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Personal Branding: The Key to Thrive in Today’s Marketplace

Today’s employees need to manage their own careers and proactively seek resources such as coaching to achieve desirable outcomes. Personal branding is a strong component of this process, and one that promotes employability and self-confidence.

Workplaces have down-sized, wages and salaries have been frozen, training has been cut, and company revenues have softened. The one thing that has increased during this chaotic period is the feeling of job insecurity. It is common in a downturn for employees to merely “survive” the times and wait it out until things get better. However, if one wants to create or strengthen a personal brand in order to make themselves more valuable to an employer, surviving is no longer an option. One needs to “thrive”.

In the course of conducting benchmarking studies of leading organizations like Crestline Hotels & Resorts, Sun International and Papa Gino’s in the U.S., 20|20 Assessment™ has had the opportunity to study the attitudes, knowledge and skill sets of employees who are “thriving” during these tight economic times versus those who are merely surviving. The major differentiators were:

  • Ambition to exceed goals;
  • Passion for their role;
  • Sense of Attachment to their employer;
  • Initiative for self development.

The answer to most barriers and developmental issues lie within the individual. Some individuals have a tendency to overcomplicate issues and resist change. They believe that aspects of their personality are hardwired and therefore cannot change. Also, many newcomers and even established professionals get stuck in their past – who they once were, what people told them about themselves – an unfortunately they limit what they can do in the present and the future.

Here, 20|20 Assessment™ shares some practical tips to conquer these challenging economic times. These suggestions may easily improve personal effectiveness and career opportunities, while simultaneously reduce job stress.

  1. Replace Feelings of Job Insecurity with Constructive Action
    Job stress and insecurity sap energy and productivity, taints one’s cognitive ability and immobilizes ambition. One of the best ways to overcome a sense of job insecurity is to replace it with constructive action. Immersing oneself in the development and implementation of an Action Plan that advances their career will promote feelings of empowerment and a sense of control over circumstances. Of course, the first step in Action Planning is to learn one’s strengths and growth opportunities.
  2. Diagnose Your Skills
    Research shows that people often make inaccurate self-assessments. By using a modern, evidence-based approach to assess competencies one can see where improvements should be made and what assets could be better leveraged. The key is to utilize a “skill”-based assessment to strengthen the personal brand at work. While personality-based assessments can help to explain an individual’s broad, personal preferences, skill-based assessments are better at diagnosing behavior and predicting work performance. When one is looking to “thrive” in the workplace, they need to identify the skills that are needed to strengthen and leverage in order to accelerate their career.
  3. Increase Employability
    The global economic situation is an opportunity to transform an individual’s personal brand. When an employer begins to hire talent on a larger scale, one cannot afford to sit back and relax in the face of new internal competition. One needs to distinguish themselves from the pack.

    Education is one of the basic pillars to building skills. After evaluating one’s skills, determine what education would be of greatest value. Be strategic and choose educational resources that best fit the individual situation. In order to advance a career with an employer that hires from specific academic institutions, one may want to consider taking accredited courses from those targeted schools. Check with employers about any online courses that address skill gaps or support the envisioned career path. If an employer is not offering wage/salary increases, one may be able to negotiate that the costs of specific academic courses are covered by the company on achievement of specific performance outcomes.

    Personal branding is about how you present yourself to and how you are perceived by your employer. The greater the uncertainty among employers as to the levels and types of jobs they may have in the future, the greater the need for one to build new or strengthen existing relationships within the company. Identify the most pressing problems being faced by your employer. Once these have been identified, volunteer to contribute your skills by taking on additional assignments or mentoring others. One needs to exploit their assets, and market them to others within the organization in order to stand out. The aim is to show senior management that your skills are transferable to areas outside your own role.
  4. Effective Coaching Produces Bankable Results
    The greatest obstacle to enhancing your personal brand is ‘you’. Each one of us holds our career in our hands and what we do with it is our conscious decision. Effective coaching can help align personal skill sets with the needs of an organization. Consider a couple of reasons why effective coaching can be a superior differentiating factor in helping you “thrive”:
  • Efficiency
    You can struggle through problems and challenges, eventually finding solutions that work, learning the hard way. Or you can work your way to success by obtaining guidance from an expert. A great coach can help you discover the shortcuts and learn important lessons without the pain and suffering. Great coaches have seen it all before and will offer recipes for success on how to tackle problems that often confound others. There is something powerful about having best practices at hand. That is what effective coaching does. It shows you that there is a way to get from where you are right now, to where you really want to be. Knowing that the possibility to reach one's objectives is real is the defining difference.

  • Motivation
    Most people perform better when they are held accountable. That is one of the perks of working with a good coach. S/he can provide you with positive information that will motivate you and can challenge you to succeed; making sure you profit the most from your skills and talent. Coaching can provide you with a way to navigate these tough economic times while simultaneously providing you with a series of additional advantages.

Effective personal branding is a systematic and strategic process that comprises four primary steps:

  1. Commit to a constructive Action Plan;
  2. Diagnose your strengths and development areas with a standardized skills assessment;
  3. Educate yourself in accordance with the needs of your employer and the market;
  4. Follow through on the Action Plan with the assistance of a coach or mentor whom you respect.

Your career can be anything you want it to be. Don’t put yourself in the trap of seeing only one way up the ladder; the ladder doesn’t exist anymore. Instead, concentrate on showing your progression. How you’ve expanded your reach. How you’ve grown your business knowledge and professional expertise. Know what you are working for and stay true to it. Review this regularly. People change. So will you. It’s how you build your brand.

About HVS Executive Search
HVS Executive Search is the premier executive search and advisory firm providing consulting services to leaders of the hotel, restaurant, retail, gaming and real estate industries. Practice areas include senior-level executive search, mid-management recruitment, compensation consulting, governance counseling and performance development through 20|20 Assessment™. 20|20 Assessment™ is the scientific leader in performance management for the service-hospitality industry. Our leading-edge and online tools, resources and services provide clients with an integrated, turnkey solution for the three secrets to sustained business success: Talent Management, Outcome Measures and Coaching and Professional Development initiatives. HVS delivers highly customized solutions by focusing on the needs of our clients and bottom line results. Our professionals are located in New York, London, Hong Kong, Moscow, Mumbai and New Delhi and give the firm worldwide exposure our clients demand.

About HVS
HVS is the world’s leading consulting and services organization focused on the hotel, restaurant, shared ownership, gaming, and leisure industries. Established in 1980, the company performs more than 2,000 assignments per year for virtually every major industry participant. HVS principals are regarded as the leading professionals in their respective regions of the globe. We are client driven, entrepreneurial, and dedicated to providing the best advice and services in a timely and cost-efficient manner. Through a worldwide network of 30 offices staffed by 400 seasoned industry professionals, HVS provides an unparalleled range of complementary services for the hospitality industry. For further information regarding our expertise and specifics about our services, please visit


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