As the workplace has gotten increasingly competitive you have to stand out and differentiate yourself from the rest of the crowd. One way to do that is to develop your personal brand, but before you get out there you need to identify what your vision is for your brand. Much like a mission statement for a company, understanding what your vision is can help you develop the steps you need to realise your vision, and create a persona of who you want to be and how you want to be seen.
Building your vision involves to steps
- Defining who you are
- Defining where you want to be
We’ll look at each of these in turn.
Who You Are
What Are Your Values?
Your core values are the beliefs that are most essential to how you view the world. Articulating your core values is a great way to help you understand yourself better, lead you to make better decisions, and give your work and home life direction. Our blog How to Discover what Core Values you Should live by can help you narrow down your core values as well as using our nifty list of over 200 core values.
Prioritise Your Values
Although they are all part of you, some of your values might incongruent with one another and sometimes one of them might have to give. For example, growth and results-oriented vs compassion and soundness are not two sets of values that align closely with one another. This means that you need to prioritise your values so that when you need to make certain decisions you know what should give.
Identify Your Passions
Passions are what you like doing with your time, whether that’s in your professional life or in your personal life. Identifying your passions are a great way to develop your vision, as they can be part of what you incorporate into your professional identity.
Personal passions might include baking, travelling, reading, music, spending time with family, photography or the outdoors. Professional passions might include technology, design, social impact, forwarding your industry, developing relationships with colleagues or leadership.
Once you’ve identifies your passions you’ll then have a clearer idea of who you want to be in two, five and ten years, the type of professional you’d like to become and even the industry you’d like to focus on.
Discuss Who You Are With Family, Friends and Colleagues
Others around you might have a better idea of who you are than you yourself. Let them know what you think your values and passions are and ask them to assess your judgement. They might have some further suggestions you may not have thought of.
They can also help you get a better understanding of how you think you are viewed and how other people view you and the diffference in these perceptions. If the two align closely, then great, but if they don’t realising this can help you make positive changes in your professional life and in turn your personal brand.
Where You Want To Be
Now you have a better understanding of who you are, you can start to think about where you want to be. Again, it’s good to start from the beginning so that you can create your story for your personal brand.
What Have you Found Most Satisfying?
There will have been times in your personal and professional career which have meant the most to you. These may be finally finishing a project, for example your dissertation in your final year of university, overcoming challenging times that for a period were touch and go, coming up with a new solution that was implemented in your company or gaining that pay rise you were appealing for.
Consolidate Your Ideas
From the values and passions that you’ve collated and the experiences you’ve found most satisfying, you should then be able to come up with a few themes for your professional and personal life that mean the most to you. This exercise can start to give you a better idea of what your vision for your personal brand might look like.
Identify Your Retirement Dreams
What would you like your career to have looked like when you leave the profession? Would you like to be a high flying executive in a marketing firm or would you like to spend your days working with people and seeing first hand where you make a difference? Hopefully the work you’ve done so far can help you narrow down your expectations and goals and help you understand the type of work which would most align with your passions and values, and gain many more satisfying career moments for you along the way.
Work Your Way Back From Your Career End Until Now
Now you’ve a better understanding of where you’d like your career to take you, how are you going to get there? What steps to you need to go through in order to achieve that goal? It might be that there is a career ladder to climb, it might be that you need to find work in a different sector (for example you may currently be a graphic designer in an advertising firm, but your end goal is to be working as a graphic designer in a cancer charity), or it might be that you need to create some new experiences entirely.
You might find that you have a few different paths to reach your goal, but there might also be an ideal one that you can focus on and work with in the first instance. You might have to reassess at some future date when life, as always, doesn’t quite go to plan!
How do Your Vision and Values Align?
For example, if you want a high flying career but your family was your main value, do the two align? What are you going to do when you have to choose between one or the other? Which aspect is going to come out top?
Luckily for you, careers can have balance, for the most part, but it is good to have a connection between the two.
Now that you’ve a better understanding of your career vision, you can then start to implement it in your personal brand, which will help you reach your career goals even quicker!