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Personal branding for career success
Personal branding for career success

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3 What is my personal brand?

A smiling woman wearing glasses holds an empty business card.
Figure 3 What’s your personal brand?

Take a moment to consider the personal brand that you currently have. This will give you a starting point to build from as you work through the course.

Activity 3 Describing my brand to a stranger

Timing: Allow about 30 minutes

How would you describe yourself to a stranger in three words? Write the words in the box below. Try to think of words that would be relevant in a workplace context. Here’s a selection to get you started.

Honest, creative, diligent, trustworthy, positive, innovative, organised, empathetic, effective, accurate, detailed, questioning, friendly, problem solver, supportive, dedicated, reliable, ambitious, flexible, thorough, focused.

Then, ask three people you know and trust, e.g. colleagues, friends and family, how they would describe you in three words. Add those words to the box below.

Were the words similar to the ones you came up with, or were there differences that surprised you?

Do you like how your friends or colleagues described you, or are there things you would like to change about their perception?

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Understanding how others perceive you, and how their viewpoint compares with your own, is a useful starting point for understanding your personal brand. From there you can decide whether your current brand aligns with how you want to be seen by others.

Given our focus on the workplace, is that brand going to be useful in progressing your current career plans. If not, why not? Do you need to change the brand or change your career plans?

Sometimes, the things that you perceive as positive might well be seen as negative by others. For example, characteristics such as ‘creative and innovative’ might not align with a role that requires someone who can follow well-established procedures without deviation. Or, if you describe yourself as ‘thorough’, someone else might see that as ‘obsessive’.

As you work through this course, you’ll be able to consider these points in more detail and decide what you need to do about them.

Now that you have a snapshot of your current personal brand, the next section will help you to consider how you want to develop it further.