• Lindi Engelbrecht

How a Solid Personal Brand Can Help You Grow Your Career

The best tool in your professional toolbox is your personal brand.

The road to your dream career is rarely a straight path. Dreams evolve, especially when you’re open to new experiences in front of you. It’s natural to want to expand in a new direction or chart a new course—in fact it’s a good thing!

There are many ways to make changes to your career, whether it’s taking on new challenges or altering your path entirely, but the best tool in your professional toolbox is your personal brand. And you can pivot the way that you present yourself online with a Professional Digital Profile on DiggerApp (available on Android & iOS), & LinkedIn.

And in this dynamic workforce, nothing you’ve learned is ever lost. Apply your current skills across a variety of different contexts and industries by repackaging your experience and tweaking your messaging.

So, here’s how I grew my work in a new direction without starting from scratch. The key to that success? Adapting my personal brand to evolve with my goals.

Recognise Positive Building Blocks

In such a booming digital world, with everyone and everything now happening online, it’s now more crucial than ever to have powerful branding that can be easily shared and easily recognised.

Building an online personal brand for yourself is something more imperative than you may think. When you hear the word branding, you may think about it only in terms of a business and not as something you need personally. However, establishing a personal brand is very important and will help you advance down your career path.

No matter your prior job experience, your personal brand includes characteristics and strengths that can translate to any scenario.

What is a Personal Brand?

Personal branding is all about creating a reputation — aka, a brand — that represents the sum total of your career and professional persona. It’s about who you are, what it is that you do, how you work, and where you are headed.

Like a consumer brand, a personal brand not only tells your story, it sets the stage for growth and will advance you towards your future career success. A personal brand goes beyond the basic resume to deliver a more complete picture of who you are professionally.

It’s not only about your KPI’s in a job description, but all the other various projects, innovations and Accomplishments that builds your online Personal Brand.

There may not be much difference between personal and professional branding, but from my perspective, your professional brand is what matters to a potential employer, networking contact, or anyone who can help you grow your career. It's more than a case of making sure your personal brand reflects who you are as a person. It's also making sure that the information available about you online is visible, available, and relevant to where you are in your career and where you want to go next.

Why Do You Really Need a Personal Brand?

As I mentioned above, a personal brand is more imperative than you may think. Here are just a few reasons why you need to develop your personal brand:

Employers Search Online to Investigate Their Candidates

There are scads of examples out there of qualified candidates applying for jobs and getting turned down simply because they ignored their online image. Almost 80% of employers “Google” job seekers before even inviting them into an interview. This is #1 reason why a personal brand is so important. Employers do, and will, search for you online.

Take Charge of Your Message

When potential employers search for you online, having a strong personal brand can ensure that what they find is what you want them to find. You can take charge and lead the way they perceive you and your image.

Develop a Clear Vision

A personal brand helps you discover who you are and what you’re all about. Employers can learn about your passions, see what excites you, and even envision where you would like to be in the future.

Boost Your Expertise & Authority

Building your personal brand will not only show you in a more professional light but also tell your potential employer what you’re about and what you’re an expert in. Once you have developed a clear vision for your brand, the expectation of your expertise and authority in your field will gain momentum.

Taking control of your personal brand is one of the most important things you can do for your online reputation. It may take a lot of thought and more than a little effort, but in the end, you and your career will be stronger for it.

Chart Your Path Forward

Just like how you reach a destination with the help of a map (or let’s be real, a GPS), you need a plan to help evolve your personal brand. A big part of that evolution centers on how you describe yourself and your work, but ultimately, you need to make sure you're ready for a dream opportunity. Start by pinpointing your goal and outlining the experience you need to get there.

When it comes to your personal brand, you’re in the driver’s seat. You can choose how to depict your strengths and the way you want to evolve your brand. By building on your best characteristics, charting a clear path, and tweaking your messaging as you go, you’re practicing a process that can help you grow throughout your career.