While your personal brand is important for your career success and personal fulfillment, the brand of the company you work for is also important. How do these two things tie together? Some might think that they conflict, but they can actually enhance one another.
Companies that help employees identify what makes them unique and apply that to their current job typically have happier and more engaged workers. When that organization also knows its authentic brand, too, that’s when alignment happens.
However, it’s possible for problems when your personal brand and company brand don’t align.
When brands don’t match
Perhaps your personal brand is a bit too eccentric for the company brand. Maybe you’re branding yourself as a social media expert when, at work, you’re actually an accountant. Here are a few possible conflicts and suggestions about what to do when they occur:
- Your brand isn’t aligned with the company’s. This can be a tricky situation because you don’t want to do anything that may jeopardize your current job; however, you should be true to your personal brand that you’ve created for yourself. As long as your brand doesn’t clash with the company’s (think values and mission, among other things) then it should be okay that the two aren’t perfectly aligned. However, it will probably benefit you (and your company) to keep your manager or superior in the loop, just to be safe. Simply tell them that your personal brand outside of work differs from your brand on the job, but you will ensure that they are kept separate to avoid conflicts.
- Your brand is completely different from your current job. Although this isn’t ideal, it happens to a lot of individuals. Sometimes you’re trying to build yourself up in a space for a career transition, and sometimes your outside interests are just completely different than your day job. Either way, it’s probably best to keep the two separate to avoid confusion. Perhaps, one day, the personal brand you’ve been creating for yourself will end up being your job!
Companies are still navigating the world of personal branding. While problems will probably happen, they can be avoided by clear communication and separation of your work life and outside brand.
Have you experienced any problems between your personal brand and the company’s? What did you do about it?
Heather R. Huhman is a career expert, experienced hiring manager, and founder & president of Come Recommended, a content marketing consultancy for organizations with products that target job seekers and/or employers. She is also the author of #ENTRYLEVELtweet: Taking Your Career from Classroom to Cubicle (2010) and writes career and recruiting advice for numerous outlets.