I asked the personal-branding expert Talaya Waller what she recommends and finds of value for personal (i.e. professional) branding. Here is what she said: "As a newly published researcher, I’ve encouraged my colleagues to make sure they create an account and complete a profile on Google Scholar. You can connect with other researchers and see where your work has been cited. You can network with other scholars as well. In addition, every professor should think about having a professional landing page online outside of their university. They can use their site to publish their unpublished and published work, solicit other thought leaders in their field, and have a method of contact for researchers to ask them about their work."
Personal reinvention is necessary for many reasons. Maybe you’re looking to take on a new challenge or find more meaningful work. Maybe you’re hoping to shake limiting perceptions of you that hinder your career growth. Rebranding can be a major shift, such as a retail manager moving into a marketing analyst position, or it can be a subtle transition from a manager role to a leadership position within the same industry. Whatever changes you’re hoping to manifest, taking control of your personal brand is a necessary part of the journey and can mean the difference between a lackluster position and a rewarding career. One of the trickiest steps in this path is persuading others to embrace your rebranding efforts.
The term stereotype threat refers to situations in which individuals are, or feel themselves to be, at risk of confirming negative stereotypes about their social group. It’s a well-documented phenomenon, particularly in academic and corporate environments. Studies show that these situations result in increased heart rate and decreased concentrations. Ironically, the fear of confirming the negative stereotype leads individuals to perform badly, thereby fulfilling the stereotype due to fear of fulfilling the stereotype.
In today’s job market, standing out in a crowd is particularly vital to your career. Establishing and enhancing your personal brand will help you develop a reputation for professionalism, integrity, and expertise that will open doors to getting hired, promoted, and negotiating your salary. If you work for a larger corporation and think that your personal brand is in some way redundant, think again. Due to technology and the growing distrust of corporations, personal brands have become easier to develop, nimbler, and more trusted than their corporate counterparts. Using your personal brand to further company related goals is an excellent way to find new clients, establish your reputation, and earn a promotion. Here are some ways that your personal brand can help you earn that promotion or negotiate your salary.
Your personal brand and your personal style are indelibly connected in the minds of your clients and colleagues. If you are an entrepreneur or executive at the helm of a business in the corporate or nonprofit sector, personal branding can afford you some measure of portability by distinguishing yourself from the larger company image. Bear in mind the fact that every brand, including yours, has a package. Your packaging consists of clothing, accessories, grooming, and hairstyle choices and it is communicating to those around you, whether you want it to or not. It should go without saying, but your image and style can have a resounding impact on your professional success. As you cultivate your brand, make sure that your personal style is coherent, professional, and purposeful.
Adopt your own personal dress code and follow it every day, whether or not it’s a “workday.” Neglecting your personal appearance communicates self-doubt. Put some thought into your appearance because others are forming opinions based on it, even people you run into at the grocery store or the gym, and those impressions stick. Find clothing, accessories, and a hairstyle that compliments your unique strengths and ethos. Create a unique “look” that really works for you.
There is a verifiable psychological correlation between clothing and confidence. In 2014, the car manufacturer Kia conducted a survey to ascertain what makes people feel confident. They found that, for women, high heels, quality perfume, and a slinky black dress made the top ten list. For men, it was a new suit, fresh shave, and aftershave with a nice smell. Finding the right clothing and accessories doesn’t just communicate competence and confidence to the outside world; it communicates this perception to you. Dressing sharp raises self-esteem, boosts confidence, and can propel you in the workplace. There’s a reason people say if you want a promotion, dress like the boss.
If you are a little unsure of how to proceed, here are some guidelines to bear in mind. Your accessories should be coordinated with the rest of your outfit. To capture the attention of others in a good way, limit your accessories to one bold item per outfit. For women, this might be a brightly colored scarf. For men, perhaps a red tie. You don’t want your appearance to be confusing or overwhelming. Clothing should, of course, be clean, ironed, and fitted. Go through your closet and remove old, tattered, and outdated items. Replace those items slowly and thoughtfully with items that express who you are today and how you want to be perceived.
Take particular care with personal grooming, choosing a hairstyle that matches your look. Remember, it can always change as you evolve professionally and personally. Don’t neglect proper skin care and manicured nails. It’s amazing what people can take in subconsciously about our appearance in the flash of a second. You want to communicate a certain level of pride in your appearance.
Lastly, don’t be afraid to ask for help! If you still feel as though you need help managing your professional image and personal style contact an expert. Waller & Company can assist you in aligning your image with your professional aspirations. After we assess your personal style, we select key fashions that make you look more competitive, confident, and successful.