You might be wondering how personal brand fits into your career. What is it? Do you have one? What do you need to do to create one and how will it help you get to the next level? These are the questions we are digging into in today’s episode.
Elevator pitches and executive presence are both terms that fit into branding and can cause a lot of confusion and wasted time. We are digging into these today so you can walk away knowing exactly what to do. There is a bonus exercise in this episode to help you know your authentic personal brand right away too. Listen in. You won’t want to miss it.
What You’ll Learn
How personal brand fits into your career
A useful exercise you can do right now to know your personal brand
3 steps to follow that will align your career with your authentic brand
Featured in This Episode
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Welcome to Navigating Your Career, the only podcast that blends personal development, professional skills, and psychology to help you get happy at work and live the life you want. If you want to stop feeling
At work and live the life you want.
If you want to stop feeling stuck and start are feeling better, this is the place for you. I’m your host, Melissa Lawrence. Let’s get started. Hello and welcome to this week’s episode of the podcast. I’m so glad you’re here. So where I am in Maryland, the weather has been so warm lately and it really feels like the summer and the sun. They’re just here to stay. And it’s been a little bit humid for my liking, but it’s still really nice and I love the Sunshine. So I know some of you are getting ready to transition into summer activities and vacations and having the kids home with you again. And it definitely can seem like a lot to balance when you don’t have dedicated time without interruption anymore. And I’m already thinking for myself how I’m going to block my time. So the kids have activities, but then I also schedule some time to hang out with them and do something fun each day. So my kids are twelve and 15, so I have a bit of a luxury and that they can occupy themselves for the most part. But that doesn’t mean that they don’t want my attention all of the time and come up with a lot of fun ways to prank and spoof me throughout the day.
So I want to give them that quality time. But for me, what works is balance and scheduling. And so I have a podcast episode that I’ll link up to if you’re wondering how you’re going to handle this and maybe having some mom guilt. So this was one of my very first episodes that I talked about was mom guilt. So I’m going to link that up for you because I think it would be really helpful for those of you that it’s relevant, whether it’s children or other people that you care for going into the summer period or maybe your schedule is changing. But today we are here to talk about your personal brand. So I attended a networking workshop recently and listening to the conversation of the scientists and leaders in industry, it became clear that this is something that I really needed to talk about. Many of the people on this call through this networking event, this scientific activity that was going on, many of them thought that the reason that they weren’t getting ahead was because of their lack of personal branding. So they were talking about how they just needed more time to create their brand and elevator pitch, almost like a portfolio of who and what they wanted and what they are and what they do and how they want to be seen at work.
And so I thought, there’s definitely a difference in philosophy and a difference. And if this is you thinking about personal brand that I need to share with you because it’s really going to save you some time. It’s really going to help you. I think there’s a lot of misconceptions out there around what this is, and it’s actually hurting women in their careers. So that’s what we’re going to dig into today. So what is a personal brand? Your personal brand is your reputation. It’s what you are known for. It’s what people can expect of you. It’s the five adjectives that other people think of when they think of you. And I’m going to give you an exercise you can do that is super fun. This is something that I did in grad school, and I continue to do it occasionally. It’s kind of like an informal 360. I’ve had clients do it and they love the results that they get from this. So what you can do is you can ask, say ten people in your life, personal and professional, to send you five adjectives that they think of when they think of you. So not good, not bad.
Just what they think when they think of you. What are the five adjectives that come to mind? And then you’ll get all of that. You’ll have 50 adjectives that describe you. How fun is that? Then you’re going to look and see. Where are the similarities? Where are the differences? Anything that maybe people in your life or at work think of you that you didn’t see in yourself, that would be maybe some blind spots you have. So it’s a super fun exercise that can be really great for your growth and your confidence because chances are you’re going to get a lot of adjectives from people that you didn’t really realize people thought of you. You’re also probably going to get some adjectives that might surprise you that maybe you didn’t see in yourself. So it’s going to build confidence, but it’s also going to help you with areas of growth that maybe that you didn’t know that you needed. But also this is really your brand, how people see you, your reputation, that is your brand. So that is a quick activity you can do. It takes hardly no time at all. You don’t need to go to any more workshops or trainings or put together elevator pitches.
