When it comes to branding, it's often assumed that the practice is only applicable to businesses. But personal brands refer to how people perceive us, and while they may not always be consciously cultivated, they should be. Because, yes, your personal brand is something employers consider. Thanks to the ubiquity of social media, a personal brand can pay off professionally for those who can effectively develop a robust profile. After all, if you don't define it yourself, others eventually will.
Start by thinking of yourself as a brand. Much like how celebrity host Jean Danker is synonymous with radio, online personality Lee Kin Mun (aka, Mr. Brown) is synonymous with comedic commentaries and entrepreneur Tan Min Liang is synonymous with gaming, you should think about how you can align yourself with your career goals and interests.
Here are 3 ways that can help you build your personal brand:
Figuring out your professional interestAccording to official data released by the Ministry of Manpower, Singaporeans clock an average of 45 hours at work per week in 2017. It's no wonder many jobseekers – especially new graduates – are under so much pressure to figure out what they truly want to pursue as a career. If you find yourself at a crossroads, be open to taking on various job experiences from part-time jobs to freelance gigs. Only after experiencing the job first-hand will you'll be in the position to assess your preferences. Hone your skills in the areas that you've enjoyed to supplement your personal brand, and that will give you that much-needed boost to put you in your desired career trajectory.
Who you are outside of work matters just as muchNow that you've got your professional front sorted, it's time to get your personal life in check. Take this opportunity to pursue what you are truly passionate about, without all that financial consideration that comes with a career. It can range from supporting a cause to pursuing sports to even travelling extensively.. What you do outside of work adds dimension to your character, so don't be surprised if these experiences potentially come in handy when it comes to how you approach your career. Additionally, these interactions with people with common interests may just present you with ample networking opportunities.
Building an online presenceDepending on the industry you work in, you may want to consider setting up an official presence on the relevant social media platforms where fellow industry players and your audience reside. A professional social media presence is the baseline essential for anyone in the corporate scene, including personal social media profiles for those in lifestyle and consumer-facing roles. If you have expert opinions to share, consider tapping into different content hosting platforms to post personal blogs and commentaries. This will be extra helpful in building personal credibility when opinions – be it for professional or personal interest – are easily accessible to the audience that matters on the internet.