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Personal Brand and Career Development Essay

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Updated: Jul 23rd, 2020

From the point of view of marketing, every employee’s main goal is to sell their own talents, skills, knowledge, and professionalism. The way they approach this task determines their future success as a worker. As proved by the contemporary practices of advertisement and marketing, a product of mediocre quality can become extremely popular and demanded in case it is promoted in a skillful manner.

The same tendency can be applied to people – an individual with excellent skills and knowledge may not get hired if the way they present themselves does not appeal to the hirers, and the other way around, someone with average level of professionalism and lack of experience may be more creative as a marketer, and therefore, get the job easily. The “I” brand concept suggests that the potential job candidate and career builders approach themselves as marketed goods and attempt to turn their own sets of skills and personalities into goods, wanted and attractive to the employers.

The creation of a personal brand means shaping a message and an image for oneself as an individual and a professional (Segran par. 3). The accomplishment of this task requires that the applicants (or self-marketers) familiarize themselves with their target audiences (or consumer base), clarify their advantages and disadvantages, identify their objectives, and plan their actions as to the self-promotion as job candidates and future employees. This paper describes how I see myself as a brand and attempt to incorporate various means for the achievement of higher chances to get hired and develop the desired career.

Mission, Goals, and Objectives

Mission

The mission of my “I” brand is based on self-improvement and actualization. My mission as a professional is to develop a successful career in an organization whose corporate values and philosophy match my own worldviews. The mission will define and direct my overall course in life and remind me of the integrity and aspects of life I believe are the most important. My choice of the workplace will be connected to my individual values, and their consistency will define my suitability and integrity about becoming a part of an organization.

Goals

Further, working on my mission, I have to formulate a number of clear goals. First of all, I need to make sure that my level of knowledge and professionalism is high to make myself a match for various organizations. Secondly, I need to position myself as a valuable professional so that the employers are interested in hiring me. Thirdly, my next goal is to make myself visible and researchable for the future hirers. Finally, I require connections and recommendations that would provide me with a wider range of opportunities to get hired and a longer list of companies to apply to.

Objectives

Each of the goals established above is based on several objectives that serve to guide me. The first goal – the improvement of knowledge and level of professionalism includes such objectives as the acquisition of education, earning a qualification, and self-improvement. The former is achieved with the help of educational institutions, and the latter can be accomplished independently by means of purchasing and reading books on professional improvement, doing online research about the subjects relevant to the spheres of knowledge I wish to improve, and participating in forums to make myself a part of the marketing community.

The second goal – the positioning of self, involves the creation and promotion of my online and offline image. Since many companies tend to research their job candidates’ profiles on social networks, I have to spend some effort perfecting my profiles and making sure that no threats to the reputation of my brand are evident. The information given by my profiles about me, as a person, is to be honest, full, and truthful.

Most importantly, it has to look natural instead of creating an impression that all the data was framed specifically for the employers. In fact, the internet today is an essential and powerful tool for personal branding because reviewing one’s profile the audience forms their opinions based on its content (Segran par. 1). The power of social media is in one’s ability to control and select the information available for the public access and present oneself in the desired way (Segran par. 2).

The visibility of my brand can be achieved not only with the help of social media but also by means of crafting my resume. Since many companies use special programs to select candidates based on the contents of their resumes, I would need to research ways to get through these programs adjusting the wording in my resume. Preparing myself for the interviews, I would need to write down and memorize the key points for my answers to the most frequent questions.

All the means mentioned above will serve to promote such traits as confidence, ability to work under pressure, passion for learning and self-improvement, leadership qualities, excellent teamwork skills, high level of professionalism (both theoretically and practically), responsible attitude towards work, harmonious and diverse lifestyle (healthy practices, care for the environment, interesting hobbies, constant learning, professional curiosity). Building connections I would address my target audience to invest my time and energy with the highest effectiveness.

Target Audience

Any brand is to orient to its target audience that needs to be clearly defined. Attempting to become appealing for everyone would result in a waste of resources and time without producing any results (Patel and Agius 1). Target audience of any brand includes the people with whom the brand plans to interact; if a brand is viewed as a product, then the target audience is the consumers.

Professional Level

The personal brand of a professional is consumed by the employers. That way, my professional target audience will include the organizations and their decision makers. The first step of interaction with the target audience is the definition of their needs to establish a clear connection between the brand and the consumers (Patel and Agius 2).The needs of the organizations in terms of human resources can be researched on their websites and various professional forums. The best option would be to build connections with the actual workers or the organizations to learn about their inner dynamics and the most relevant needs.

Further, based on the researched needs of the employers I would form my business offer – establish a set of qualities and skills I already have and need to emphasize to show my suitability for the organization, learn or improve the required skills and qualities that are not as developed, find a comprehensible and efficient ways to communicate and present the offer. After I am hired, I will work to raise my performance enhancing the areas where I succeed and taking over more complex tasks. Eventually, I will make a new offer to the employers in order to move up the career ladder.

