We all hit moments within our career when we need to evolve. We’re either seeking deeper personal fulfillment or we want to shift, scale, or sustain our business. It’s that moment when you realize your personal brand isn’t you anymore.
It takes a lot of work to build a solid reputation so letting go or making changes can be really challenging. But the rewards are well worth it. Let’s explore how to identify when it’s time to make a change and the steps you should take to evolve your personal brand to better represent the authentic you!
How to Identify When it’s Time to Evolve
If you’re feeling less enthusiastic about work or asking, “How do I grow in my career or where do I go from here?” it’s likely you are feeling stagnant with where you are. Growth is one of the 6 human needs (along with connection, variety, significance, certainty, and contribution). So, if you’re feeling stagnant, it’s time to shake things up.
Here are some other surefire signs it’s time to make a change:
- You find you’re daydreaming about being somewhere else or doing something else.
- You feel like the work you’re doing is mundane and without a purpose.
- You’re bored at your job or with what you’re offering.
- You no longer feel joy in what you’re doing.
- Minor irritations become major problems.
We all experience slumps in our careers. That’s why it’s so important to distinguish between a slump and something more. If any of these resonated with you, it’s time to harness the courage to make real changes.
Remember Your Personal Self Provides Fuel for Your Professional Self
Our personal and professional selves are intricately weaved together to form who we are and how we present ourselves to the world. Your personal self is the fabric of your being. It is the fuel for your professional self and personal brand.
Anytime we embark on change, we need to check-in. Self-reflect. Look at where you are to discover where you want to be. Be kind to yourself and remember, you’ve spent a lot of time and energy to get where you are now. Change takes courage and they call them growing pains for a reason. Reinvention is not an overnight fix.
Be intentional with how you want to evolve. Ask yourself how you can layer onto the foundation and skillset you currently have. This is the time to look within so that you can get clear on what your new short-term and long-term goals are.
Uplevel Your Skill Set
The saying, “always be a student,” is oh so true. When we stop learning we stop growing. Upleveling a skillset will also help to refill your cup when it’s feeling empty. This includes soft skills and hard skills. Soft skills include things like adaptability, communication, problem-solving, and leadership. A Global Talent Trends study showed that 92% of respondents valued soft skills equally to technical skills.
Look for online classes that fill in the gaps or move you closer toward your goals. There are so many incredible courses led by dynamic instructors for you to explore on LinkedIn Learning. Once you complete a LinkedIn learning course you will get a certificate of completion, which is a great asset for your evolving personal brand, LinkedIn profile, and resume.
Up until now, we’ve talked a lot about the behind-the-scenes stuff to reinventing yourself. Now’s the time to let your audience in – take your audience and your community along the journey. Share your story of how you came to this point of transition, what your next steps are, and why you came to this decision. This will ease the transition to finding your next job, expanding your existing job, or beginning your life as an entrepreneur.
No one likes feeling vulnerable. But it’s so liberating when we allow ourselves to be.
This is one of my absolute favorite quotes that inspires me in times of need.
Update Your Personal Brand Identity
Finally, as you evolve be sure to update your personal brand identity and digital assets. Your personal brand is your signature or calling card. It needs to be consistent both online and offline. As you begin to redevelop, think about your brand aesthetics, how you will blend where you’ve been with where you’re going, and how you want to present yourself to the world.
Depending on how far you pivot will determine how much work needs to be done. Here are just a few of the often-overlooked areas to update as you evolve.
- Brand aesthetic. This is your logo, color palette, font, tagline, and graphics. Your aesthetic is how you will be perceived. For example, the colors you choose will impact how you are perceived.
- LinkedIn profile. Begin with your LinkedIn profile then use that information to build out your other social platforms. Spend a dedicated amount of time validating the shift you’re making into your new line of work.
- Your bio. Create a consistent bio that you can use with all your digital assets – social media, websites, etc. Show the connection, share the story of your journey, and give your audience a sneak-peak at who you are as a person and what you have to offer them.
- Email signature. People often forget about their email signature. At the very least, your email signature should include who you are, your company name if you’re a business owner, what you’re known for, and how to learn more about you or connect with you. Notice that your job title isn’t on this list. It’s more important to tell people what you’re known for over a somewhat arbitrary job title.
Re-introduce yourself when the time is right. Validate your worth within this introduction by combining your past and present experiences.
Here are some important elements to consider:
- Your unique selling proposition (USP). Why should someone pick you over your competition? If you know your target and really understand your audience’s pain points, developing your USP won’t be that difficult. Your personal history should be woven into the fabric of your USP. Make it memorable, tangible, and audience-focused.
- Manage your narrative. Draw conclusions for your audience, don’t let them guess. This lets you control your narrative. Focus on the value your past experiences bring to your new endeavor.
- Make your reintroduction. The truth is that most of your contacts have an outdated version of you in their heads already. Use this reintroduction to reconnect with your network. Do this after you’ve updated all your digital assets. Connect personally over coffee or by phone with those in your network that will potentially be key players in helping you succeed.
- Show the world you’re worth. Use social media, blogs, and articles to prove your value. Content writing should inform or entertain. Quickly establish yourself as an expert by helping your audience solve their problems. Be consistent and stay on brand – your new personal brand.
Most importantly, if you’re ready to make a change because your brand doesn’t fit anymore, don’t wait. Start the inner work and begin to make the changes presented here. Developing your personal brand takes work – especially when you’re reinventing yourself. But in the long run, you’ll be happy you put in the effort.
And remember, the more authentic you are within this transition the more fulfillment it will bring!
Ready for a deeper dive into Personal Branding, I got you covered!
Click here to check out my top-performing Linkedin Learning course, “Learning Personal Branding”