March #SciCommChall: PERSONAL BRANDING STATEMENT

March’s SciCommChall is brought to us by Alice! She writes:

You know what I love about being a Science Communicator and presenting my work? It’s a time and place I know where I can be my own enthusiastic self and show all my love for my research. I love to talk about the reasons for what I do. People pick up my enthusiasm and they connect to my reasons and all of a sudden they understand why I do what I do. As Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr. once said, “It‘s faith in something and enthusiasm for something that makes a life worth living.”

Thinking about what makes you so enthusiastic about your work is the first step towards personal branding.

Lots of people have prejudices against the concept of personal branding. We associate stars or companies with the concept and think that we, as scientists, employees or communicators, don’t need to think about our personal brand.

But really a personal brand is more a statement of who you are and what you bring to the table. Knowing your personal branding statement will help you stay committed and motivated. It’s something unique for yourself and therefore needs to be developed, maintained, and protected.

So the march SciCommChallenge is all about discovering your own personal brand. Try this exercise to find your personal branding statement:

  1. Write down three words you’d use to describe yourself. Take your time and be honest.
  2. Find someone you trust (your partner or a friend) and ask them to describe you in three words. Compare the lists and see what they have in common.
  3. List your core competencies. What are your unique skills and talents that are valuable to others? What accomplishments and experiences define you? Include awards, degrees, and promotions.
  4. List your goals. What do you want to accomplish this year, this decade?
  5. Write out your (core) values.
  6. Create your own personal branding statement. This is a two-sentence description of who you are and what you can contribute. Don’t rush it, composing this statement is not an easy thing to do. Once you’re satisfied, stick it somewhere you’ll see it every day. It’s good affirmation.