Are you sure your personal brand is working for you?
Albany or Sasko? Nando’s or KFC? Cadbury or Lindt? Chances are, you (like many of us) think really carefully about how you spend your money. You weigh up which brand would be the better choice, factoring in price or quality or both. And when you decide, you choose the brand that meets your needs the best.
Every day, companies work hard to make sure that their brand is on top of your mind. It is the only way they can make sure to stay in business. And it’s not easy. They are constantly competing against hundreds of other companies that want to sell similar products and services to you. Although we are all spoilt for choice, let’s face it, once we find that brand we love, we stick to it. It has to take something really special to make us change our minds.
Do you think it works any differently in the workplace? I don’t think so. Think about the last time you went for a job interview. Chances are, on paper, all shortlisted candidates met the minimum requirements (years of experience, qualifications and so on). So then you have to wonder, what was the interview panel looking for that made them decide who they wanted to invest in from this large pool of people looking for new opportunities?
I was fortunate enough to sit on panels like these on a few occasions, and I can tell you that culture fit is one of the key considerations! Recruiting managers are always concerned about how candidates will work with the rest of the team; if they can manage conflict well and how much of energy will it take from them as a manager to keep you motivated to do your job. In that short interview, they are trying to figure out what you will be known for if they hire you.
If you are serious about getting a job, promotion or that exciting new opportunity, then you have to be honest with yourself and be aware of what you are known for. None of us like to admit that we have flaws or things about us that other people may not like. But knowing about it helps us change it (if we want) or at least manage it in a way that is not damaging to our reputation, our brand!
I encourage you to ask your friends and colleagues how they would sum you up in no more than 3 sentences. If you like what you hear – great! If not, then it is up to you to decide if you want to do something about it. Just remember, academic skills are great to get you that interview, but softer skills are what gets you the job!