We’ve all seen companies rebrand themselves to better appeal to their customers. It’s sometimes as simple as a new logo or renovating a store location. Other times, however, it’s a significant rebranding effort where their mission changes. As a job seeker, you should take note of these different techniques because one is much better than the other.
You probably already know the importance of establishing a personal brand by now. Just like any other brand, though, your personal brand will likely need a refresh after a while so that it accurately reflects who you are as an individual. Much like a company updating its logo, a small-scale change like this is necessary for job seekers to grow in their careers, gain more skills and refine their expertise. Usually, all you have to do in this situation is revise your resume and give your website a quick makeover to reflect your style better.
Additionally, there will also be times in your career where you need to do more, similar to a large-scale rebrand. For this, you’ll need to go beyond updating your resume and personal website—you’ll need to refresh yourself as well.
Beyond Rebranding on Paper
Rebranding yourself is a big undertaking because it requires you to refresh the image of yourself that you’re putting out into the world and your internal attitude and direction. For rebranding to be successful, you have to start from within because there’s no way you will get others to believe in your new mission if you don’t believe in it yourself. Basically, in this situation, you can’t “fake it ‘til you make it.”
Here’s a hypothetical to help explain why this doesn’t work. The accounting platform ABC Company has a vast, global customer base. Still, over the last few years, more and more information has been leaked that suggests the company’s practices are very problematic. To do some damage control, the company announces that they are rebranding to 123 Company. Their announcement reveals their new logo and explains the company’s new direction, which appears to correct all of the things they’ve been doing wrong. But, when customers sign on to the platform following the rebrand, it’s clear that nothing has changed. The company isn’t fooling anyone. If anything, it makes the brand even less credible because there’s an apparent misalignment in who they say they are and who they are.
Suffice to say, if you’re trying to make a significant change in your career, whether it's moving into a new industry, climbing higher in the ranks, or making a big career pivot, it will take more than a cosmetic upgrade for people to take you seriously. Here are some tips for how to start your rebranding from the inside.
If you’re in a position where you’re doing a total rebrand, chances are high you’re in a bit of a professional rut. Maybe you’re feeling unfulfilled in your current role, you’ve run out of growth opportunities, or you want to follow your passion. Regardless of why you want to make a significant change, you’ll need to do a personal assessment to get a clear picture of who you are, what you want to accomplish, and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
Some questions to ask yourself include:
What is it that I don’t like about my current position?
What organizational/job changes do I need to see to feel more satisfied?
Are there growth opportunities for me? If so, do I want to pursue them?
What are some of my most vital professional skills?
What are some of my most vital personality traits?
Are there gaps in my experience that might be barriers to my new direction?
Is there any skill I’m especially interested in learning (or strengthening)?
What do I genuinely enjoy doing?
What would it look like if I could dream up my perfect job/company/industry?
This exercise is especially great for someone who isn’t entirely sure about the direction of their career but knows they need a significant change. However, it’s also beneficial for someone who knows what they want but needs to understand better how to brand themselves for that change.
It’s also a valuable exercise for someone who knows they’re unhappy in their current position but can’t put their finger on why it is. For example, maybe you’ll find out that your unhappiness has less to do with the actual job and more with the culture. In this case, you can use this new information as a guide in your rebranding to ensure you’re presenting an accurate version of yourself and your personality to match with an employer that is more aligned with what you need.
An excellent personal assessment will give you a better understanding of where you are now, where you want to go, your current set of skills, and your areas of weakness. It is all beneficial information in helping you rebrand because it’s essentially an overview of changes you need to make laid out in front of you.
To make the best use of this information, you’ll need to have a growth mindset and be open to new things (some of which may not be easy). You may realize that to rebrand yourself for the kind of job you want fully, you’ll need to put in the effort to develop necessary new skills. Or, you may discover that your strengths are better suited for an industry you hadn’t considered working in before.
Essentially, open-mindedness is the key to a growth mindset, because otherwise, you’ll end up doing the same things you’ve been doing, which will bring you right back to where you are now, which is the equivalent of a logo upgrade, not a rebranding.
Keep in mind. There is absolutely nothing wrong with a small-scale brand upgrade. In fact, they’re often necessary to reach the next step in your career path. Keep in mind, a significant rebrand will not only help position you for a great new career opportunity but will also build your confidence. So believe in the new direction you’re taking. Do the work to rebrand yourself and enjoy the positive results that are sure to come from it.
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