“The future of Africa is in the hands of young people. Young people need to be aware that personal and workplace development skills are critical for them to become competitive and dynamic as the world evolves. Personal development makes one competitive.”
Kevins Randiek is the founder and director of Brand K Integrated Marketing and Communication Ltd in Nairobi, Kenya. This YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa alum started the organization to foster his creativity and make his own career decisions. He states: “Previously, I was working at the Nation Media Group, which was then the largest and leading media house in this side of East Africa. I used the experience I learned in my role to model what I do today. I wanted to build something of my own, something that would set me free and enable me to live life to its full potential. Brand K Communications has enabled me to explore and tap into a side of me that I never knew existed.”
When considering new employees to join his organization, Kevins looks for strong personal development skills. Strengthening one’s personal brand can improve developmental skills such as self-confidence, work ethic and leadership. Kevins offers advice on how to take the first steps to build your personal brand:
Personal branding is all about control of your destiny. It means creating options. I urge young people to ask themselves these questions:
1. What are you passionate about?
Passion translates into a personal brand. Define your passions and connect them to the brand you want to create.
2. Who inspires you?
You could align your brand to personalities that inspire you, like Nelson Mandela.
3. How do you describe yourself?
Describe your strengths and weaknesses to help you become self-aware about your character.
4. What do you stand for? If I ask five people what they know about you, would they say the same thing?
This is an excellent way of defining one’s professional character. How people see you defines the career opportunities that you will seek and be referred to. One could build on this through virtual description exercises or creating a profile on a professional website like LinkedIn.
5. How can you offer value?
Determine how much effort you are willing to put into building your brand. If you are strengthening your personal brand for the workplace, ask yourself questions from a hiring manager’s perspective. Why should you be hired or promoted? What type of career would you love to build?
In addition to answering those questions, attempt to:
6. Build your social capital.
You can build relationships by volunteering with initiatives that you are passionate about.
(Not sure where to start? Download the YALIServes Toolkit to plan your next community service event with your network.)
7. Take advantage of online resources.
Take YALI Network online courses, use LinkedIn to enhance your brand profile, join Twitter and Facebook chats, and watch webinars.
(Check out this Facebook #YALICHAT wrap-up on Personal Branding 101.)
You can connect with Kevins on social media: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn at @kevinsrandiek.
Are you interested in building your leadership skills? Visit our YALIProfessionals page for more tools and resources to advance your career.
The views and opinions expressed here belong to the author or interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of the YALI Network or the U.S. government.