Make Your Mark

Design Your Personal Brand with Advice from Ellen Coaching
By Mikayla Mrochek

Know yourself. Be yourself. Brand yourself. The job market requires a certain personal flair and tenacity these days, but there is a way to make your mark visible and appealing while staying true to who you are, according to Madison area career coach and founder of Ellen Coaching, Ellen Bartkowiak.

Here are five tips to creating your personal brand:

  • First, know your values. Getting up to commute is almost never easy, but it’s especially difficult if your personal values aren’t aligning with the work you do. “When you are your ‘authentic self,’ your values match the values in your job and your work becomes effortless,” Bartkowiak says.
  • Explore your interests. Even if they seem out of place in, for example, an office. Bartkowiak maintains that your interests are what motivate you to get out of bed in the morning, so make the effort to integrate what you enjoy most into what also pays your bills.
  • Understand your personality. Ask yourself: “Are you an introvert or an extrovert, motivated to work in teams or by yourself, like the details or the big picture, like to work and then play or the opposite? How do you work the best? How do you bring out the best in you?”
  • Hone your skills. Everyone has them. So, practice them with pride! They may come as the result of experiences, or, as Bartkowiak explains, simply be innate.
  • Use your strengths. What comes naturally to you? Make that the part you lead off with in an interview, on the job or even in your personal life. Don’t be afraid to assert your natural abilities.

Bartkowiak says, “All these make you unique because of your experiences, talents and education—no matter where you are in your personal or professional career.” Let your uniqueness define you.

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