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Developing your personal brand and authenticity at work

This month, Rajvinder Kaur writes about developing your personal brand and authenticity at work.

Rajvinder is a Senior Operational Risk Analyst in Risk Management and a Diversity & Inclusion Ambassador at her workplace. Previously, Rajvinder has worked as a Test Analyst for international e-commerce businesses working in agile environments. She enjoys staying ahead of the technology curve and sharing her knowledge with others to creatively improve day-to-day efficiencies.

Whether you think you have a personal brand or not, you are always communicating information about yourself in your values, behaviours and image. Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon says it the best “your personal brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.” When I worked on my own brand and concluded being professional, formal and sure were key components, I made certain my image reflected that. I'm known for delivering under pressure - often with an 'added extra' that wasn't even asked for.

My personality is calm and composed with an underlying drive and focus from my desire to learn. Often told that I am polished and presentable,however, through feedback from my mentors and peers I soon realised that I needed to be more personable at work by showing my personality in the smallest of interactions.

You tend to get more out of people when you show you care, by listening and asking your colleagues questions that aren’t to do with work. As a result, how I look, carry myself and is easy-going but still down-to-earth. Ask yourself, what would people learn about you just from seeing or hearing you?

I often ask for feedback to gather many opinions and to help steer my thinking on how I can improve. Whether it’s positive or negative, give the feedback an initial read then put it to one side and don’t look at it again for a few days.

You’ll spot different things than you did the first time and the added perspective could mean you get more from the answers. When you collate the feedback look for ways that the comments support your own perception of your personal brand, and any positive comments that throw up elements of your personal brand that you’re overlooking.

I even ask my closest friends if they agree or disagree as I could be doing something annoying in my personal life.

Then incorporate it at work and across the channels at your disposal for communicating your personal brand. For each channel you’ve identified, think about being consistent and authentic with your brand and how these can be best employed. Employers will look at your digital footprint, new managers will speak to past colleagues and soon you’ll find that it’s worth paying attention to how you can infuse your personal brand into your LinkedIn profile etc.

Only by starting on the journey to understand ourselves, it will help you to connect on a far deeper and productive level with your colleagues. It can be a difficult conversation to begin, especially if you feel disengaged between yourself and the culture at your workplace.

I like to believe that by foraging real connections in a world that is constantly shrinking, by becoming authentic as an individual it can give you the power to be an essential change agent for your own working environment too.

Thank you for reading.

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