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Your Personal Brand & Your Career

Generally speaking the term “personal branding” is the practice of positioning yourself as a commercial brand. Like Nike, Coke, Apple, you (as a professional) are also a brand. The definition of personal brand varies by industry and profession.

In a 1997 Fast Company article, “The Brand Called You,” Tom Peters coined the phrase “personal branding” and declared, “Starting today you are a brand. You’re every bit as much a brand as Nike, Coke, Pepsi, or the Body Shop.” Peters, a business management expert, is also the co-author of the best selling book, In Search of Excellence, which many consider to be one of the most important business books ever written.

To begin thinking of your professional self as a brand, ask yourself the following questions: What differentiates me as a professional? What qualities and capabilities do I want my colleagues and clients to associate with me as a professional? Do my day-to-day actions support my ideal personal brand?

Your personal brand in the workplace is how you define yourself as a professional and how you convey that definition to others. It is the standard you set and maintain for yourself in your career. The key to an effective personal brand is that your colleagues think of your brand in the same way you think of your brand. There may be a gap between how you define your personal brand and how others perceive it. If a gap exists, you must demonstrate the brand you desire to achieve through you actions.

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