Personal Branding and Why It Matters

Katy Montgomery

Katy currently serves as the Global Director of the Career Development Centre at INSEAD where she manages career services professionals across three campuses: Abu Dhabi, Fontainebleau, and Singapore. Katy previously served as the Associate Dean for Student Development at the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School.

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“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.”

Jeff Bezos

What do people say about you when you aren’t in the room? Are you known as a Negative Nancy, Positive Polly, Angry Allen, or Joking Josh? Now is the time to start thinking about your personal branding!

Why does personal branding matter? And especially, why should it matter if you are not actively looking for a job? Here are a few reasons why you should consistently improve your personal brand:

  • Improved contacts/press for your organization
  • Industry recognition
  • Support for a cause you are passionate about
  • Clarification of your unique value for yourself and others
  • Better job/promotion/recommendation in the future

Take the winter break to start honing your personal brand. Here’s step one:

What is your value to others/to your organization?

Think about your vision, mission, values and passions, goals, strengths, and weaknesses. Be introspective. But also get feedback from others—read through your old reviews, ask your co-workers about your blind spots, talk to your supervisor about what is working and what is not working. Review everything you have gathered. Ask follow-up questions if need be. Take time away to think and contemplate.

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