You did it. You got the job. After the interviews, the anxiety, the relentless follow ups, the tweaking and re-tweaking of resumes and cover letters, and all the waiting, you did it. You are officially hired and a start date has been set!
Now what? Now, you start building your reputation, your “brand” at work. It takes time to build a reputation, and none at all to destroy it.
10 Rules to Building Your Personal Brand and Making Yourself Irreplaceable from Day 1:
- It’s a marathon, not a sprint. You’re (hopefully) in this for the long haul. But its also okay if you’re not. Whatever your goals, be committed to being the best you can be for the time you’re there. Don’t settle for average or being mediocre. Aspire.
- Learn everything you can from everyone you can. Everyone is a teacher.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Do your research though, and make your questions good. Google is a thing. Use it.
- Find out who the most competent people are. Learn from them. Shadow them. Ask them to mentor, to teach, to simply allow you to observe them, sit in on their meetings.
- Make a good impression with bosses and colleagues. Do this by being authentic, listening more than you speak, being prepared, and taking initiative to share ideas and solutions to problems (ALWAYS share your ideas for a possible solution whenever you’re presenting a problem—you’ll be taken more seriously).
- Don’t let colleagues influence you one way or another about anything. You can listen, but make your own decisions. There are often times many layers of politics involved and you can’t hope to understand it all in the beginning (or ever). Be smart, you’re there to work, and nothing should jeopardize that.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help or guidance from your managers. You are teaching them about you, your capabilities, and how you work, and setting the tone for your entire working relationship. On the same note, don’t be afraid to set boundaries, manage expectations, and ask for priorities on deliverables when you are overburdened.
- Be seen as a do-er. Someone that listens first before making decisions or giving an answer. Someone responsible and trustworthy and capable. Someone that doesn’t need to be told twice.
- Don’t come out the gates like a charging bull. A new person proposing massive overhauls is not going to get much buy in. Instead, isolate problems, challenges, or inefficiencies in your role, in processes you’re utilizing, implementing. Verbalize with your managers ideas you had to SOLVE those problems. If you’re only complaining without presenting a set of solutions or options to fix the problem, you are part of the problem. This goes for everything really.
- Remember – as a woman, and as a mother, there are preconceived notions about everything from how you should behave, how intelligent you are, how capable you are, how committed you are, and how strong you are. Prove everybody wrong. Success is the best revenge.
Why is it important to build a personal brand at work?
When you have a strong personal brand at work, you become memorable, unforgettable, and impossible (or at least very difficult) to overlook. This is critical for women and mothers in the workplace and it’s one major way to begin advocating for yourself in the workplace. Establish your work persona, your reputation, and work hard to protect it and grow it. It’s easy for our persona at work to become “mothers”, but we are more than that. We are well-oiled machines of efficiency and effectiveness, of organization and critical thinking, of problem-solving and decision-making. You define your persona. Start defining it from Day 1.