I was recently having a conversation with one of my most respected professional female colleagues – let’s call her “Amanda” – when she said: “Don’t dress for the job you have. Dress for the job you want.”
Amanda is currently the Special Products and Innovations Director for a fast growing, billion-dollar, international franchise company. Before that, she was an Account Director at one of the biggest global agencies in the world. And before that, she was an Associate Brand Manager for one of the world’s largest lifestyle brands.
She’s also 28 years old.
And let me be clear: she didn’t get to where she is based on her affinity for J.Crew and cute shoes.
Make no mistake: Amanda ascended the corporate ladder based on her tenacity, work ethic and her hard-earned experience and education. But Amanda was also savvy enough to realize at a young enough age that how she showed up to work, be it aesthetically, socially or energetically, could (and would) have a huge impact on her career. She realized it was her responsibility to create the life and career she wanted, and that it didn’t begin and end with what was on her resume. It needed to come from within her heart, and she infused into every aspect of her life.
Because every woman is a brand.
When you step out into the world each day to “make your mark,” are you wearing yesterday’s laundry or a well-made dress that makes you feel confident and empowered? On that same note (and more importantly), while the handbag you bring into your next meeting might indeed look good and feel even better to hold, are you a bringing a positive spirit and a collaborative attitude in as well?
Your brand isn’t solely developed at the office. Let’s talk about your social and cultural brand. Do you give back to your community or spend time working with a charity, and if so, what does that organization say about you? Speaking of which, what do the five closest people in your life say about you? You are a reflection of the company you keep.
The music you listen to, the home you live in, the places you travel, the blogs you read, the color of your nails, the cocktail you religiously order, your favorite workouts, your favorite magazines, the people you call your advisors, mentors and friends… they are all a reflection and extension of your personal brand.
I point this out NOT to make you hyper self-conscious to every little detail in your day-to-day existence. (Yuck, how miserable would that be!?) I point this out to simply make you aware. And to encourage you to OWN IT. To embrace it. To amplify it. To Simply Be it.
Being your own brand is a choice. It’s also a gift. A gift that no one else in the world gets to hold, cherish and shape besides you. This gift is the bedrock of your career path, whether you’re an Entrepreneurial Babe or a Corporate Rock Star.
So now it’s your turn: Describe your personal brand. How are you living it, being it and owning it? Share your thoughts in the comments below. I’ll respond to every one of them….
With massive love,