One of the most effective ways to succeed in your finance career, is to create a personal brand.
In addition to showing your management and colleagues that you’re serious and proactive about your career, working on your personal brand can also make you more knowledgeable, more valuable to your team, and more likely to get promoted. Sounds pretty great, right? But what exactly is a personal brand and how do you make the most of yours?
Basically, personal branding is the process of marketing yourself (and your skills) as a valuable brand to potential employers. In this article, we explore some key strategies for building your personal brand.
Clean Up Your Online Presence And Network
Nothing can tarnish your personal brand more than an unprofessional online presence. Consider how you might tidy up your social media presence; either be exceedingly careful with your privacy settings, change your profile name to a nickname, or get rid of Facebook altogether. You should also try Googling yourself and doing damage control on anything that might be viewed as unprofessional.
In addition to writing a stand out finance CV, you should also get some professional headshots done and update your LinkedIn profile so that it reflects where you want to go. You could also join some relevant online groups that might prove professionally advantageous. Consider creating a website of your own, if you have something to say that builds your professional credibility.
Devote as much time as you can to networking with competent and respected finance professionals; the more connections you build with relevant people in your field, the more your reputation will grow. In addition to taking advantage of industry events and online networking platforms, you can also seek the guidance of a specialist recruitment company like Flow Talent.
Identify Your Talents And Where You Can Utilise Them
Another crucial step in shaping your personal brand is to know your worth; this means figuring out where your talents lie. Are you collaborative, inspirational, motivational, managerial, or transformational? What special skills do you have that might be attractive or beneficial to your company? For example, are you particularly IT savvy or good at digital strategy?
Once you know what your personal brand’s strengths are, you’ll need to match them with your company’s culture and business need. Having a clear idea of how your skills match your company’s goals, can help you develop them further and work on your ‘pitch’ for promotion.
In considering how you might best implement your talents, think about becoming ‘the person who helps.’ Consider how you can help others on your team, as these people may well be consulted when it’s promotion time, and the more friends you have ‘on your side,’ the better.
Identify Where You Need To Be Developed
There might be a behaviour or skill gap you exhibit that is barring your way to promotion, which you may not even be aware of. For example, you might have strong analytical skills and an intimate understanding of the region’s market structure as a corporate relationship manager, but lack the necessary interpersonal or written skills required to effectively communicate with and advise your clients.
It’s also worth considering that the leadership in your company might not even be aware that you want a promotion, because you’ve never told them. Take an opportunity to sit down with them – perhaps at your next performance review – and make your goals and ambitions clear.
You should also make sure to ask them what they believe you could work on in order to achieve your goals. This will also allow your manager to have a clear idea of your ambitions which will enable them to advise you on the steps you’ll need to take to help you move towards your stated goals.
Increase Your Value Through Continued Development
One of the most important things to remember about your personal brand is that it’s continually evolving. As the finance and technology sectors continue to evolve with new innovations and trends, it’s up to you to make sure that you’re staying ahead of the curve if you want to stand out in your career.
Comparing your CV to job listings that are relevant to your interests will enable you to notice if specific requirements in those specs begin to change over time. If you want to stay at the top of your game as an IT project manager in the finance sector, for example, you not only need to be proficient in implementing the latest finance technologies, but you also need to keep up to date with the current trends in fund management and systematic investment planning.
In addition to ensuring that you never stagnate in your career, ongoing education will simultaneously keep your personal brand up-to-date and show both your current and potential employers that you’re committed to your finance career.
The potential to build your personal brand is immense; the only limits are your own motivation and imagination. We hope these strategies have given you some food for thought and perhaps set you on the right path toward achieving your finance career goals.
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