July, 2011

Time Magazine’s cover spells it out – “Throw away the briefcase; you’re not going to the office. You can kiss your benefits goodbye too. And your new boss won’t look much like your old one. There’s no longer a ladder and you may never get to retire, but there’s a world of opportunity if you figure out a new path”.

Hello Change!

The new revolution demands reinvention, especially in the way we think about ourselves! This means unlearning the employee, human resource, conformity driven mentality and replacing it with a self marketing and brand mindset. This is not a choice but essential to survival in a global and competitive business environment. This age of mass individualization calls for us to view ourselves as business entities, showcase our abilities, talents, attributes and skills to stand out from the crowds. It challenges us to become famous for our skills and be obsessed about the work we do. Some consider the new work environment precarious, risky and uncertain; I call it liberating especially if you approach it with a Personal Branding mindset.

Personal Branding
is about discovering what makes you special, packaging and expressing it in an organic way that makes you irresistible and trustworthy. It’s about giving your market a compelling reason to have a relationship with You. It’s about getting noticed and doing work that matters to You. Above all, it’s about self development and independence in the face of change!

Personal Branding stand out

Why Brand?

1. Digital is more real than real! Research by Microsoft suggests that 75% of employers are using the internet to conduct background research on applicants. 70% have rejected candidates based on the information found online. Personal Branding helps you gain visibility and manage your digital footprint in a way that reinforces trust and confidence.

2. Between brand and generic, which would you choose? In the face of stiff competition and emerging social technologies, generics lose. Personal branding gives you the permission to exhibit your DNA, differentiate and stand out from the crowd.

3. Personal Branding helps you discover your true core and live life that is more fulfilling and rich. You are purposely creating opportunities and work that motivates and makes you happy. There is no better recipe for success.

4. The average tenure on the job is around 4 years. Personal Branding gives you portability and allows your brand and reputation to travel with you.

5. Brands + visibility = Value. People are willing to pay 9-12% more for branded products. Coke’s brand is worth more than half of its current market value. Organizations recognize the competitive advantage of having established personal brands on their teams. Personal branding = negotiation power.

YOU are your reputation. You are what others say about you! Personal Branding gives you a platform to manage your public persona in a way that reflects integrity, trust and confidence. What impression do you want people to walk away with when they interact with your brand? How does your reputation stack up? Are you perceived the way you want to be perceived? What compelling reason do you give people to buy brand YOU?

Personal Branding is necessary and it’s urgent! There has never been a better time to unleash your essence, take advantage of technology and start writing your Personal Brand story.

by Teg Brar, MSc.

Personal Branding is about creating strong and everlasting impressions. Because core attributes of a brand are carried in the hearts and minds of people, both corporate and personal brands need to figure out a way to find a way to peoples’ hearts. Good intentions are just not good enough; the secret to success lies in actions! In a world full of chest pounding, actions influence perceptions more than anything else!

Leaders of Tomorrow Mentorship Program

On Wednesday July 6, I participated in the interviewing process for candidate selection in the Leaders of Tomorrow program 2011/12. Every year hundreds of candidates in their final year from leading universities compete for the 90 spaces in this one of a kind 12 month mentorship program spearheaded by the Vancouver Board of Trade. Upon selection, each student is paired with an industry expert in their field of interest for a period of one year. The Board does this to develop the leadership potential of our future leaders and contribute to the overall success of the British Columbian Economy sending a powerful brand signal!

And what brand signals do the ambitious personal brands send out when they apply to be part of an intensive mentorship program? Commitment to success! They take ownership of their learning, communal responsibility and establishing the necessary networks to succeed in a highly competitive and global business environment. Their desire to gain competitive edge sends out a strong brand signal.

As an educator and mentor, I believe mentoring initiatives represent a dynamic approach to education in the 21st century. Forward thinking students that seek out and commit to such programs are consciously creating career and business success.

Teg Brar, Mentor, Leaders of Tomorrow Program, Vancouver Board of Trade