From the time you leave your home, consider that you are being auditioned for the job you are seeking. Your personal brand starts to get its early morning workout when you cross the threshold of your door.
How coherent is your personal brand promise, given what you actually deliver?
The person you brushed by without apology, your sitting steadfastly on the train when an elderly person could have used your seat, the meager tip you left at the diner: that is your real personal brand.
Your prickly reaction when you make a mistake, the indifference you show the speaker when you talk during a presentation, the lack of planning that leaves you to blow a deadline: that is your real personal brand.
Without thinking too much, pick just one:
1. Would you rather be right?
2. Would you rather be loved?
3. Would you rather be the best?
If you would rather be any of these, given who you really are, consider what you must do to change from the inside out.
It’s not just that your future boss or client may be sitting on the train or glance by your check and change at the diner booth: it’s that you are going to be you in every situation that lasts longer than a first job interview. Anything you want is yours to lose or win.
There is no magic threshold. You can’t suddenly become a better person because now it’s work and not home, or it’s work and not friendship. You are who you are with a very thin layer of veneer to chip and reveal your real personal brand.
Stop with the cheap disguises. Stop telling yourself that you deserved the job. That your co-workers are wrong. That you could do so much better if you owned the business instead of doing your job.
In the USA, we are heading toward the day we celebrate as Independence Day. Make this more than a vacation day. Figure out what you want to shake off – what chip on your shoulder you’d like independence from.
Let the July 4th fireworks be a metaphor for your breaking through your dark side and lighting up the world.