Whether you’re looking for a retirement gig or have just been promoted to the C-Suite, personal branding is critical. You’ll have more clout.
Clout, in turn, allows you to be influential, indispensable, and, most importantly, joyful at work. But personal branding is subtle, and it varies depending on your career stage and generation.
I’ve seen a lot lately about older people’s professional prospects, problems, and opportunities. According to Coming Back: How to Get the Job You Want When You’ve Lost the Job You Need, by Fawn Germer, the regulations changed for middle-aged people.
We saw our parents start careers and gain respect, money, and opportunities as they grew older. Since we’ve been around the longest, many of us get paid the most, but management knows that younger, less expensive staff can deliver more because they’re tech-savvy and up on trends.
It’s up to us to re-educate and re-brand. The bad news is it takes work. The good news is it’s not that difficult.
The Truth About Age
So how can this age group keep their brand traits fresh, compelling, influential, and in demand in this new all-digital work world?
Begin with the truth.
Personal branding is always honest, not self-promotional. Oftentimes, personal branding doesn’t come naturally to many 50+ individuals — they aren’t used to advertising themselves, says Wendy Marx, author of Thriving at 50+ and personal branding coach. Credentials and experience, they think, speak for themselves.
Firstly, personal branding is not the same thing as bragging. Your brand can be authentic while being approachable and engaging.
The five steps listed below will help you highlight your unique selling points. Additionally, you can demonstrate your knowledge and radiate true confidence while removing perceived barriers.
Branding…and Some More Truthtelling
Yes, we know that age discrimination exists in recruiting and promotion.
Similarly, we also know that focusing on how unfair the workplace can be to those over 50 puts them at a disadvantage. “On the back foot,” which comes from cricket, is to place weight on your rear foot when playing defense. However, that won’t work in a career or anywhere else.
Instead, be optimistic and put your best foot forward. These messages should be your mantras:
- Extensive expertise sets you apart.
- Years of expertise in your life offer an edge over newer professionals.
- Your self-assurance and confidence help you deal with change.
- You have a history of providing outstanding results.
- Success is your standard motif.
1. Develop digital skills.
If you’re over 50, you weren’t born with keyboards that opened up the globe. Every employee, regardless of role, function, or age, must be internet knowledgeable and digitally fit. Digital awareness is required for jobs in market research, customer support, and sales. “Employers need to know you’re as technically skilled as someone 20 years younger,” says Resume.io. Include the latest tools and platforms in your CV to demonstrate your knowledge. According to The Knowledge Academy, it can take as little as ten days to learn a new technical skill!
2. Make a strong first branding impression.
Of course, modern-day first impressions are formed online. People that wish to check you out will use Google…and Google knows who you are. People who check out your online ID will want to meet you if you’re vibrant, innovative, confident, and engaged. Start with your LinkedIn “About” page because it will be read the most. Boost your reputation and likeability.
3. Be socially (and branding) aware.
Social media is one way to show your digital fitness. Pretend for a moment that you can develop a formidable online social media presence in just nine minutes each day if you commit regularly. And you don’t have to be on Instagram, Tik Tok, LinkedIn, SlideShare, YouTube, or Facebook. Target your target audience on LinkedIn (the most effective professional social network) and one additional tool.
4. Produce and publish high-quality videos.
You’ll be doing a lot of video interviews if you’re job hunting. The interview itself is an opportunity to demonstrate your familiarity with the most common type of commercial communication. However, with video, you will stand out in all the right ways. Asynchronous video (Webex, Google Hangouts) and synchronous video (Zoom meetings) are opportunities to demonstrate thought leadership. Publish video messages you sent to people on your team, clients, etc. People who have video meetings frequently aren’t very good at it.
5. Nothing succeeds like branding success.
Success is a state of mind. It comes with age. That is the branding strategy for more mature people. To quote Shakespeare: Ripeness is all. Or Lord Nelson: Never give up the ship. Experience trumps intelligence. Additionally, a retentive memory is a gold mine for strategy. In conclusion, think of the mindset of being 50+ as a career asset. Use these tactics to make your brand all about one thing: you provide something unique and valuable.