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What Do Coworkers Really Think You Do?

Source | LinkedIn : By J.T. O’Donnell

One of the mantras I’ve been preaching since I began career coaching in 2001 is, “brand or BE branded.” It’s a very simple concept. Today, you’re a business-of-one who needs to sell your services to employers. In order to do this, you must showcase your brand, a/k/a how you create value at work. And then, once you get the job (if you want to keep it), you must showcase your brand to your coworkers. In short, to stay employable these days, how you create value must be clear and compelling. The people you work with need to know not only what you do, but how it saves or makes enough money to justify the cost of employing you. Otherwise, you could find yourself in trouble.

Ignoring your brand has serious career consequences.

It’s up to you to own your business-of-one’s brand. You need to choose what you want to be known for. This is something you control. Please know, if you choose not to pay attention to your brand, it doesn’t mean you don’t have one. You do. People will watch you, interact with you, and then draw their own conclusions. And sadly, when you fail to own your brand, people will often come to the wrong conclusions. For example, if you don’t learn to brand yourself properly, you could send the message that:

A) You don’t really know how you add value.

B) You aren’t very capable of figuring out ways to create more value.

C) You’ve failed miserably in the past at adding value.

None of these are good brand messages. Don’t let this be you. Make sure everyone you work with knows your value.

If you want to build a better brand, start by knowing how you like to create value.

The first step towards owning your brand is to learn how you like to execute tasks. Everyone has a preference. [Tools like Work It Daily’s Career Decoder Quiz will tell you the top three ways you like to create value at work.] Once you know this, you can start to build a strategy for marketing your value. The better you know your strengths, the easier it is to share with others.

There are three ways you can effectively convey your brand.

Making sure the people you work with know your brand doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s what to do:

1) Ask a coworker to articulate how you add value. Go to a trusted colleague and say, “If you had to tell someone what I do for the company, what would you say?” This will help you see if your current brand is sending the right message. It also opens up the dialog to give them clarity on what you want your brand to be.

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