Posts with category - Personal Branding

Are You An Intrapreneur?

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I’ve always been the type of person who feels the need to push the boundaries of innovation, especially when it comes to using technology to enhance whatever role I happen to be in at that particular time.

This is one reason I tend to get bored quickly with whatever position I’ve occupied a company, whether it was technical writing or instructional design. These are great fields in which to have a career, and they do allow for a degree of creativity, especially instructional design. However, that’s not enough for me.

I’ve come to realize that I have more of an intrapreneurial spirit.

What is an intrapreneur?
Investopedia.com defines it as “an inside entrepreneur, or an entrepreneur within a large firm, who uses entrepreneurial skills without incurring the risks associated with those activities.” Entrepreneurs create and lead new businesses, intrapreneurs create and lead new innovations, products, services, etc. inside a company.

This is so me! I love being assigned to special tasks or projects and develop them as if I was an entrepreneur. This is one of the reasons I’m embracing my new role leading research and development in the ed-tech company for which I work.

So What Does This Mean?
I get to use the company’s resources and capabilities to research and develop tools, and technological advances, then help turn them into a profitable solutions for the company. How cool is that? I feel as though I was made for this role!

Many times being an intrapreneur will provide you with greater job satisfaction. Think about it, you’re not only able to maximize the use of your creativity, but it generally means taking on the role of a leader. This allows you to actually make a meaningful impact in the company as well as build your credibility as an industry expert.

Is This An Option For You?
Being an intrapreneur could be the best option for you if you’re the type of person who continually feels the need to do something different. It’s a role that lets you embrace your passion for whatever it is that you want to do. For me, that’s education technology. For you it could be library science or marketing.

I get to use my natural curiosity and communications skills to satisfy my urge to do something different and control my own career. Plus, I can do it without worrying about making a huge career change.

Companies Need Intrapreneurs
We take the initiative and use our entrepreneurial spirit to help build the company’s competitive solutions through innovation and our out-of-the-box thinking.

This makes us some of the company’s most valuable employees, which can only improve our job security and hopefully improve our earnings potential.

What about you?
Are you bored or unsatisfied in your current role, but still like the company you’re working for? Do you feel there’s an opportunity for you to be an Intrapreneur within your company?

I’d love to read what you think about intrapreneurship.

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4 Tips For Improving Your Personal Brand at Work

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Image courtesy of iStockphoto.com

Have you ever worked with people who just didn’t give a damn about their personal brand and how they’re perceived at work? I mean they really think it’s OK to do things like hangout on Facebook all day, surf the Internet, or work on their personal pet projects. I once worked with a guy who did things just like this.

He would show up late to work, take naps in conference rooms, surf the Internet all day, making a ton of Facebook posts during work hours, and even work on personal research projects, sometimes all day. He argued that he wasn’t given enough work or responsibility to keep him busy throughout he day. He refused to reflect a positive personal brand and just did his own thing. When he was eventually fired, he actually had the nerve to feel as though he’s been wronged. Do you hear that big CLANG sound? Yeah, that’s the sound of his brass cojones smashing together.

Branding isn’t just a term that applies to marketing, it applies to employees just as much as it applies to a company. In fact, one could argue that by maintaining high standards in our personal brand, we can help increase the overall brand reputation of the company. Just ask Jeff Bezos and Tony Hsieh, the CEOs of Amazon and Zappos respectively. Both of their brands were built on excellent customer service.

OK, so here are four things you can do to reflect a positive, personal brand at work:

  1. Take responsibility for your actions, and above all else hold yourself accountable for your day-to-day performance. You never know when someone is using you as the measuring stick for their behavior, work ethic, or performance.
  2. Be authentic. As workplaces evolve from communication silos into more transparent enterprises, it’s essential that you communicate the real you in a way that makes your brand shine. People will know when you’re being fake.
  3. Be careful who you associate yourself with. In many companies there are naysayers and “lifers” who’ve just given up and settled in their positions. They’re usually the pessimists who rarely have anything positive to say. Do you really want to be associated with that person? Or how about the people who constantly goof off and rush to complete tasks at the least minute? Associate yourself with positive influences and even become one yourself. As companies evolve from being silos, negative influencers will eventually be weeded out.
  4. Be in Intrapreneur, someone who constantly seeks new opportunities to help your team or the company as a whole. Write proposals for new processes, software that will help your job, or even new business. Just make sure that the things you propose will help the company save money or improve efficiency.

We reflect our personal brands from the moment we search for a job. Our resumes and LinkedIn profiles are visual representations of our personal brand, as are recommendations and personnel evaluations. Good or poor performance can not only affect our brand at the company we currently with, but when we apply for other jobs, or even freelance gigs. I mean who recommends a poor brand, especially if it’s something they’ve tried and it left a bad taste in their mouth? So, take the time to invest in your personal brand; be the example of what your fellow employees want to aspire to, and the type of employee companies want to have lead their brand.

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