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Personal brand plan

Developing a personal brand plan – what is your brand value worth?

So start thinking about your own personal brand values. What is my asset base in terms of my experience, expertise and personal attributes? What do I offer any prospective organization? What is my Unique Selling Proposition (USP)?

A Personal Brand Plan (PBP) can help us to positively manage our working careers. Its purpose is to get us thinking in a structured way about our skills and market worth by committing to a process of continuous self­improvement – thereby enhancing our skills, experience and employability. It should also assist in guiding us towards greater job and work satisfaction.

A PBP assists us in realizing our full potential and worth through an ongoing process of knowledge, skills investment, development and review.

Getting focused – setting some personal objectives

When we have achieved a certain degree of success in our career and life’s other commitments come along, such as partner’s needs or children, we can naturally start to neglect our own needs and where we are going at work. In effect we can settle into a steady and comfort­able routine – until of course that sudden crisis in the form of a merger or acquisition occurs and we start to worry about what happens next. Such crises galvanize us into late but very serious action to protect our future, either inside or outside the organization. A Personal Brand Plan forces us out of relaxed and complacent thinking, and challenges us to develop and manage our skills and capabilities on an ongoing basis.

The first step in any PBP involves setting some short, medium and long­term goals with regard to our work and private life. The purpose of any goal setting is to get us focused on what it is we really want to achieve in our business and work life. Of course this is not so easy as it first sounds. The question, “What is it you want?” is of course one of life’s great challenges. Many of us spend our entire lives trying to find out what we want. Of course most people don’t know what it is they really want in life or their work career. This most powerful of questions has an instant effect in getting someone to start people thinking about their future goals and ambitions. Being outcome-focused helps prevent us from drifting along. Setting clear goals helps to lift our thinking and provide a real focus for our day-to-day lives. Equally, the discipline of setting objectives and actually committing them to writing is a powerful process. If we leave things to chance the likelihood is that we will be disappointed. The mere act of writing down our key goals or outcomes can act as a constant reminder. Carrying our written goals around with us and reviewing them in either quiet or stressful moments can have an immediate impact in helping us to refocus our energies and thoughts.

We also need to think about the ‘how’ part of achieving any future outcomes. Wishful thinking alone is not enough to ensure success. We have to apply real effort and plan specific actions to get what we want. We need to be disciplined in questioning our current brand attributes. We may need to confront past failures as well as successes and we need to resolve what it is we want. So the starting point involves finding quality time to reflect on our future life and career ambitions and goals.

Answering these questions will help you start to develop your own Personal Brand Plan.

So start by reflecting on these fundamental questions:

  • What is it I want from my job? Career? Life?
  • How will I know I have got it? What would success look like?
  • Am I happy with my present work role and career?
  • Do I enjoy my working environment?
  • Am I gaining the right level of financial reward for my efforts?
  • Am I continuing to learn and develop?
  • Have I continually had new challenges presented to me?
  • Do I like working with my boss, colleagues, customers?
  • Have I got the right balance between work and family?
  • Does my role allow me the opportunity to pursue other inter­ests outside of work? Have I already sacrificed certain things?
  • What do I like doing? (At work or play.)
  • Do I see an appropriate future beyond my existing role?
  • Am I happy with any future developments as they might materialize?
  • Is my current role stretching me as an individual?
  • Am I satisfied with the investment being put into my develop­ment by myself and employer?
  • Has my employer always delivered on promises?

Also in considering our work and personal goals we should ask what more do we want to achieve:

  • A greater balance between career and home life?
  • A more challenging working role?

A better professional, academic or skills qualification? A change of organization or work role?

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