Personal Level

On the personal level, the employers are to be interested in my individual skills to make sure that I could make a good addition to their team of professionals. A good way to become appreciated by the hirers is to view myself and my skills from the point of view of what the employers need, because as stated by Joseph, one’s personal brand can only be successful if one puts the needs of the consumers first (par. 7).

Working on my branding on a personal level and communicating with the employers I should emphasize the qualities and knowledge I have that would be the most interesting for them. For instance, if a company relies on collaborative projects, I need to present my teamwork qualities and experiences such as interpersonal communication skills, conflict mediation, management of resources, collaborative problem solving, loyalty, and reliability.

In addition, to brand thoroughly and honestly, I would need to acknowledge not only my achievements and abilities but also comment on my disadvantages. A high level of self-awareness is required to help me analyze myself carefully, name the features I could work on and think through the ways I could address them. Using teamwork as an example, I am aware that feedback from the peers is crucial for one’s performance management; however, I sometimes fail to ask for a timely assessment from peers feeling uncomfortable to ask people for insights and criticism.

Points of Parity and Difference

Points of difference are the aspects that distinguish a brand from its competitors. The majority of brands choose the strategy based on points of difference (POD) a marketing approach to provide the consumers with the viable reasons to choose this brand over the others (La Marca par. 1). Researching the needs of my target audience, I would specifically focus on the unfulfilled needs and aspirations as the sources of unmet desires of the company.

My points of difference will be based on the analysis of these needs so that I could emphasize the qualities and skills to address the shortages of my target audience and help it solve the problems. For instance, if an organization is struggling to integrate new software, I can emphasize my IT skills and present myself as a quick-learner who will not only be able to master the new technologies fast but also coach the other employees how to use them effectively.

The point of parity (POP) can be defined as the area where a brand matches the general standards and needs (Aaker par. 3). The marketers often use POP in a combination with POD. For instance, the manufacturers of a laundry detergent in their commercials like to say “it is just as good as the expensive detergents, but it costs less”. Using the two points in a statement like this the marketers emphasize them both.

Applying that to my personal branding I could state that even though I am a young specialist, I am willing to learn and, I work to improve myself as a professional every day, or while I am unable to take over complex tasks, I could accomplish an extra amount of simpler tasks. Besides, the points of parity can be used to reduce the significance of the liabilities when the weaknesses or disadvantages of a brand are on the standard level and are presented as not the strongest sides, but matching all the necessary requirements (Aaker par. 4).

Cultural Dimensions

In reference to the power distance index (PDI) dimension, my brand will be likely to begin at the very bottom of the power chain. As a result, I will be surrounded by the people employed from the bottom level, many of whom would aspire to climb their way to the top. Logically, the competition at that stage would be high, and so would be the turnover level. That way, the demonstration of stable high-performance and loyalty would be the key ways to move on further in my career.

The dimension of individualism and collectivism (IDV) is defined by the company’s structure and the choice of work organization. Emphasis on teamwork and group projects will assume the collectivist culture of an organization. The individualistic culture will be signified by the individual assignments. Both of these strategies work well in marketing, and that is why my brand is able to adjust to any of the environments.

Masculine cultural dimension is characterized by a highly competitive environment where assertiveness and high achievements are appreciated the most; whereas feminine culture relies on mutual support, cooperation, and help to the others (The Hofstede Centre par. 3). The marketing industry is definitely masculine by nature as it is based on rapid dynamics, high level of competition between organizations and individual workers. My brand is prepared to deal with high pressure, manage time and resources, work independently and within a team, demonstrate my leadership skills, and show excellent results within the shortest time.

Marketing relies on planning and research, the level of uncertainty avoidance there is very high, and this may be a liability. My brand is prepared to deal with uncertainty avoidance and work out extra plans and do a thorough research to support the risky decisions.

As for the short- and long-term orientation dimension, marketing sphere is certainly seeking for short term benefits from their actions as marketing strategies and campaigns are designed to show results right away. Working within this requirement, my brand is ready to find the most relevant and recent information, interact with the clients and always keep up with the slightest changes in tastes, trends, and interests of the clients.

Brand Mantra

A brand mantra should not be confused with a commercial slogan or a motto. It is a very short piece of information that includes three to five words only. Brand mantra has to emphasize the specificity of the brand and define it at the same time. The words for the mantra can reflect the brand’s orientation, focus, or points of difference. The three words I chose for my personal brand mantra are “Determination Diversity Improvement”.

This mantra reflects the fact that as a professional I am loyal to my organization and determined to show the best performance. Besides, it states that my skills and abilities are diverse, and that is why I can demonstrate flexibility in the rapidly advancing industry and highly competitive environments. Finally, the mantra points out my focus on self-improvement as a professional and thrive to achieve excellence in my career field.

Works Cited

Aaker, David. . 2013. Web.

Joseph, Jim. . 2013. Web.

La Marca, Daniela. . 2013. Web.

Patel, Neil and Aaron Agius. . n.d. Web.

Segran, Elizabeth. . 2014. Web.

The Hofstede Centre. National Culture. n.d. Web.

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