Yesterday I was lucky enough to hold a Webinar for ESADE Alumni entitled “Boost your personal brand in times of crisis”. It was a pleasure to be with more than 300 professionals from around the world interested in enhancing their personal brand.
It is evident that we are facing a crisis of great and unknown dimensions. No one knows how it will end, nor what will be its exact impact on the economy. However, it seems clear that the labor market is going to be very different from today. In this sense, I bet on a labor market in which:
- Unemployment levels will skyrocket. It is estimated that Spain will exceed 6 million unemployed in a few weeks. We will surely overcome those of the previous crisis (2008-2013). In addition, Social Security contributors will fall to very low levels.
- Increased job insecurity: contracts with low wages, high job instability, trial periods, abuse of temporary contracts …
- Greater outsourcing vs. insourcing: many companies will bet on having reduced staff, outsourcing as much as possible, incorporating few professionals … Light companies, with the minimum essential personnel and the rest outsourcing and subcontracting.
- Increased remote work: remote work is here to stay. Many companies and professionals are now aware that “face-to-face” is not so necessary and that many tasks can be performed perfectly from a distance.
- Greater globalization and importance of the online world: closely related to the previous point. This fact will cause you to have more and more competition with professionals in other parts of the world, with fees or production costs much lower than yours … And this greater globalization has to do with the great role of the online world. So, having a good knowledge of the online ecosystem and a good presence in it will be essential.
- Freelance revolution: it is a revolution that had already started slowly, but this Covid19 crisis will only accelerate it markedly. Many professionals, out of necessity or out of conviction, will bet on being self-employed, liberal professionals … in short, freelance professionals.
In this complex and competitive job market, personal branding will be more important than ever. So, you can take advantage of these days of confinement, I recommend 8 actions to enhance it.
- Get to know yourself better: illiteracy in the 21st century is not knowing how to read or write, but not knowing yourself. Most professionals have difficulties in knowing themselves well. In this sense, I recommend you identify your passions (those activities that you love to do, that give you energy, that you would do equally, even if you won the lottery …). I also recommend that you discover your talents (what you are good at, your areas of greatest potential …) and that you analyze your values, that is, what you really value, what is most important to you).
- Rethink your strategy: I dare to say that most professionals do not have a defined strategy. They are managing their carrer as opportunities, challenges appear … I think the current situation is a good time for you to rethink your strategy. Where do you want to be in 5-10 years? Can you make this vision concrete in concrete objectives? Can you define intermediate goals? In this sense, working well on your competitive advantage will be essential in the post-Covid job market19. Also think about whether you are going to specialize and / or differentiate yourself, because if not … you must compete on price (I do not recommend it!)
- Get trained: if you don’t train yourself, it’s because you don’t want to; you have no excuses. You have many channels in your hands to train and grow professionally. From business schools that are promoting online training and webinars, online platforms such as Coursera or many others, video channels such as YouTube or Vimeo, podcasts, Linkedin Learning, … Read books on topics that interest you. Never in history have you had so many possibilities to train, so cheap or free and within reach of a click.
- Redefine your message: think about your message. Many people make their CV or open profiles on social networks without being clear on what they want to share with others, what their message will be. I recommend that you define your message well: that it explain who you are, who you want to help, how you are going to do it, why they should trust you … ¿Do you give it a spin?
- Update your Resume: it is true that the CV is no longer as essential tool as before, but it is still very useful. Update your template (currently there are many modern and practical options), update your latest professional challenges, describe each professional experience by explaining it briefly, add your achievements, improve the photo …
- Boost your networking: even though most of us cannot leave home, it is a good time to network. Contact other professionals, update your network, share a conversation with them, identify potential clients, potential distributors …
- Create your personal website: one of the main personal brand tools. Reserve your domain, use free or cheap platforms (such as Blogger or WordPress …) ask specialized professionals for help, start with your blog … Your personal website should be the central element of your personal online brand.
- Check your social networks: surely you have outdated profiles. You may also have a network that you do not use. Good time to clean up. Select few networks and go deep with them. Improve your profile, update your photo, learn better how the network in question works, contact interesting professionals … And above all, learn and try to stay up to date. The online environment is constantly changing.
In short, a post-covid19 situation that is going to be very complex, a very precarious and competitive labor market. Take advantage of this situation to prepare yourself and to develop your personal brand. When this happens… you will need the best version of your personal brand!