Shape Your Personal Brand for a Successful Future
Senior Developer passionate about web tech
Who am I? I’m just a regular remote senior front-end engineer with over nine years of remote working experience. I started working remotely in 2011, and I couldn’t go back after. Soon after I realized I had to take care of my work image in a whole different way.
Intuitively I was starting to build my brand. Has it ever occurred to you that, as a working professional, you are a brand? How you are perceived is crucial to your work life. Working on improving it will help you land that perfect job or promotion. So congratulations! You have been promoted to CEO of your personal and unique brand.
What’s next? First, we need to become aware of your brand relevance. Think about it: At work, you might be having many micro-interactions every day with lots of people. Remote working is making us more autonomous than ever, making our human interactions less frequent, and making us rely heavily on async communication.
It’s important to make the most out of those micro-interactions. Make sure that you are viewed as somebody prepared, trustworthy, professional, and capable. It is likely that the most important people are the busiest, and you won’t get hold of them for long. You need to make the most out of it: Be effective and efficient.
Your brand is equally important to your skills. There’s no point in being the most skilled person if nobody trusts you and won’t let you do what you are good at.
How can you level-up your game and improve? Let’s look at the key aspects of your brand.
1. Define Your Brand Interest
What are you good at? What do you like to do? What kind of industry are you interested in? Which type of company would you like to work for? Would you rather work for yourself?
Before going any further, the answer to these questions has to be clear in your mind. There’s no point moving forward if you don’t have a clear direction for where you want to go. Having a clear direction will make you a determined professional.
2. Boost Your Communication Skills
Definitely a crucial one: Without proper communication skills, you will struggle on a daily basis.
- How’s your English level? Can it be improved? Your goal should be to make the language barrier completely disappear.
- Do you have trouble expressing yourself? I used to prepare in advance what I would say in meetings. Going to a meeting prepared gives you a headstart.
- Do you have a hard time communicating your thoughts and ideas to others? Find out where the communication gets lost or distorted so as not to make the same mistake next time.
- Do you have a good setup? Good internet connection? A good quality microphone and camera? Ask others if they properly see and hear you when working remotely. You can’t go about with an unreliable setup — people will be giving up on you.
- Learn to listen. Coworkers are constantly shooting information at you. Listening sometimes is the most valuable thing you can do.
- Be aware of colleagues’ time zones and when to best reach them. You can try tools like Team Time Zone.
- Learn to excel at the different communication tools you have available. Embrace the “no hello” policy.
3. Improve Your Networking Skills
Having the right attitude at work is super important.
- Treat your colleagues in a respectful way. We’re all here for the same purpose and should be getting along as much as we can. You can make friends at work — just don’t forget that when you’re working, they are your colleagues.
- Don’t base your work decisions on personal factors. Have your own decision-making process. Value the work itself, not its impact on personal relationships. Always look for what’s best for the company or team. Avoiding personal fights will keep you away from nasty unprofessional arguments.
- Don’t let your personal life ruin your professional one. Some days might be tough but try to focus on work while you’re at it. You can share your problems with coworkers, but don’t let those problems drive your professional life.
4. Be a Consistent Brand
When you become consistent, people will know what to expect from you.
- If you commit to doing something, make sure it happens. If you can’t make it happen on schedule, make sure you communicate that properly.
- Attend meetings at the right time.
- Don’t make people wait on you.
- Don’t skip meetings for no reason. If you have a good reason to skip them, do communicate it to whoever might be interested. Be prepared to get out of your comfort zone — it’s the best way to learn.
5. Be Available
If you look unavailable, people will stop reaching out to you and start ignoring you.
- Be immediately available during your core working hours.
- Don’t leave conversions, threads, or email hanging.
- Be ready to help others when they need you. Helping and mentoring are two skills you want under your belt.
6. Become Trustworthy
- Are you able to sort out the priority of your tasks? Make sure you understand the task priority and impact before jumping into it. You don’t want to delay the most important ones.
- Try to work on a single task as much as possible. It might look like a good idea at first, but working on many tasks in parallel has proven to be unproductive.
- Don’t go rogue. When having some trouble, just ask for help. We’ve all been there. Asking for help is always a good opportunity to learn how others approach a problem.
7. Grow Your Online Presence
- Invest time in LinkedIn. Make some meaningful connections and get feedback from past projects/positions.
- GitHub: Contributing to the open-source community will improve and showcase your skills.
- Stack Overflow/Discord: it’s always fun to help others and learn from them.
- Build a profile website where you introduce yourself and showcase your projects. Make sure your unprofessional personal content on social networks, if any, stays private to your friends.
8. Invest in R&D
You might be up to date now, but tech is constantly evolving. Make sure you make room for:
- Trying new tools
- Looking at new frameworks
- Watching some tech conferences
- Learning new ways of solving problems
In such a competitive world, it’s best not to relax too much. My advice is to build a habit out of it and stay consistent.
A good way to put into practice what you recently learned is to start a personal project.
9. Transitioning to New Companies
At some point in your career, you’ll be changing the company you work for. That’s not a problem; however, make sure your relationship with your former employer ends in a good manner.
What will be the outcome of a well-crafted brand?
- You’ll have a clear sense of direction on where you are and where you want to be.
- Everybody enjoys working with somebody professional.
- You will be better valued and respected.
- By becoming trustworthy, you’ll promote where you want to go. You’ll become a valuable asset to your employer.
- Fewer misunderstandings mean less time lost.
- You’ll have a greater impact on the company and the people.
- As your brand grows, your salary will grow, too.
Hope this article does help you boost your true potential.
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