In today’s turbulent economy, personal branding can make a difference in whether someone has job offers on the table after a layoff or consolidation, said Grace Killelea, vice president, talent and leadership initiatives, Comcast, at SCTE’s Conference on Broadband Learning and Development yesterday.

But don’t worry, the luncheon keynote speaker did not suggest a uniquely created tattoo (unless, of course, you really want one). Instead, she spoke of branding as it relates to reputation and perception.

“Each of us is the CEO of our own career,” she said. “We are responsible for how we are viewed in an organization. You can be good at what you do, but if you don’t have a strong personal brand, it doesn’t matter. Companies are consolidating; jobs are shifting. You really have to rely on your network. Who do you know? How are you viewed in the industry?”??

Care what others think

Do you always end up in voice mail, or do people answer your calls? Are you excluded from important meetings on a regular basis? Do you show up for meetings energized and positive or doing the “sigh of death?” The answers to these questions could give an indication of your reputation, Killelea said.

Not to fear if you don’t like your responses – luckily, unlike inked body parts, this kind of branding can be managed and changed.

Become known as someone who follows through with projects as managers care less about where employees went to school and more about what they’ve done on the job. “If you are not going to get it done, hold your self accountable,” Killelea said. Be of service, volunteer, offer to be a speaker, write articles, she added.

But make sure the brand you create is consistent. Don’t change even if your boss does. And be authentic. “This is how I show up,” Killelea said. “The fact is, when I walk into a room, I am a big … woman. This is the first thing people see.” Her motto is, “If you can’t hide it, decorate it.”

Who you know

Hand in hand with creating a positive personal brand is professional networking. “You do not have to like the people in your network,” she said. “(I call it) the godfather method. Someday I will come to you and need a favor. What can I do for you today? There is an exchange of power and information.”

Be sure not to just give, but also to get back. “Sometimes you have to ask for what you want,” she said. “Instead of getting frustrated and waiting until you are angry or upset, ask for things on the front end,” she added, noting that you might not get to go to a conference or a meeting unless you speak up.

Her last piece of advice? Be resilient, not resistant, especially with the roller coaster ride that is the industry right now. “If your region is consolidating and your boss is changing, the best thing to do is be your best self,” Killelea said.

“Resilience is not always having the answer, but knowing how to get it.”

-Monta Monaco Hernon

The Daily

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