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3 Tips On Developing Your Personal Brand

"How can we synthesize the world’s view of standing out with that of the Church? Regardless of what you do, you are a unique person with unique talents and ideas to share. So it is a good idea to focus a little bit on the practical side of 'personal branding.'" 

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The Catholic professional knows he is called to be different. In using our talents within our own respective industries, we are called to proclaim the Gospel in all our words and deeds. That requires also being the best at what we do, especially within our respective professions. As Pope St. John Paul II writes in Christifideles Laici (here),The lay faithful must accomplish their work with professional competence, with human honesty, and with a Christian spirit, and especially as a way of their own sanctification”. 

So, how can this truth align with the civic idea of “being different”? How can we synthesize the world’s view of standing out with that of the Church? Regardless of what you do, you are a unique person with unique talents and ideas to share. So it is a good idea to focus a little bit on the practical side of “personal branding.” 

But what is personal branding? It can be defined as cultivating a professional image that truthfully and distinctly reflects who you are, your values, and that makes you memorable. How you dress, how you behave, what your values are – these are all elements of your “brand” which should reflect individuality and the Christian spirit. It should inspire others to leap into action or to be inspired to change or make change.

1. Dress The Part

One of the first rules of being a professional is to dress like a professional. First impressions can make all the difference in how people perceive you and how your relationships take form. Dressing well on a daily basis shows respect for others; it shows that you take your responsibilities seriously and that you care about the people with whom you are working. If you put some effort into dressing well, people will remember you and respect you.

2. Create Your Elevator Pitch

Yes, having your own elevator pitch is a crucial aspect of branding. Why? Because it shows you know who you are, what you do, and what you have to offer and that you can articulate all these points succinctly. Being able to have a brief (about 30 seconds), value-filled summary of your professional experiences, highlighting your best skills, is a valuable asset – especially since many don’t have one ready!

3. Network And Get Involved!

Most of us are familiar with throwing out job applications left and right and hoping something sticks. Yet what’s often overlooked is the simple (though time-consuming) practice of reaching out to people, i.e. networking.

With tools like LinkedIn and Indeed which make job applications faster, it’s easy to forget that reaching out to people directly can make a stronger impression. It makes you noticeable. It shows confidence. It shows persistence, effort, and tenacity. These are quality traits to differentiate you and add to your personal brand. 

Also, take advantage of new opportunities. Volunteering, doing pro-bono work, starting a website or blog, building a portfolio of work that you can share and show – these will all help set you apart! Whatever your industry, you have something to share and plenty to learn. So, take advantage of that and get involved wherever you can to both grow and get engaged! 

These are some basic tips on getting started. Remember, being a professional is about cultivating not just your look but more importantly your character. Use these 3 starter tips to get you on your way to developing your personal brand as a professional.

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