Ask Debby: How Do I Develop a Professional Profile Outside of My Organization

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Question

I have been in HR for 10 years, work really hard and always get pretty good performance reviews and feel as though I am appreciated internally. As part of my career growth I would like to start to develop a professional profile outside of my organization, particularly online. How do I start?

Answer

Hi

The way we present ourselves says something about us to the outside world. It affects the way we are perceived by employers, colleagues, friends, and more. I encourage you to think about how do you create a personal brand that is consistent and effective in marketing your best self.

Here are three tips:

1. Be Social Media Wise.

The evolving digital landscape has opened up countless meaningful opportunities to develop and capitalize on your personal brand. Social media, once considered important only for personal reasons, now has broad professional applications. The power of the Internet lies in how many people you can reach without having to interact with them directly.

2. Engage.

Building a brand is about creating a relationship, not a one-way communication vehicle. The worst thing you can do is to engage intermittently on social media or your blog, if your intention is to gain awareness you need to have an active digital brand. Establish your digital presence with a strong plan and be committed to maintaining what you start. Make sure your messaging is consistent across all channels, and that the story you tell in your real life matches what you live online. Whether in person or online, it isn’t enough to consider the message and image you are putting out to the world; you must engage in two-way dialogue to build a relationship in person or to create an online following.

3. Image Matters, but Not How You Think.

Ask yourself, “When people look at me, what do they see?“ This includes communication style, attire, and grooming. Consider all the things that are an extension of you and assess whether they are “on brand.” Build your personal image in a way that reflects the best business version of you. A well-considered personal brand is pivotal to growing your career. Authenticity and consistency are the keystones on which your brand will be built. Figure out what makes people want to follow you, invest in your development and listen to you. Use that as a guiding point for your personal brand. Inspire others by the story you are telling.