Personal Brand: Show Up at Work Like You Give a Shit

By Rebecca Layton Gunter


Overheard at Sisarina, “Griffin, your personal brand is bringing me down, dude.”

Do you have a job? Do you go to it? How are you showing up there?

Recently Melanie Spring told us all about “What’s Brand Got to Do With It,” and we listened. It’s every interaction, every touchpoint, every feeling that people get when they interact with your company.

Well, what’s a Personal Brand, then?

If you have a business — or work for one  — you may not be thinking about your personal brand. Or, if you’re like me, you may have been hiding behind other brands to shy away from putting yourself out there. (I had multiple twitter accounts, none of them my own name.)

If “branding is a feeling,” your personal brand is all about how people feel around you. Always “just a little” late? (Frustrated!) Turn your work in ahead of schedule? (Yay!) Lazy about checking your work? (Disappointed!) Show up to a staff meeting with doughnuts? (Excited!) Constantly needing to be redirected? (Tedious!) Biting off bigger and bigger chunks of responsibility? (Kick Ass!)

A personal brand is paramount to your success in your job and in your life. If your behavior over time triggers more eye rolls than high fives, it’s time to reevaluate.

People with strong personal brands are promoted, evangelized, and engaged. People with weak personal brands are often the first to be let go. Your personal brand is how “all the feels” show up in your professional and personal relationships, and it’s something that you can control.

  • Do: stay consistent.
    If no one knows who is going to show up today  — Manic Margaret or Depressed Darren  — it weakens your personal brand.
  • Do Not: turn in shitty, unchecked work.
    If no one trusts your work will be polished, you’ll be trusted with less of it. When you have less work, your paycheck is harder to justify.
  • Do: remember that the Boss is the Boss is the Boss.
    If you have a reputation for being sullen and confrontational, the Boss will start manifesting your replacement.
  • Do Not: say “that’s not my job.”
    Take out the trash, do the dishes, make copies, order lunch. Many hands make light work.
  • Do: take pride in your dress and your deliverables.
    Show up like you give a shit, do amazing work, and maintain a positive attitude.
  • Do Not: let your personal brand bring people down.
    (I’m looking at you, Griffin!)

How have you evolved your Personal Brand? Tell us your brand stories at @sisarina and in the Brands That Rock Facebook group.