The phrase “personal brand” is relatively new, but the idea of upholding a good reputation has always been around. Before the internet or content marketing, personal branding was limited to personal interactions and was more manageable.
It wasn’t an option to Google a person before or after meeting them. If you made an error, it was limited to within your organisation or more immediate circles. Now, if you if post one thing in bad taste online the entire world might see. Which poses the question how long should we be punished for one bad comment, or praised for one good act? To build a sustainable and authentic personal brand consistency is key.
Aisling Hassell, Ireland Site Lead & Global Head of Community Support Operations at Airbnb, shares… ”I am a big believer in your personal brand. At Symantec, I saw what good leadership looked like and, over the course of that journey, I built a personal brand. They used to call me the “Queen of Fix-it”. If something was broken and needed to be addressed, I became the go-to person to take on that challenge.”
Over the course of her varied career Aisling has steadily worked hard and delivered results, building a strong personal brand and meaningful connections along the way. Of course, as mentioned the working world and the world as a whole has changed drastically over the past 10 years and the future of work looks set to evolve again, so how can you future proof your own personal brand offline and online?
Building a strong personal brand
The most important aspect of building a valuable personal brand is hard work and making genuine personal connections. Colleagues and clients will remember how you behave just as much as the results you produce.
Similar to how businesses ascertain certain values which guide their behaviours and company culture, if you have clear core beliefs and ways of working a consistent personal brand will develop whatever career moves you make. For example, the strong work ethic and people skills Airbnb Site Lead Aisling Hassell displayed working at Symantec in Blanchardstown ultimately got her her role in the Symantec US office. A move that spring boarded the rest of her career.
Aisling states… “I then took a job at Symantec in Blanchardstown. I managed the localisation team, which handled the multilingual translation of documentation, websites and products. A year after I joined, my boss suggested I move to Symantec’s US office in California to try it out.
A woman there had moved on and he suggested I take over her role. I had no intention of going to America prior to that but decided to give it a go for one year. That year turned into 15. I lived in LA and worked for Symantec for 13 of the 15 years I spent there. I took on various roles and ultimately became Vice-President of Customer Experience and Digital. I ran the company’s websites and customer experience.”
To build and grow a strong personal brand online the same applies. Share your opinions and expertise on platforms where you know your peers are, whether that be LinkedIn and Twitter or GitHub. Write blogs or opinion pieces when possible, share your successes and respond to others queries when the opportunity arises.
Interested in learning more about Aisling Hassell?
Read her Ardlinn Executive of the Month Q&A