You are Not Your Job

Michele Warg
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Office workers, executive assistants and office managers may feel like another "cog in the corporate wheel" as just another staffer in a large corporation. One way to stand out is to create a personal brand for your everyday work. This helps create value for your position while showing co-workers that the office cannot function without you.

A personal brand helps you in ways that go beyond the 9-to-5 daily grind of an office assistant job. When you stand out from a crowd, higher-ups notice you for promotions. People in your network find important leads for other positions at various firms. You may also gain industry recognition for your hard work as you rise above other office workers in your field.

Start to examine your personal brand by looking at your online brand. Perform a Google search with your name, and see what appears. Do you see a blog post about your spring break in 2010, or do you see a LinkedIn blog you wrote about your organizational tips? Look at the images that others can view. Do people see you on the beach with a huge margarita, or someone standing next to the CEO of your company? If you want your brand to be oriented towards professional goals, you must manage your professional image.

Decide what facets of your personal brand you want people to recognize. Ascertain your career goals with respect to movement up the corporate ladder, compensation and the firms for which you want to work. List special skills that set you apart from others, including foreign language proficiency. Ask yourself where you want to be in five years and what you plan to do about it. All of these aspects of your personality at work drive you to achieve goals. Start out with small goals that lead to bigger ones.

Start managing your personal brand both at work and online. Fill in the missing gaps of your LinkedIn profile, connect with colleagues and look for new opportunities through the website's job listings. Promote yourself online through Twitter and Facebook. Create entirely new accounts if your old account no longer pertains to you. Restart your image by maintaining professionalism at the office. Get to know everyone around you, and make yourself a valuable asset. Show yourself as courteous and friendly, yet go-getting and hard-working at the same time. Blog about your relevant experiences at work, and add these blog posts to your social media credentials.

Your identity helps define your outward image to others. Similarly, your personal brand serves as a great conversation starter as your colleagues get to know you better. Having a unique way to communicate with others in your office and your industry means more people remember you in positive ways. Recognition may lead to greater opportunities later in your career.


Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

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