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Exaltitude lessons often incorporate identifying our goals through developing self-awareness and finding tools around them. I like to share lessons from psychology, philosophy, and great thinkers of the world and how we can apply the learnings to our work in tech as Software Engineers and developing our career.
You know what a brand is. Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple are all brands. Do you know what a personal brand is? As an engineer, having a personal brand can be one of your biggest assets, which is vital if you want a competitive edge.
A personal brand is essentially who you are, what you do, and the image you put forth when presenting yourself. It also extends to your internal beliefs and values – the core of who you are as a person. More concrete examples of what defines your personal brand include your skills, experiences, and personality.
While it's true that every individual already has a brand, the real focus is on whether or not you are actively in control of your brand.
As Werner Geyser says in an article on Influencer Marketing Hub:
You can ignore your personal brand and let it develop organically, possibly chaotically, or you can help shape your personal brand to depict you as the person you want to be.
Everything you share online – emails, projects, tweets – all contributes to your personal brand; your actions shape the way people think about you and the image you put forth.
Any engineer looking to take their career to new heights benefits from having a personal brand–it will help you stand out amongst other engineers during interviews or promotion. Your skills, strengths, and perspective give you a unique value that no other person can offer. Developing your personal brand will highlight your individuality and allow you to capitalize on your strengths.
For example, Apple has been known for its innovative product design since the start, with the release of the first ever iPhone with a sleek, minimalistic, and compact design contrasting IBM’s version of a smartphone, which was clunky and heavy. Apple’s eye for aesthetics in its products is an integral part of its product differentiation strategy. The brand Apple created for themselves allowed them to secure the brand loyalty they have today and continue to distinguish them from competitors.
The takeaway is that the stronger the personal brand, the more advantage you have while looking for new opportunities and advancing your career.
Here are three steps you should take to build a powerful personal brand.
Find and share your authentic self–you’re not mimicking someone famous or someone you think you should be, but rather showcasing your skills, passions, and experience. You must be able to define those qualities, and self-knowledge is key here.
Some guiding questions you can use are:
Define what you want to accomplish with your career. Take some time to consider what you want to achieve personally and professionally and how you want your network and peers to remember you. Knowing when and where you want to take your career will help sculpt it closer to your ideal image.
A network of like-minded engineers who can support you is crucial in building your brand and developing your career.
Some ways to create this network are to
Whether or not you are aware of it, you have a personal brand. The best thing you can do is to utilize it by being purposeful about building your brand.
Here is a quick summary of how to build and promote your personal brand:
The more you invest in building your personal brand, the more effective it will become in advancing your career. Gain control of your personal brand today!
If you’re interested in more lessons on productivity, follow Exaltitude on LinkedIn for upcoming Career Conversation workshops.