Why Creating and Managing your Personal Brand is Important for your Nursing Career
This might seem like it doesn't make sense, but stay with me. Think about some of the biggest companies in the world like Google or HP. It doesn't even have to be a well known company, it could just be a mom and pop operation. What are the feelings and emotions that come from it? When you think about any company and the product they produce whether we know it or not those companies or products evoke an emotion in us. Maybe you are standing in a store aisle about to buy a trash bag. You are staring at that generic brand that they advertised as really strong, but have torn on you before and left a big mess on your floor. You remember how upset you were when you had to clean up that mess. Maybe it’s another brand that you used a couple weeks ago that you were still amazed that it didn’t tear when you filled it as much as you could and then started sticking old metal hangers in it, and miraculously it didn’t break. These experiences and the emotions they create affect your actions for the next time you have to make a purchase.
Those feelings you have a lot of time is dictated by the company. Their advertisements, their good deeds, the quality of their products, all of those things affect your perception of them. Companies spend a lot of time, money and resources on controlling those feelings. Your thoughts about a company, their logo and their product is called “Brand Management.” Companies that fail to build and manage their brand can struggle especially in environments where consumers have options.
You are probably wondering what does this have to do with anything nursing related. It’s amazing to me how very little we can think of our own personal brand at times. Even though there is a “shortage” of nurses that doesn’t mean that we should burn bridges or come to work with poor attitude, feeling entitled. Those poor behaviors tarnish your brand and could potentially keep you from getting positions and the paychecks you are seeking. As professional nurses we must build our personal brand and then manage that brand. We must take heed to avoid activities that negatively impact our brand. When it comes to putting the right people in the right positions I promise there are plenty of nursing hiring managers that would rather work short or not promote someone then to hire someone with the reputation of having a less than stellar personality or work ethic. This is compounded if you work in a particular niche of health care. Even in bigger cities, nurses tend to know other nurses. Interestingly reputation tends to travel with you. For various reasons nurses tend to move in and out of leadership. You never know when the nurse that you worked with will be the nurse that is interviewing you for a job or getting a phone call asking about your character.
It would be awesome if we never had a bad day or was never tempted to over react to someone in a less than flattering manner. I’m not perfect, you are not perfect...nobody is perfect. Unfortunately we are going to have those unflattering days or moments but we should constantly strive to be about our brand the way those companies are about theirs. Ultimately that perception can affect your money.
If you would like to learn how to create a personal brand for your nursing career read the blog post "How to Create a Personal Nurse Brand."
Have you met somewhere you knew that cared or did not care about their brand...what did you think of them?
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