Sign Of A Strong Personal Brand
I recently had a client who after a number of years of hard work and dedication was presented with a career opportunity in a leadership role and felt unsure about the best decision to take. The offer also came up during a time when she had started to reflect on her work-life balance and her plans not only as a professional but as a woman and possibly future mother as well.
While she knew already that her work was recognised and appreciated by her employer, co-workers and clients, it was only in the face of that offer that she acknowledged the level of expertise and credibility she had built over the years in her industry. It was time for her to press the pause button and reflect on her position and what she wanted going forward.
Her personal branding message was essentially going from ‘respected professional in her field’ to ‘leader in her field’. While this is a terrific step in one’s career path, it can also be overwhelming if you’ve always focused on doing a great job but never really thought of yourself as a leader in your field.
I’d like to highlight here that we often associate the word leader to C-level roles, while in fact there are many types of leadership, you can be at the top of the org chart in a company of hundreds of employees or have no reportees at all and be a leader in both scenarios.
Your personal brand evolves and becomes stronger when you as a person, and a professional, evolve and grow as well. It happens when you get in closer contact with who you are, with how people see you and interact with you. You recognise the value of the journey that took you there and you define the direction you want to take from that point onwards. Your approach to it is active, you are fully engaged, you make choices and negotiate terms rather than just go with the flow.
We often talk about what makes a great leader and how to become one, but there is also a time of transition. How do we recognise and evaluate the potential and the benefits, as well as the challenges and responsibilities, this new position brings along with it? How do we choose the best direction for us to take?
While the offer was appropriate for her level of seniority and expertise, my client decided not to go for the new role. She realised it wasn’t in a department where she would have fully utilised her potential and talents. Most importantly, the new company’s environment didn’t match her personality and values.
She made an active choice that reflected her personal brand. This was a key moment for her as she decided what she wanted rather than just go for what she was offered. She realised this is what she would have done at the beginning of her career, while she is now in the position of choosing and she knows what she’s looking for.
Her personal brand is now stronger, and I’m sure the right opportunity to consolidate her position as a leader in her field is just around the corner!