IT highway: journey with strong Personal Brand
My name is Rocco Marino and I work in SAP Italy since 2003. I’m a Developer Senior Consultant and I’m in love with technology and software development, so I feel lucky enough to have turned my passion into my work. But my work has changed a lot in the last years and a lot will change again in the years to come.
Today we are living in a time in our lives full of possibilities: the Digital Transformation that is around, it forces us all (me, you, colleagues, customers, partners, managers) to face new issues, new problems, new challenges that, for those who work like me in IT, means new opportunities. Many new opportunities not only for work but also for professional and human growth. And for taking this opportunity must have new skills, new skills but also a strong one image to “sell” on this “market of opportunities” created by the Digital Transformation.
From a lot of time with Web 2.0, but specially now with the explosion of Social, our image e the perception of the added value that we can give in a project (or in any activity) is less and less under our control but is increasingly dependent on “our audience”, by customers, from our partners and all those who compare and talk about us specially “online”. And in this Social world, where everyone is “connected”, where everyone talks about everything, our presence online (and active participation in its growth) has increasingly become a fundamental point to promote our “work” image.
In the past, personal promotion was an “art” based on building strong relationships and creating a strong network that includes colleagues, partners and customers. Today all this is still valid and even stronger, but they have changed tools at our disposal to increase “our image”. Today what we should do is to create and have a strong Personal Brand.
There are many definitions of Personal Brand, but what I find most honest and truthful is the following:
Your Personal Brand is the reason for a customer, an employer or a partner may choose you today but surely tomorrow.
Be careful that Personal Branding does not mean making del Social Media Marketing or having a personal blog (although it would be very useful to have one)
It does not come with the “sell better yourself”, giving a false image of itself or making it perceive an added value that in reality there is not (also because selling “something” takes a lot of time, many skills and often involves many failures)It is much better to explain clearly who we are, what we do and (above all) the reason and the value. And this is true both for being involved in projects within one’s own company and also for to look for new job opportunities beyond the limits of what is ours today “comfort zone”. Personal Branding is the process to identify, cultivate and communicate with this added value is better than this. Whatever your job and your role, you would know say, today, “why” someone has to choose you instead of someone else, in a labor market crowded like never in the history of the human being?
It’s not easy to build and have your own Personal Brand, you need a good base ability to analyze oneself trying to be “cruelly” honest and “cruelly” critics on what we think we are or know.
Since one of my personal goals this year is just will build my personal brand, I asked myself : How can I build it? What tools should I use? What do we have to do?
Reading some books and looking on the internet the experiences of those who already had a strong Personal Brand, I identified some points on which work to start:
- Build your own communication platform
Today there are many social tools that there allow you to share anything about us. We should choose one more among those that we believe are more suitable to rappresent ours image. It is also important to have a website that should represent our Brand. And, of course, linking the chosen social platforms with the site is a necessary step to the increase the image of our Personal Brand.
- Identify your uniqueness and your own Strengths
Think about your professional skills and values. Every person is unique, there is no one like it in the world. The important thing is to analyze if you need to define which ones have been and what are the strengths that we have used and continue to use for build and grow our career. Once identified, it is necessary to perfect them. In a career of about 50 years you never stop learning something. So it is fundamental learn all this from our “field of action” and become a true expert. Never stop to learn, we must always read, assimilate and share our skills by helping them others in solving their problems through our “teachings”
- Set the own goal.
It is important to have a clear picture of one’s personal goals and professional, both short and long term. If you do not have a goal (even if you yourself do it consider a dream) you risk navigating to sight, without knowing where your work takes you, yours career. One should use one’s own values and priorities as a guide to the process decision-making regarding your goals
- Do Not Copy and Do Not Change Yourself
The personal brand is inextricably linked to yourself and must represent it and this is what will give it value. Do not try to change, always follow yourself, do not copy anyone, but try to always remain what you are because honesty and ethics in work are always key points to connect people to your brand.
Of course there are many useful tips, such as many can be useful tools to use. I am at the beginning of this journey, therefore any new information and advice about it will always be well accepted. The important thing for me will be to build a strong Personal Brand because only in this way I will certainly have best weapon to use to capture, in this moment of Digital Transformation and in this world more and more Social, all the new opportunities that currently seem whiz and run on a highway on which I must necessarily be able to run but that at the moment I’m probably not even able to take it.
I've read a lot about branding. So I read this blog too. My favorite part of this blog is
It is so very important to just be you. For anybody that still hasn't gotten it. The internet is not private. Everything you type can be looked up and used for that next job interview even your current job. That's just one thing I think I would want to add to all of these. If you are not yourself, then you are misrepresenting yourself. It would be a very bad thing.
Copying something. Oh boy! That is a big ethical issue. It shows how dishonest you are. Who would want to hire you then. Love this last statement.
Hi ROCCO MARINO,
I read another definition of branding somewhere which stated your brand is not what you think and promote but it's what others perceive. Anyways, regardless of its definition, it is definitely needed to position oneself higher than other suppliers of similar services.
I liked, as did Michelle Crapo, your saying "Do Not Copy and Do Not Change Yourself" as it's at the core of personal branding; each individual is unique and can offer value in a way or another to his/her clients.