Your personal brand is important!
Just as corporations have carefully honed brands and brand logos that immediately communicate an image, an experience, or a value for that company or its products, each of your clients also needs to have a carefully crafted “brand” or image that is shaped in words and perception rather than images. Drawn from your client’s values, talents, abilities, and passions, the brand needs to be easily recognizable to others and be consistent through words, actions, and reputation.
Personal branding sets your client apart from the masses. As career professionals, it is our job – if not our responsibility – to educate clients on the necessity and benefits of personal branding, give them the tools needed to build their own personal brand, and guide them through the process while they are belted securely into the driver’s seat.
An Army of Two
A corporation has millions of dollars and an army of creative people at its finger tips to market a positive corporate image. But what individual – let alone one who is unemployed or in transition – has the resources to develop and implement a branding campaign? I would be bold enough to say that YOU are all they need. Your expertise, knowledge, and resources in careers and career transition, combined with your client’s expertise, knowledge, and motivation in his particular field, will allow him to succeed.
My personal coaching philosophy is that I will sit on the bank beside my clients, coach them through it, and hold the net. But, my client will be the one holding the fishing pole.
A Holistic Approach
What truly sets the client apart from others is often missing from most career communications. When personal branding in career communications is considered, it is typically the written communication that is focused on. During the coaching process with my private practice clients, we go far beyond the written page. Personal branding is an undertaking, much like a jigsaw puzzle. Many pieces fit together to give you a complete picture. If you have only one piece, you are not seeing the completed puzzle, therefore the potential employer is potentially not seeing the whole candidate.
Putting the Edges Together
When putting a puzzle together, most people start with the edge pieces, so that there is a framework or point of reference to work with. This is the most logical place to start with clients and assessments give us as career professionals the framework to help our client build his personal brand. Tools such as Myers-Briggs, DISC, O*NET, and Strength Finders help clients––with the help of their career professional–– understand their motivators, strengths, weaknesses, and work styles as well as provide career options based upon their responses.
The assessment that I prefer to use in my practice is the DISC Behavior Assessment administered through TTI Success Insights. This thorough assessment is detailed enough unwrap core issues that a client needs to grasp and address, yet presented in a way that is easily understood and adapted by the coaching client. The outcome of the assessment clearly identifies the client’s soft skill set and his ideal work environment. When coupled with the knowledge, education, and experience that the client brings to the table, the career profession has the foundation to begin developing a client’s personal brand.
“Knowing others is intelligence; knowing yourself is true wisdom.” – Lao Tzu