Your personal brand, it already exists. And I want to provide a spoiler alert for you that you don’t need to spend time creating one to get the job that you want. So there is a lot of career advice out there that is steering people, especially women, into distractions that don’t actually change their results at work. It doesn’t close the gender pay gap. It doesn’t get more women into leadership roles. Women have been told how to act, what to think and how to look forever in the 2022 version of this is telling women that they aren’t going to get where they want to go because they have imposter syndrome. They say, Sorry, too much. They need a personal brand. They haven’t perfected their elevator pitch. They care too much or are too emotional, or they don’t have executive presence. But what this creates is women continually questioning themselves, doubting if they are enough, and always thinking that there is something that needs to be fixed. And so then what you do instead is not apply for the job that you’re actually qualified for because you’re doubting that you’re even qualified or that you don’t have the brand or the elevator pitcher.
You’re not ready, not speaking up because you doubt yourself thinking that your work needs to speak for itself, and that if you are worthy of that next level, it will be given to you seeking validation from other people to tell you that you’re good enough or that you’re ready. So don’t let society label you with the career problem that you don’t actually have. Instead, when you think about personal branding or creating something that doesn’t feel natural to you, something that’s outside of you that you think you have to do in order to get to that next level, I want you to do three things instead. I’m going to tell you exactly what to do instead. The first thing is to get clear on what you want, not what you think you should want or what makes sense, but really what you actually want for your career, for your lifestyle, for your home life. What is it that you want when you think about that next level? What is that ideal state for you? Some people think of the next level and they think, well, if I’m going to go to this next level, home, another director, senior director, VP, whatever the next level is for you, that means that they have to sacrifice at home, that they have to work more hours, and then they just talk themselves out of it because they want to have a sense of balance in their life.
They want to enjoy each part of their life. And you definitely should want to take the step to have that if that’s important to you. But I want you to know that you don’t have to actually sacrifice to get to the next level. You can get to the next level as you are. The first step is really getting clear on what you want. You have to know what you want, and if you’re clouded by what you think you should want or what makes sense, it’s just going to hold you back even longer. So the first thing is to get clear on what you want. The second thing is to learn the strategic skills that are going to bridge the gap from where you are now to where you want to be. So imagine where you are now and then imagine you know what you want. And let’s say you want to be promoted. You want to be a director or senior director. You want to get to that next level. Think about where you would need to be to get there and where you are now. And then imagine a bridge that is connecting the two and then what are those things you need to do?
Either build. Grow relationships in order to get you to that next level. And what I find is that communication skills always plays a part. Everyone has blind spots and communication is so specific to a person, you have to be able to read other people, know what their styles are, understand your own preferences and how you communicate differently when you’re stressed or motivated, or how to communicate when you want to advocate for yourself or influence others, how to communicate with your team to get the best results. It is so key and actually fun fact. I don’t know if I’ve shared this or not on the podcast, but my undergraduate degree is in communication. So when I went to grad school, my master’s in organizational psychology, but my undergraduate degree is in communications and so this is just always something that has been part of my life and I find to be so critical. And what I find with my clients is when they learn to communicate well with anyone, they get more success because think about it, they can get buy in, they can get what they want, they aren’t frustrated or having conflicts that are stressing them out.
