Your Brand…

As many of you may know, I have launched my 3 part Career Series a few months ago and launched part 1 and part 2. Part 1 covered Diligence and part 2 covered Interview Style.

Today, I’m going to cover a super important topic – Your Brand. And how you should think about it.

Let’s peel the onion back a layer and determine what brand really means? If you look it up in the dictionary, you’ll find the following definition, ‘kind, grade, or make, as indicated by a stamp, trademark.’ The two words that stand out to me in this definition are stamp and trademark.  We’ve all felt ‘lost’ at some point in our lives attempting to navigate this huge, complicated world, while at the same time find ourselves. There’s a time when you figure out what makes you tick, what makes you happy in life, and what simply doesn’t. Once this happens, you start cultivating and enhancing those areas of your life to better yourself. That’s when your brand comes to life and becomes your stamp or trademark that people recognize.

I’ve found that your brand is so critical when applying for a job or even building friendships.  There are a few things I’ve learned over the years to help nurture your brand at work.

  1. Networking. I’ve talked about networking before and I’m going to bring it up again and again. Networking is extremely important in cultivating your brand.  Networking, to me, means building relationships. Building genuine relationships are key to exposing your brand to others that you work with. It allows them to connect with you one on one.  The next step in networking is maintaining it. Sometimes people think that networking means you have a meeting with someone, ask them a few questions, and call it good. Nope. You must continue to make time with people, put effort into that relationship and it will begin to grow. That is how you enhance your relationship with them and fully showcase who you really are.
  2. LEVR | Listen. Empathize. Validate. Repeat the Situation. A few weeks ago, I was chatting with a colleague and we were talking about relationships at work and in your personal life. As we got deeper into conversation, she mentioned this acronym – LEVR. Have you heard of it? I sure hadn’t. She explained to me what it stood for and gave me an example of how she has used it in the past – whether it’s your sister or best friend or a colleague at work – it works.  I mean think about how many times you’ve talked with a friend or family member and genuinely care but don’t know what to say?  LEVR simply helps you articulate your feelings.  I’m going to break down each word and how to use it:
    1. Listen. When someone tells you something, truly listen. Don’t be thinking about what you’re about to say next, open your ears and listen.
    2. Validate. After you’ve empathized with the person, validate what they are saying. I’m not saying that you have to agree per say but validate that what you heard is exactly what that person meant to communicate. Remembering LEVR can help you in any conversation you have. It forms a framework in your head to ensure you are engaging. Try it. Let me know if it works for you.
    3. Repeat the Situation. Once the person agrees that you heard them right, then you can decide if you have an opinion on what they told you. Maybe you’re having a conversation with a friend about something personal and she simply wants you to be there or you’re having a discussion with a colleague regarding a deadline. No matter what it is, whether you agree or disagree, repeat the situation that was presented, have an opinion, have a solution, or simply repeat it so that person knows you are fully engaged and understanding what they have to say.
    4. Empathize. After you’ve listened to what the person has to say, empathize with them.  If you’ve listened eloquently, you’ll be able to empathize with the person and start to feel the emotions they are feeling.
  3. Social Media. We’re all on social media. It’s fun, it’s addicting, and it’s an avenue where each of us can be creative, share our life, and connect with friends. However, when you are applying for a job or currently have a job, it’s important to be thoughtful about what you put on social media.  Your social media represents you and your reputation. It’s how people get to know you if they don’t see you on a regular basis. It creates a perception of you in any follower’s head.  Remember, perception is reality.  It is your brand! Think before you post!
    1. Another form of social media is your resume. Employers have the option to see your social media but they formally see your resume and use that as a primary mechanism to decide whether or not to hire you. This is another form of your brand that we should all be thoughtful of. Get a second pair of eyes on it. Ask as friend to review it with you. Or use a professional resume building company to help you craft a fierce resume.
      1. One company that I highly recommend is Fierce Resumes.  The founder is a great friend of mine with phenomenal skills that she gets to use on each resume she works on.  Here’s more about her.
      2. Check out their mission and goal: Their goal is to present an interesting snapshot of your professional life on paper. They believe a resume structured in a clear, concise format that provides a compelling overview of your work will convince potential employers to invite you for an interview.  If you are interested, send them an email.

I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their Friday! I’m looking forward to 3 days of R&R. Enjoy your long weekend and be safe!

Cheers to your brand!

Xo Lauren

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s