** From my weekly newsletter to TheLadders.com subscribers **
“Building your personal brand” might strike you as a funny way of thinking about your career, but the idea has been around for centuries.
The ancient Greeks called it areté, and it meant being the best you can be. During the time of knights and castles, it was called “honour,” and you were expected to defend it to the death. George Washington and men of his era were extremely concerned about maintaining and protecting their reputation. And in the 20th century, it might have been referred to as your standing in your community or your industry.
So “personal brand” is simply a new phrase for an old concept — how you present yourself to others.
You see, you know all the wonderful experiences you’ve had, and you’re intimately familiar with all the capabilities you’ve developed as you’ve made your way through your career. That’s always been an integral part of personal success.
Throughout history, it’s also been important for men and women to understand how others perceive them, to manage that perception, and to guide it so that all of their other goals can be achieved.
It’s the recognition that living in society with people, your success is as dependent on what others think about what you can do as it is on what you can actually do.
The big change in modern times is scale.
The Greeks had only to be concerned with people living in their city, knights with their honour within the kingdom, Washington with his reputation within the colonies, and in the 20th century your standing was dependent on your community and your industry.
What’s changed is the modern economy. Companies can vaporize overnight. Whole industries can be upended by a change in technology, regulation, or globalization.
So what’s important now is that your brand be known and available not only to the people of your city, state, country or industry, but to any professional at any time. You never know when you’ll be tossed into a new industry, a new city, or a new company, so it’s important for you to consider how you’ll be perceived and how your background and skills will be interpreted by others.
Adding to the tumultuousness of the modern economy, modern technology has bestowed upon us Google, social networks, blogs, and a host of other means for others to learn about your “areté,” your honour, your reputation, your standing, in ways other than speaking directly with you.
In that sense, then, building your personal brand is about understanding how you want your professional life to be seen by others, and then managing your presence in both the offline and online worlds towards that end.
So while it’s a new phrase, it’s an old concept, and we’ve spent a lot of time and resources on getting you the best advice for building your personal brand. Here are some of the best articles we’ve commissioned for you this year:
Know Your Audience Before you say it or write it, think about the listener and reader. How do they want to hear it and read it? Your Resume Shouldn’t Play Games Why unconventional resumes drive hiring managers and recruiters nuts. What Do CEOs Look for in Interviews? In a new book, Adam Bryant talks to more than 70 CEOs about what they want from new hires. How to Use Your Personal Brand to Switch Careers Your brand is what you’re known for and what you’re known for knowing. Use that to your advantage in making a career transition. 4 Factors to Measure Your Online ReputationRecruiters and hiring managers use four dimensions to evaluate the people they Google.
Happy hunting this week, Readers!
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