to gain control over your Google results and let your personal brand shine through.

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        Last Updated on August 20, 2019

        How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

        How to Find New Growth Opportunities at Work

        Career advancement is an enticement that today’s companies use to lure job candidates. But to truly uncover growth opportunities within a company, it’s up to you to take the initiative to move up.

        You can’t rely on recruiter promises that your company will largely hire from within. Even assurances you heard from your direct supervisor during the interviewing process may not pan out. But if you begin a job knowing that you’re ultimately responsible for getting yourself noticed, you will be starting one step ahead.

        Accomplished entrepreneur and LinkedIn Co-Founder Reid Hoffman said,

        “If you’re not moving forward, you’re moving backward.”

        It’s important to recognize that taking charge of your own career advancement, and then mapping out the steps you need to succeed, is key to moving forward on your trajectory.

        Make a Point of Positioning Yourself as a Rising Star

        As an employee looking for growth opportunities within your current company, you have many avenues to position yourself as a rising star.

        As an insider, you’re able to glean insights on company strategies and apply your expertise where it’s most needed. Scout out any skills gaps, then make a point to acquire and apply them. And, when you have creative ideas to offer, make it your mission to gain the ear of those in the organization who can put your ideas to the test.

        Valiant shows of commitment and enterprise make managers perk up and take notice, keeping you ahead of both internal and external competitors.

        Employ these other useful tips to let your rising star qualities shine:

        1. Promote Your Successes to Your Higher-Ups

        When your boss casually asks how you’re doing, use this valuable moment to position yourself as indispensable: “I’m floating on clouds because three clients have already commented on how well they like my redesign of the company website.”

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        Tell your supervisors about any and all successes. Securing a new contract or signing a new customer should be a cause for celebration. Be sure to let your bosses know.

        2. Cultivate Excellent Listening Skills

        Listen well, and ask great questions. Realize that people love to talk about themselves.

        But if you’re a superb listener, others will confide in you, and you’ll learn from what they share. You may even find out something valuable about your own prospects in the company.

        If others view you as even-minded and thoughtful, they’ll respect your ideas and, in turn, listen to what you have to say.

        Check out these important listening skills: 13 Powerful Listening Skills to Improve Your Life at Work and at Home

        3. Go to All Office Networking Events

        Never skip the office Christmas party, your coworker’s retirement party, or any office birthday parties, wedding showers, or congratulatory parties for colleagues.

        If others see you as a team player, it will help you rise in your company. These on-site parties will also help you mingle with co-workers whom you might not ordinarily have the chance to see. For special points, help organize one or two of these get-togethers.

        Take the Extra Step to Show Your Value to the Company

        Managers and HR staff know that it can be less risky – and a lot less costly — to promote from within. As internal staff, you likely have a good grasp of the authority structure and talent pool in the company, and know how to best navigate these networks in achieving both the company’s goals and your own.

        The late Nobel-Prize winning economist, Gary Becker, coined the term “firm-specific,” which describes the unique skills required to excel in an individual organization. You, as a current employee, have likely tapped into these specific skills, while external hires may take a year or more to master their nuances.

        Know that your experience within the company already provides value, then find ways to add even more value, using these tips:

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        4. Show Initiative

        Commit yourself to whatever task you’re given, and make a point of going above and beyond.

        Position yourself so that you’re ready to take on any growth opportunities that present themselves. If you believe you have skills that have gone untapped, find a manager who will give you a chance to prove your worth.

        Accept any stretch assignment that showcases your readiness for advancement. Stay late, and arrive early. Half of getting the best assignments is sticking around long enough to receive them.

        5. Set Yourself Apart by Staying up on Everything There Is to Know About Your Company and Its Competitors

        Subscribe to and read the online trade journals. Become an active member in your industry’s network of professionals. Go to industry conferences, and learn your competitors’ strategies.

        Be the on-the-ground eyes and ears for your organization to stay on top of industry trends.

        6. Go to Every Company Meeting Prepared and Ready to Learn

        A lot of workers feel meetings are an utter waste of time. They’re not, though, because they provide face-time with higher-ups and those in a position to give you the growth opportunities you need.

        Go with the intention of absorbing information and using it to your advantage — including the goals and work styles of your superiors. Respect the agenda, listen more than you speak, and never beleaguer a point.

        Accelerate Your Career Growth Opportunities

        A recent study found that the five predictors of employees with executive potential were: the right motivation, curiosity, insight, engagement, and determination. These qualities help you stand out, but it’s also important to establish a track record of success and to not appear to be over-reaching in your drive to move up in your company.

        Try to see yourself from your boss’s position and evaluate your promote-ability.

        Do you display a passion and commitment toward meeting the collective goals of the company? Do you have a motivating influence with team members and show insight and excellence in all your work?

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        These qualities will place you front and center when growth opportunities arise.

        Use these strategic tips to escalate your opportunities for growth:

        7. Find a Mentor

        With mentorship programs fast disappearing, this isn’t always easy. But you need to look for someone in the company who has been promoted several times and who also cares about your progress.

        Maybe it’s the person who recommended you for the job. Or maybe it’s your direct supervisor. It could even be someone across the hall or in a completely different department.

        Talk to her or him about growth opportunities within your company. Maybe she or he can recommend you for a promotion.

        Not sure how to find the right mentor? Here’s How to Find a Mentor That Will Help You Succeed.

        8. Map out Your Own Growth Opportunity Chart

        After you’ve worked at the company for a few months, work out a realistic growth chart for your own development. This should be a reasonable, practical chart — not a pie-in-the-sky wish list of demands.

        What’s reasonable? Do you think being promoted within two years is reasonable? What about raises? Try to inform your own growth chart with what you’ve heard about other workers’ raises and promotions.

        Once you’ve rigorously charted a realistic path for your personal development within the company, try to talk to your mentor about it.

        Keep refining your chart until it seems to work with your skills and proven talents. Then, arrange a time to discuss it with your boss.

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        You may want to time the discussion around the time of your performance review. Then your boss can weigh in with what he feels is reasonable, too.

        9. Set Your Professional Bar High

        Research shows that more than two-thirds of workers are just putting in their time. But through your active engagement in the organization and commitment to giving your best, you can provide the contrast against others giving lackluster performances.

        Cultivate the hard skills that keep you on the cutting edge of your profession, while also refining your soft skills. These are the attributes that make you better at embracing diverse perspectives, engendering trust, and harnessing the power of synergy.

        Even if you have an unquestionably left-brain career — a financial analyst or biotechnical engineer, for example — you’re always better off when you can form kind, courteous, quality relationships with colleagues.

        Let integrity be the cornerstone of all your interactions with clients and co-workers.

        The Bottom Line

        Growth opportunities are available for those willing to purposely and adeptly manage their own professional growth. As the old adage says,

        “Half of life is showing up.”

        The other half is sticking around so that when your boss is looking for someone to take on a more significant role, you are among the first who come to mind.

        Remember, your career is your business!

        More About Continuous Growth

        Featured photo credit: Zach Lucero via unsplash.com

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