Your Personal Brand and How to Build It

Shut your eyes and imagine it’s 2020. You work for a global company made up of thousands of unique and diverse personalities all contributing their part for a greater good. From improving the world, to helping create innovations that make our communities and homes safer and more convenient, and by adding value to business, it’s an exciting place to be.

Where will you be in five years? Will you grow and feel fulfilled with your career and life?

Achieving your ultimate destiny is no different than a market leader like Celanese reaching its goals. Both control their futures. Both require a clear vision, discipline and reputation-building game plan to ensure their audiences see their value. This public image or brand creates trust and sets expectations that people and organizations count on.

We as individuals are brands too. We create our personal identity by showing up everyday, doing what we do best, honoring our commitments, adding our unique value to our work and doing extra things that reflect our individual personalities and values. When we are conscious of our personal brand and strategic about our actions, we put ourselves in a position to accelerate our path to success.

If you’ve not thought much about your personal brand, the process is simple. A few small moves can have a big impact.

To start with, set your goals. Where do see yourself? Are you an innovator? An influencer? A contributor to team? Or a leader? Will your remain in your current field or will you move to a new one?

Next, take a look deep inside yourself. Identify your passions, your values and interests. Assess your skill set and expertise. Being aware of these traits is important, as this will help better define your purpose and will uncover the best ways to reflect and communicate your brand.

There should be alignment with who you are and where you want to go. If there’s a gap, this may be the right time to redirect your career course. As the world and organizations continue to change, new opportunities are emerging. Keeping your eyes and mind open to the skills that will be required to benefit from these changes is critical.

Now, visualize your future. See yourself exactly where you want to be. Are you a top customer service representative in China, a senior engineer over 50 colleagues or even the president of business unit? To make this a reality, here’s where your personal brand action plan comes in. This can mean increasing your visibility, amplifying your credibility and building a bigger network of fans.

Brand visibility is a result of targeted, frequent outreach with relevant messaging. You may be a wealth of insight and knowledge, and ready to contribute more, but if the right influencers and audience are not aware of this, you could be missing exciting opportunities. Change this by getting involved in company and industry activities. Let your supervisors and peers know you have bold ideas. Establish an online voice by participating in social media channels with content that reflects your expertise and brand persona. Show your presence and leadership by volunteering for work and charitable causes and actively collaborate with others.

Brand credibility is earned by stellar performance, integrity and associations with other admirable brands. Find ways to produce and demonstrate value. Whether this means going the extra mile on a project, posting a smart article, commenting on one of Celanese’s three blogs or volunteering for an important role with a company committee or an industry association.

Your word is your brand too. Keep your promises, meet deadlines, don’t gossip and always be an example of highest professional standards. And don’t underestimate the power of association. Chose your friends and colleagues wisely as they too are a reflection of your brand.

Your network is the backbone of your personal brand’s connectivity. A strong community of professional contacts can build lasting relationships and bridges to more opportunities. Make sure your business networks off and online via LinkedIn and other social sites are active with influencers that matter, and your profile is updated with a professional photo and information that best highlights your value and expertise. Be responsible with your personal social networks too as in many cases the line of divide is blurred and your content is also public and permanent.

The world is changing. It can feel fast and furious. It’s more competitive than ever and also filled with endless new opportunities for rewarding personal growth. The landscape has no boundaries due to increased globalization, social media, and technological advances. We are all on stage everyday. If you want to take your career to the next level, managing your personal brand gives you more power and control to achieve anything you want.

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About the author


Karen Post is an international branding expert and has worked with Celanese for the past three years on branding and communication projects. She is also the author of two books, Brand Turnaround and Brain Tattoos and is a regular contributor to broadcast and print media venues including: Fox News, The Wall Street Journal and Forbes.

There are 19 comments. Add yours.

  1. gretchen says:

    Karen, thank you for your thoughtful advice. So much wisdom for all of us no matter where we are in our career.

  2. Margie Dolch says:

    Thanks for your blog. Building a personal brand is a worthy discipline we could all benefit from working on. In your career, what have you found most challenging about maintaining yours and how have you dealt w/ that?

    • Karen Post says:

      Thnx Margie, biggest challenge is staying open to change, being flexible and not letting stuff you can not control wig you out or distract you. Embrace what you do control and focus on your goals.

  3. Adriano says:

    Hello Karen. Thanks for the worth reading. I’ve never thought about career growth as a brand and make total sense. What we do, how we do, how and for whom we show the results are the points to achieve our goals.

  4. Linda Blais says:

    Nicely written and solid advice for anyone making decisions on how and where to take their career. If I were to add one thing it would is to not be afraid to “course correct” if you see opportunities that were not initially on your horizon. Sometimes we need to be open to changes that have the potential to make our lives richer and our career even more successful.

  5. Leysy Paola says:

    Excelente articulo “My personal brand” ya estoy trabajando en esto !
    thank you for open my mind and expand my ideas..

  6. AK says:

    Good article. I got influenced by the step by step approach which I was looking for quite some time being struck in the current role. Thanks for valuable suggestions.

  7. Kristina Woinaroschy says:

    Thank you for this article and the very useful ideas! We sometimes get caught up in the daily life so much that we tend to forget what our goals and our values are and where we want to head on to, which is crucial for our personal career as well as in the best interest of the company we’re working for, Celanese. Great article!

  8. Milton says:

    Very Inspiring and crisp.
    The ingredient that makes the article stand out is the specific action steps recommended.
    The things I would be changing is increasing visibility, amplifying credibility and building a bigger network of fans. That’s valuable tips.

  9. Tania Garcia says:

    This is so inspiring, i will surely read this again cuz it has great “STEP BY STEP” suggestions than when you are head down or depressed they can be easily forgotten. So, i´ll print this one!

  10. Ken Van Der Wende says:

    Good discussion. So often associates do not realize they have a brand be it somewhat intentional or not. What this article magnifies is that we all do and can/should do something about it.

  11. Maria Ciliberti says:

    Karen – great blog!! Don’t know how I missed this when it was orginally issued but the “Top 10 Blogs of 2015” got me to your blog in the end.

    I used to jokingly say to a boss of mine in the past that I would never change my last name because too many people in industry know me as Maria Ciliberti – and it’s a “BRAND”. What I had meant was that people wouldn’t know me under a new (married) name, wouldn’t know how to reach me/find me (via social or business websites, etc). I never really thought of a person as a brand but after reading your blog – I see it more so as a reality.

    You have provided great advise to all of us – to manage what we can control – and think how we are perceived as a result of the many things we do (and don’t do) – thanks for the great insight!


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