This is a blog by Jeff Perry, MBA
Personal branding is getting more and more attention as a piece of building our careers, yet many people ignore it or do not even know what it is. Whether you do it intentionally or not, you are putting off a personal brand — but is it the one that you want to have?
Let us dive deeper into how you can take charge and help others perceive you in the way you want to be known.
What Is a Personal Brand?
Put simply, a personal brand is how you promote yourself. It’s the amount of “who you are” that you allow the world to see. It’s your opportunity to tell your story and differentiate yourself from others.
An easy way to think about a personal brand is to imagine a simple Venn diagram. In one circle are all of the attributes, skills, personality traits, interests, and experiences that you have. In the other circle are all of the ways you show that to other people — online, in a resume, on LinkedIn, personal websites, and more. The intersection of the two circles is your personal brand — how much people actually see of who you truly are.
It is worth it to do an analysis of all the things you are sharing with others publicly on social media, websites, etc. Are you allowing people to get to know you? If you are trying to use these profiles to get career opportunities, are you communicating the things that make you unique? Would you be impressed or interested to look at your profile if you were a recruiter or colleague?
Going through this exercise will help you plan and identify what you want to change about how you are perceived online. If you need help on LinkedIn specifically (my recommended platform for professional/personal branding), then my Ultimate LinkedIn Profile Guide might be helpful.
Unlocking Your Genius Zone
Even if you decide that you are not happy with the current state of your personal brand, it can be hard to know what else to share or how to share it.
That is where the Genius Zone comes in.
Your “Genius Zone” is a unique combination of your background, talents, expertise, and passions into what you do better than pretty much anyone else in the world. Discovering and identifying your genius zone can help you get clear on how you can do your best work every day and find joy in it!
For example, I have experience in mechanical, software, and manufacturing engineering. I have also led teams and earned an MBA degree. Finally, I have extensive experience in delivering training/coaching, and love the personal aspect of this type of work. This combination of skills/passions is part of what uniquely qualifies me and helps me LOVE my work as a leadership/career coach for engineers. I am able to relate to engineers at many levels, understand the larger business problems, and use the mentoring and coaching skills I continue to build to positively influence those I work with.
What are your Genius Zones? Are there combinations of skills/passions that make you unique? The answer is “yes” for all of us, even if you are early in your career. Spend some time listing out the experiences, interests, skills, and training you have and experiment with making combinations that show your unique traits! You might be surprised by what you discover!
Trust the Process
Your Genius Zones will continue to develop over your lifetime, and you can have more than one, but it’s helpful to identify them and use them as a cornerstone of communicating your personal brand. Unlocking yours will help you identify what you can do now, but also often helps us recognize what we want to do so we can be proactive in the types of roles/opportunities we accept.
If identifying your Genius Zone or building a personal brand seems overwhelming, often it can be helpful to work with a coach or mentor. Feel free to reach out to me on LinkedIn if you want some help!
About Jeff Perry, MBA
Jeff Perry is a leadership/career coach for engineers, building mindsets, leadership, and career intentions to unlock hidden potential and remove self-imposed roadblocks for career and life. For years, he has had the pleasure of supporting engineers and software pros, from new grads to director level. Having been on the front lines in the technical world, he has been able to map out the necessary skills for becoming a quality leader in the field.
You can connect with Jeff on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeffcperry/ or visit his website, https://morethan-engineering.com. Jeff also has a new, FREE, on-demand training course for engineers who are job searching or in job transitions. You can see it at https://engineeringcareeraccelerator.com.
New To Technical Leadership?
The transition from individual contributor to technical leader is a difficult one. Jeff put together a FREE, 90-day guide for those moving through this transition to help them be as successful as possible. You can get it here: https://morethan-engineering.com/career-clarity
Please leave your comments, feedback or questions in the section below.
To your success,
Anthony Fasano, PE, LEED AP
Engineering Management Institute
Author of Engineer Your Own Success