The Corporate Game: Personal Brand Equity

Background

“A talent somewhat above mediocrity, shrewd and not too sensitive, is more likely to rise in the world than genius.” – Charles Horton Cooley

The above quote, has been the philosophy that I have strived to abide by, during my time in the corporate world.

Since I have accepted my first non-retail position back in 2009, I have been promoted four times in a span of 8 years.

I have been climbing the corporate ladder for some time and thus, these words about to be spoken to you come from a place of experience, not arrogance.

This is a game of chess, not checkers.  It takes being methodical; mindful of every move made and word uttered.

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Similar to “game” involving romantic interactions between men and women, its takes being bold, and cold-hearted, with a sprinkle of guile mixed in as well.

The higher you climb, the more you’re able to gain additional discretionary income, to put towards your business, stock, lifestyle, etc.

Keep in mind the landscape is competitive, and the field is constantly closing the gap on those leading the pack.

Personal Brand Equity

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“Personal Brand Equity” is a term I coined, combining “personal branding” and “brand equity” together.

Personal Branding is the process of establishing an image or impression in the minds of others, regarding an individual, group, or organization; the tying between a name and a product/service.

Brand Equity is the commercial value, that derives from consumer perception of the brand name of a particular product of service.

One equates to association. The other, perceived value.

Personal Brand Equity.

When individuals bring up your name, what perceived value does it have?

Is it memorable? Does it speak to quality?

The follow tips will go a long way in increasing the equity of your personal brand

Maintain Neutrality

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The corporate setting is a lot like high school believe it or not.

I was hoping to get out of high school and college thinking the world would be filled with level-headed individuals; professionals that care about the work and ONLY about the objectives being reached.

WRONG.

The workplace is just as “clique-ish”, as grade school.

Everyone comes with their own set of views stemming from their value system, beliefs, experiences, education, and prejudices.

It’s best to keep your ideals about those to yourself. . .

Uttering the wrong thing just alienates you from half the room.

If you can, listen to people long enough to know and play into the strength of their ideologies.

But if you think that’s too much, then be neutral.

Not only that, the landscape of the job economy is no longer about impressing management.

You are auditioning for your colleagues as well.

The higher you climb, the more likely you are to run into the same individuals in your field.

You may have to rely on them in the future, and it’s best not to burn bridges.

Work hard, listen, and advance.

Constantly Prepare for the Next Opportunity

If the only time you work on your resume and practice interview responses, is when you get the sudden urge to apply elsewhere. . .

You have already lost the role to someone else.

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The fine tuning of your resume, interview responses, and anything else adding to the overall presentation of what you bring to the table, should be a constant endeavor.

The moment you step into a job, you should include the responsibilities onto your resume, and as you learn the position and sharpen yourself in that role, go back and update it.

Additional responsibilities outside of the role that will be viewed as marketable skills in the future, write it down as you volunteer for side projects.

The crafting of a resume has become an art, and the more you practice augmenting strong and concise job duties, the better you look as a candidate.

I have run into some people whom, I knew could make even the most meager of tasks sound absolutely amazing, and enticing to most recruiters.

Let us take a look at an example:

  • Job Responsibility A: Posted client payments to outstanding invoices daily.

 

  • Job Responsibility B: Accurately posted $300MM in accounts payable to over 100 insurance carriers during the fiscal year.

 

See the difference?

SHINE ON PAPER. You have a limited time to wow a recruiter reading your resume.

In addition to your presentation on paper, keep the frame of mind that in-person/phone interviews are just another avenue of selling yourself.

You want to exude confidence and passion, in every word spoken; it must be authentic and undeniable.

The best way to have that authenticity is though unrelenting preparation.

I am not the best public speaker.

My dad and step-mom put me in this public speaking competition when I was middle school: I came in last place.

I even stutter at times when I’m put on the spot.

But I put time in practicing my responses, and writing them down; rehearsing, reciting, observing my body language in the mirror, looking around smiling.

I have confidence that when the moment occurs, I will excel.

I had a coach in middle school tell me once: “It’s not practice that makes perfect; its perfect practice that makes perfect.”

All the tips I mentioned above cannot be done last-minute, when you get fed up with your current job.

It must be done periodically, and increase in frequency the more intensive your job search becomes.

You already have yourself in go-getter mode, and congruent with your framing and presentation; thus, not potentially miss out on the role of your dreams.

Invest in Yourself

Remember when just experience was enough to give you an edge?

Then the bachelor’s degree?

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Lastly, the master’s degree?

What happened each time?

That’s right, the competition.  When a small number of the workforce obtained these prestigious and exclusive accomplishments. . .

The field caught up, and each time, the field catches up faster and faster.

You must take the initiative to constantly make yourself as marketable as you can.

Depending on the company you work for, they have tuition reimbursement, and certification programs in place, to further career advancement.

However, if that is not present, you will have to take a percentage of your income and save for it.

You have to treat yourself like a business in the landscape of the job economy.

This means doing what it takes to stand out amongst perfect competition.

What makes you different that than the 500 other candidates applying for that particular role?

Ask yourself that question every so often, evaluate your effort, and put an action plan in place.

Every individual at my level, has an advanced degree, 1-2 certifications, and potentially has a connection in place within the company I don’t have.

That means I have to work that much harder, to where what I bring to the table is UNDENIABLE.

Act accordingly.

 

Conclusion

The is a game of chess, not checkers.

Every move must be strategic, methodical, and timely, in order to reach the top.

I recently read an article titled “The quitting economy” regarding the landscape of the job economy currently; it is tagged in this post to further illustrate my point.

You have to treat yourself like a business.

Therefore, the building of your brand is of the utmost importance.

Be cold, ruthless, and calculated.

Constantly advance in your craft, as well as fine tuning your presentation to obtain the highest market value possible.

This is the road to being High Value.

See you at the top.

 

 

Weather Your Storm, Maintain Inner Reign -E

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