Growing up, I was always told, ‘it’s not just what you do, it’s how you do it’. Now as an 8 year old, with my most pressing decision being deciding which member of Take That is destined to be your future husband (none of them it turns out… Cue 20 years of repressed heartbreak) the impact and consequences of your behaviour are unlikely to be life changing. But once you’re reaching milestones and have to start making those life changing decisions, that’s another story.
‘Personal branding’ is one of those career buzz phrases that always gets thrown around. Fundamentally (and without the jargon) it comes down to, ‘how do you want to be known?’ whether you’re looking for a new opportunity, or are settled in a role. The rise of technology has hugely impacted the way in which we conduct our lives. Information is, for better or for worse, readily accessible at the touch of a button. You can organise your life, communicate at all hours of the day with anyone anywhere, capture every single moment (or plate of food) and then tweak it so you immortalise it in beautiful swathe of colour. In short, it’s brilliant. Trouble is, it’s also there for everyone to see. Forever. With employers now increasingly using social media tools in order to screen applicants before offering interviews, carefully managed – it’s a stroke of genius, but from a work/life perspective, getting that balance between making actions, comments and likes/dislikes free for everyone to see and portraying a professional image to potential employers has to be carefully considered. (So that picture where you’re shoeless, dancing on a table, trying to start a conga line, perhaps isn’t the best choice.)
No matter what field, the work that you do and results that you achieve are always going to be the priority, however the way in which you conduct yourself, your attitude and approach, and the way you interact with the people around you will really establish you within a workplace. Projects open up, recruitment budgets get cut, people leave companies, work gets distributed out – things happen every day that can either be seen as a challenge or an opportunity. Use your time wisely, work smart, approach extra responsibility as an opportunity to develop a new skill or demonstrate teamwork. Vocalise your ideas, go and speak to a co-worker instead of sending an email. You might think that it goes unnoticed, but it goes a long way. And you’ll be happier for it…so that can’t be a bad thing.