OPINION: Divorce Your Personal Brand from that of Your Workplace

Ivan N Baliboola

By Ivan N Baliboola

A personal brand must be built, protected, and nurtured. It is what will always be there not your employer. Prepare for future remarriage with another brand. Few people stay with corporate brands for long today. Everyone is born with a personal brand but you must be intentional about creating a unique public perception. Be distinctive so you are not looked at only as the employer brand face but a fresh unique worthwhile professional.

Plan creatively and consistently how people will see you as a brand separate from your workplace one. Give your personal brand and work brand voices. Have you heard of people who keep pulling down previous posts and editing their work profiles frequently? It is high time professionals become serious about how they present themselves as brands. Some embassies now require visa applicants to share their social media details.

Divorce your workplace brand and improve your finances. If you have no reason to push your personal brand under a name, think about the gig economy opportunities. This side income can supplement your salary.

Yes, your employer sends you all smiles to the bank every month. What happens after the job is no more or when you have moved on to something else. Most people in branding, sales, marketing and PR departments struggle to draw a line. Their lives are built on corporate brands and it’s all they focus on. They think being brand custodians, it means you cannot have a personal stand-alone brand. If they ask you, who are you? Can you answer without dropping your workplace details?

Most Employees have quickly turned their personal social media accounts into their company notice boards with no moderation. They forget to profile their personal brands well to their target audiences. Separating a workplace brand from your personal brands is good for you. It shows some independence.It Makes people fall in love with you without liking your workplace first.

If competition hires you, are you going to undo interviews or social media posts you swore your former brand was the only deal. Push your workplace brands but don’t go to extremes. Fight to ensure you don’t fall into that trap

Social media is making separating corporate brands from personal brands so difficult. Professionals are lost into live tweeting and mix the two brands. If 100% of your daily posts are about the company you work for, you may have a problem. You may be confusing followers on your private account. Ideally your brand is in people’s faces which is good for your employer not you. People trust people more, so market yourself.

Go beyond disclaimers and create practical distinctions. Work speeches and social media must be different from personal ones. Don’t put your employer’s needs before your own. Do periodic audits on your personal brand to help you progress.

Consultants have no challenges with personal branding like full-time staff who may have conflict of interest agreements. Don’t fear to outshine your work brand. Balance the two brands. If possible, ask your employer to promote your personal brand. Personal branding allows you to show what matters to you passionately without confusion. You keep fresh in people’s mind and you come up every time they need your expertise not your company.

Think about the time you will not be with your current employer. Have your own identity. Practice how to “unlive” your past workplace. Don’t marry your brand but patronize it. If you are in communication, build and protect your workplace brand without loving it.

The writer is a PR and organizational Diagnosis Specialist


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