If you're in a job in which your skills are not being valued, talent development consultant Patty Azzarello advises leading with your personal brand.
Too old? Not technical enough? You could work harder to try to fit in, but if you really don't fit in, you're trying to gain favor on other people's terms. It's better to be respected on your own terms.
Companies increasingly are focused on hiring for cultural fit - people who will fit in - but hiring people like those you already have can mean <strong>getting the same sort of results</strong>. Being hired to shake things up can be exciting, but also lonely.
Having your personal brand defined lets you put your best foot forward with great confidence all of the time, especially when you are in a situation or environment where you are not comfortable.
If you are clear about your personal brand, you don't need to be defensive when you don't fit. You can use it to sell your strong points.
You'll be more confident and more impressive.
So what is a personal brand? I like this definition by Donna Rachelson, founder of the South African company Branding & Marketing YOU:
Personal branding focuses on your USP (unique selling proposition) ... Personal branding and marketing is about knowing yourself and understanding what differentiates you from others with similar qualifications and experience.
Azzarello offers three examples:
She was able to demonstrate truly authentic confidence. Instead of being cautious and defensive and trying to earn their respect on their terms, she wowed them on her terms. She got the job.
Confidence breeds confidence, and the way to show confidence, she says, is by being clear about who you are and what you bring to the organization.