For those of you trying to take advantage of a rebounding economy, branding matters now more than ever. It’s time to rebuild your professional brand to its full strength.
Branding doesn’t take money – it takes imagination.
Just because a brand doesn’t take millions to create doesn’t mean that a brand can’t create millions.
The same goes for your job search : The easier it is for others to imitate you, the less valuable you are.
You must display your own creative originality or your brand will become (yet another) interchangeable mediocrity, fading into the multitude of sameness. Like a needle in a stack of needles.
Your personal brand is the price of admission for your job search. It’s no longer a novelty – it’s a necessity.
And I’m not talking about all that superficial, low-level advice you read from so-called “branding experts” about how to “dress for success.”
Branding isn’t clothing. Branding is identity. It’s what you’re known for knowing. Branding is the best, highest version of yourself – and how other people experience themselves in relation to you.
“Be branded or be stranded,” I like to remind my clients.
For those of you trying to take advantage of a rebounding economy, branding matters now more than ever. It’s time to rebuild your professional brand to its full value.
As you reboot your personal brand, let’s explore five essentials for tweaking the language of your brand:
1. Build a success vocabulary.
Remove from your vocabulary any negative language, especially anything that describes your job situation unfavorably or unconfidently. Here are a few examples:
- Turn “unemployed” into “pursuing new job opportunities.”
- Turn “I can’t find a job” to “I’m confident that I’ll find a suitable position.”
- Turn “I couldn’t even get a job at Wendy’s” to, “The marketplace is still waiting to present me with the career of my dreams.”
Remember: What you say affects what you’re paid. How positive is your language?
2. Delete unprofitable language.
Self-esteem is a function of the way you respond to frustration, adversity and stress. Consider removing the following words from your unemployed vocabulary: I’m only … I’m just … Hopefully… I should… Yeah, but… I can’t… I always… I never…
Instead, speak with responsible confidence. Choose words like: I choose… I will… I’m confident that… I commit to… Next time… Until now… Not yet… I give you my word that… After all, language controls conversations and conversations control relationships.
Let me ask you this: What words are unintentionally decreasing the value you place on yourself?
3. Brand your tongue.
The No. 1 most overlooked personal-branding hotspot is your language. Speaking with a vanilla tongue will never earn you the sweet gig. Take some time to write out your answers to the following language-branding questions: What words govern your questions? What are your favorite words to use? What words do you use that nobody else uses? What word(s) do you own in people’s minds? Remember: Language is everything. Language wins interviews. Language changes minds. Language attracts opportunities. Language makes money. Language communicates presence. Language reveals brilliance. What’s your brand’s dictionary?
4. Listen to yourself on a daily basis.
“I suck!” “I always screw up this type of thing!” “You idiot! Gosh!” Not so fast, Napoleon Dynamite. Next time you catch yourself talking smack to yourself, ask this simple question: “What is my evidence to support this belief?” Odds are, it’s not as bad as your ego wants you to think it is. Remember: The best way to rest comfortably within yourself is to operate from a position of self-worth and not self-deficiency. Have you identified the ways in which you do not love yourself?
5. Don’t put yourself on sale.
Now that your language is intact, here’s one of the most powerful self-esteem building exercises you will ever practice: Put on your best suit. Then stare at yourself in the mirror and quote your desired salary over and over again, without flinching, for 20 minutes. First you’ll feel silly. Then dumb. Then curious. Then confident. Then excited. And then, ready to go sell something. And from that moment on, whenever salary-quoting time comes, you won’t skip a beat. Because you practiced it a thousand times. Remember: Deficiency of self-esteem undervalues you. Blinking loses interviews. Never feel guilty for demanding the value you represent. How much money are you worth?
Remember: Your personal brand is the price of admission for your job search. It’s no longer a novelty — it’s a necessity.
Don’t be a needle in a stack of needles.