Your Personal Branding REALLY Matters

What People Think of You REALLY Matters

When you think of your own personal brand, what comes to mind?
Now more than ever our personal brands matter critically, in our ability to carve out any semblance of long-term job security.
So, what do people think of you? If you asked 4 or 5 of your closest friends, professional peers, and business relations what words they’d use to describe you, what would they say? GO AHEAD…do it! It’s a great learning experience on the road to self-exploration.
At the end of the day, we only have our word to stand upon, as our personal brand. Based on the thousands of interactions I’ve had these past 4 years as a career coach and business consultant, many people are failing miserably. I’m developing a program on “Business Ethics.” When I tell people they laugh, like it’s a joke.
Let’s start with today’s used car salespeople…RECRUITERS. Do you receive emails from recruiters, placement agencies, or search firms about supposed job opportunities that has absolutely NOTHING to do with your background, skills and qualifications? At the end of the e-mail, they say: “If this position isn’t right for you, can you share this with others in your network?” They are basically spamming and phishing us, asking us to help them do their jobs and find others for them to send to their clients.
Have you received a call from a recruiter asking if you’re interested in a job they are looking to fill? They discuss their client’s needs and the requirements with you, then you send them your resume and they promise to forward it to the hiring organization and let you know.
Weeks then months go by, you never hear from them after repeated efforts to obtain a status. Finally you reach them and they dismiss your application by saying their client wasn’t interested, your background wasn’t an ideal match. What about a courtesy call back?
Ethics and professional behavior matter in our personal and professional lives. Have you ever said to someone you had no intention of following up with: “I’ll get back to you?” knowing full well you’ll never call them back? WHY? Because it’s those little WHITE lies that are so easy to tell, rather than the embarrassing truth?
What happened to dealing in truth with all our personal relationships and professional correspondence?
Just this morning I was scheduled to give a FREE coaching session to a potential client. She Tweeted a reply to a re-tweet I sent her on Twitter, so I responded with a message confirming our call. Then I emailed her 2 times within the half hour after our scheduled time when I never heard from her. NOTHING. This is the type of behavior that destroys people’s perceptions of you.
Are we so busy with intensive work schedules and overlapping family, work and personal responsibilities that we’ve lost all sense of decorum in dealing with others?
What happened to the Golden Rule (LUKE 6:31) “Do to others as you would have them do to you.”

There are far too many unethical behaviors that can potentially destroy your brand. Here are only a few examples:
* Companies offering extended unpaid internships.
* Plagiarism.
* Lying on your taxes, resumes.
* Falsifying professional credentials.
* Construction companies ignoring codes, taking shortcuts.
* Mortgage robo-signings.
* Producing/marketing dangerous products.
* Legalized gambling.
* Police misconduct.
* Accepting bribes.
* Piracy: stealing others’ intellectual capital.
* Vulture Capitalists.
* False/inaccurate job postings.
* Division I College athletics & big time money.
How do you know if something is the right thing to do? Ask yourself a simple yet poignant question: “If I choose to go through with this decision, would I mind seeing it reported on the news tomorrow?” If the answer’s YES then you proceed. If you’re still not sure then ask yourself four (4) key questions:
1) Does my decision match the organization’s vision & mission statements?
2) Would it be good for customers?
3) Would it be good for the organization?
4) Would it be good for me?
(From Gretchen Morgenson)
So, don’t forget that how you engage people speaks LOUDLY to your ethics, beliefs, and values which in turn creates perceptions that people have about your personal brand. In today’s volatile world with rampant unemployment, stressed schedules, and rapidly changing personal obligations our BRAND matters more than ever.
– Ethan
The Compassionate Coach