Saturday, January 02, 2010

Your New Job & Your Personal Brand

Congratulations, you've landed that amazing new job! In the interviews, you shone a spotlight on your strengths and you candidly addressed your development needs. They loved what they heard!

Now that you're hired, you can relax and let things unfold. Can't you???

In my work with people who are moving into a new role, particularly those joining a new employer, we often spend time prior to "day 1" focusing on how they want to be seen.

You see, "branding" will happen with or without your deliberate efforts. From the first time you shake hands or introduce yourself, others will make assumptions about you and begin to shape their interactions with you accordingly. They'll decide whether to share information with you because you seem collaborative and trustworthy. Or, they'll decide to block your efforts to gain organizational knowledge because they see you as arrogant and competitive in a negative way. It's just human nature to try to simplify our surroundings.

So, when I link "personal branding" with onboarding (the timeframe of ramping up in a new job), what I'm referring to is having a clear picture in your own mind of the impression you want others to gain about you.

What 3 words or phrases do you want to immediately come to mind when people meet you?
Which of your strengths do you want to clearly project?
What do you want others to know and believe about you?

I recommend focusing on 3 words for a reason... being a walking laundry list of 20 personal competencies will not only be impossible for others to's a quick way to get your colleagues' backs-up. Think in sound bites. What 3 qualities are most important for you to be well-received? And I mean geunine qualities that are authentically yours...not some manufactured image that belies the real you.

Use these 3 qualities as your personal affirmation in morning when you jump out of bed, when you look in the mirror and when you are focusing on bolstering your confidence for that next important meeting. Such as, "I am an attentive listener. I am an insightful analyst. I get things done."

I also approach this exercise by encouraging my clients not to think in terms of what message they want to send about themselves, but what message do they want others to receive. It's a subtle shift that makes a world of difference. Focus on how you hope to have others perceive you. What do they need to hear (or not hear) from you? If you know yourself to be an "attentive listener"...what do others need to see you doing when they first meet you to conclude that you are in fact a great listener. Telling them you have this quality sure won't cut it!

Moving into a new role is a challenging and overwhelming time. Keep your self-talk focused and manage your personal brand. It will pave the way to successful relationships and a great future!

Labels: , , , ,


Blogger Sheila Goldgrab said...

Yes, right on Sue! I agree with you that our personal brand is what is already authentic to us, not manufactured. I liked your distinction about the message new hires want to send and the message they want others to receive. Nice. It's the difference between thinking it and behaving it.

What's more, when coaching people on this, I offer that the decision to select among their personal attributes is a matter of reflecting on which real attributes will make a difference for the situation.

Our personal brands are multi-faceted and are a complex dynamic of personality, reputation and context and so it's critical to for new hires to tune in to what's needed and pull from what they know about themselves to address the situation.

Recently, a new hire was facing several difficult situations at work and felt daunted by it. I reminded her that her sense of humour and even-temperedness that people from her former workplace knew as her strengths would be very useful in managing the situation.

Sometimes we need to be reminded that we have what it takes to lead beautifully and we can do this by bringing out more of who we are.

Sunday, January 03, 2010 5:38:00 PM  
Blogger Sue Edwards - Development By Design said...

Absolutely Sheila! Ramping up in a new job can be a timeframe of such vulnerability. It is not uncommon for self-doubts to be prevalent beneath the confident veneer that landed the new role. The strengths that may be quite self-evident at other times can benefit from the reminding.

As you well know, it's one reason why coaching can be so inordinately valuable during onboarding!

I agree that it is also important to step back and consider what's unique about each key stakeholder with whom the new hire will be interacting. In preparing for initial meetings with each different stakeholder, I encourage clients to go through the exercise of pulling out the 1-3 core qualities/strengths that will be most critical for the person that they are meeting with to see demonstrated.

What qualities a direct report needs to see at the fore may be different from what the leader of an internal client group or the boss, etc. need to see in evidence in the early days.

All of this reflection is of course underpinned by a strong understanding of self and emphasis on authenticity.

Sunday, January 03, 2010 6:00:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home