Have you resolved to find a new job, grow your practice, or position yourself for the C-Suite in 2015? If so, the first step in achieving career success is aligning your personal brand with your professional goals.

At Pegues Branding Group, LLC, we believe personal branding is strategically leveraging your skills, values and other inherent qualities to distinguish yourself and to ultimately accomplish your goals. When properly aligned with your professional endeavors, your personal brand will help you garner the attention and advocacy of brand champions who are committed to your success.

Personal brand awareness

As a professional on the move, you probably recognize the need to think, dress and otherwise conduct yourself in a manner befitting the career that you aspire to have, particularly during the “traditional workday”. But consider the extent to which a global workplace, telecommuting and social media have blurred the lines between your personal and professional lives. While 24-hour access creates limitless business development opportunities, it also requires greater personal brand awareness.

The actions, attitudes and beliefs that you attribute to your work-related success must manifest themselves in the persona that you project outside of the office. So if you work a crowd with precision, ease and confidence during weekly networking events, tap your inner master prospector during next weekend’s family reunion. And if you are a skilled presenter who captivates audiences with your thought leadership and authentic storytelling, create an opportunity to share your brilliance with the PTA and other organizations outside of work.

A state of mind

As “Think and Grow Rich” author Napoleon Hill explained, “Wishing will not bring riches. But desiring riches with a state of mind that becomes an obsession, then planning definite ways and means to acquire riches … will bring riches.” Your personal brand awareness is, on some level, the state of mind that Hill describes in his 1937 bestseller.

Additional Career Success Tips

Define your professional goals

Write a letter to yourself, dated January 1, 2016, congratulating you and your team for the specific, measurable business priorities that you accomplished in 2015. Be sure to include the strategic and tactical measures taken to reach your objectives. Seal the letter and keep it in a safe place until next year.

Perfect your story

Take inventory of your personal brand assets and learn to authentically communicate your value to potential employers, prospective clients and centers of influence. Update your resume and social media pages (including your photos) to reflect a consistent image.

Engage centers of influence (CIs)

Look through your CIs’ LinkedIn connections. Identify individuals who may be a potential prospect, mentor, strategic partner or hiring manager. Send the names and titles of the professionals you would like to meet to the appropriate CI, and request a 30-minute meeting to discuss facilitating an introduction.