Ivie Ogbonmwan: Personal Branding in the Workplace

For a very long time, I believed the term personal branding applied to just entertainers and entrepreneurs. Boy, was I wrong?!

As I studied my candidates and clients, I recognized that each and every one of my faves had some sort of brand.

Jide was known as the life of the party at work, never a dull moment with him. Kike was known as the ‘go-to’ girl, she knew everything, every place, and everyone. Samson was the nerd, would never socialize, but could be relied to get the work done no matter how difficult.

While branding came naturally for some people, many others have had to deliberately work at it. With the marketplace being so competitive, it became imperative that I had consciously help my candidates choose a brand and work at it.

In the marketplace, there are three important keys to personal branding.

Performance
Mediocrity is no longer permissible. My best candidates are still the ones known as the top performers, and this is not based only on academic knowledge. What will set you apart from the many others at your job is the effort you put into excelling. How well do you perform at work? How competent and skilled are you at your current job or the one you are vying for? How have your appraisals turned out in the last one year? Are you deliberate about self-development? Are you intentionally acquiring new skills?

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What do people think of you at work? How will your boss, colleagues, and subordinates describe you? Are you perceived to be the office gossip, snub or life of the office? Are you seen as friendly, empathetic, thoughtful and a team player? Have you developed human relation skills and emotional intelligence to manage your relationships better? Are you the unapproachable boss?

Exposure
Do the people who matter know you? How visible are you within your organization? Are your skills and competencies noticeable in your work environment? ‘I am an introvert’ is no longer an excuse. Do you participate in office events and activities? Do your bosses know you? Some call it ‘eye-service,’ I call it work-place wisdom. Find a way to get involved in other departmental projects and activities.

Please note that one does not cancel out the other. You must deliberately work at all THREE. As it is possible to be a top performer, but your bad attitude will give you negative exposure.

Be intentional about the brand you portray as a career individual as it will help as you navigate your career journey.

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