So communication skills is really what is playing a part in having those results. And there’s a specific tool that I teach my clients in a framework that really makes this so easy and guaranteed to be effective. However you decide to work on this, though, there are other tools and books and resources out there. Communication skills should definitely be part of the strategic skills that you learn and there may be other so again, think of that bridge and what you need to do to get to what you really want from where you really are right now. And then the third thing is to master your brain, master your thinking, and understand how your brain works. So that when a LinkedIn post, your boss, or a career workshop tells you that your problem is your elevator pitch or your personal brand, you know that this is just a distraction that you can actually know what you want. You can build the strategic skills in your positioning to get a more meaningful role. Leadership roles, roles of influence, solving the problems you actually want to solve just as you are. Don’t distract yourself with things that don’t matter and instead know what you want.
Build the strategic skills to fill the gap and master your brain or thinking. These three things are going to help you so much and they are helping you get what you want as you without changing who you are. Because think about it. If you were working on your personal brand to fit the mold of the company you’re at what happens when you leave or what happens when the expectations are different or you have a new boss come in and that boss has a whole different set of ideologies. Or what if you change industries or go back to school or find some other passion in your life? Then you’ve spent all this time creating a personal brand that doesn’t fit. Because it’s not you. Because your personal brand is you. You already have it. It isn’t outside of you. When you’re confident with who you are and can build the skills to get where you want to go, you become unstoppable. And you know that every part of your life work home, that it’s all sustainable because you aren’t changing yourself. You’re becoming more yourself. My goal for you is to have work that is meaningful to you, to have rules of influence and leadership as you want them to be happy and fulfilled.
Knowing you don’t have to work more hours or become someone else to get there. So you might be wondering, well then how does coaching fit in? Because some people see that as like fixing or changing and coaching is helping you know what you want and where you want to be and filling the gap to get there. My style of coaching isn’t to change you into something you aren’t or don’t want to be. It’s not to tell you how you should dress in meetings or what your resume should look like, those things outside of you. It’s to shed those expectations and really get clear on what you want. And then I help you make it happen as quickly and effectively as possible without failing or falling into self sabotage or thinking you need a personal brand workshop or that you should settle or that you can’t be a mom and have a personal life and a career. I hope you see what’s possible for you and make the life you always wanted to have actually happen for you. So if this is something you’re thinking you would love to learn more about, then schedule a consultation call with me.
It’s complimentary. We talk one on one about what you want to be different and how I can help you. If we are a good fit, then we would talk about what it would look like to work together. But if not, you at least know what the real problem is, how to solve it, and some recommendations to do the work on your own. Because I’m in this business to help you get to your next level without losing who you are without thinking you need to be someone else. Because all of those things your LinkedIn, your resume, the way that you dress, the way that you stand, all of these things, they can be helpful but they also are really more of a distraction to me. I work at the core, at the root cause. Because if you work on the three things we talked about today, all of those other things will fall into place. You won’t be questioning them anymore. You’ll know what you’re good at. You’ll know your strengths. You’ll know what you want. You’ll be able to position yourself to get it. Those other things are like band AIDS. They’re not necessarily going to help you get what you want.
And even if they are effective in getting you in the door and getting you an interview, once you get into that role, it wasn’t based on who you really are. It was based on who you thought you should be. And so then you never really become who you really are. You never really embrace that. And then the world loses out, your family loses out and you lose out because you are amazing as you are and you can get whatever it is you want in your career just as you are. I help people do this all day. Every day. I’ve never had someone become someone different. They’re all so happy after because they’re so happy about how much they could learn about themselves, how many skills they learned, how they were able to reach these really big goals they didn’t think were possible for them without changing who they are without working more hours. So it definitely is possible for you when you focus on the right things and when you do that work but the takeaway for today and can go back and listen and try that exercise I shared earlier is really that your personal brand already exists and don’t fall into distractions that are out there that really, even if they’re well intended are really holding you back in the long run because you can really get where you want to go just as you are by working on the three things that we talked about today.
All right. Have an amazing week. Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode. I truly hope you enjoyed it. If this episode resonated with you or helped you in any way, please share it on your social media and tag me. I love seeing what you’re up to. Also please make sure to subscribe and leave a review and until next time have fun navigating your career knowing the life you want is totally possible you.