How do you compete with a robot? How do you compete with Artificial Intelligence? Machines are faster than you. They can access and analyze more information than you. They don’t rest, lose focus or take a break. In principle you could expand a machine’s capability has much as you wanted, while your own abilities are limited by your body and finite brain.  So how do you compete with a machine? How do you compete with all the other people looking at the same job you are? The answer lies in understanding what’s special about you and how you can bring value to your company and its customers. In other words, we’re talking about getting very clear about your personal brand.

What is your personal brand? 

Because personal branding is often maligned, I’ll start by saying your personal brand is not a dishonest depiction of you. While your personal brand is critical to marketing you, it is not a marketing ploy to deceive or manipulate your customers. Your personal brand is a concise way for people to know you.

Your brand is a reflection of your personal values (what's important to you), purpose or passions, mission, vision, your personality, skills and talents. It's about how you make others feel as a result of working with you. Your brand is about your genuine self.

In other words, your personal brand is the many things people think of when they think of you. Personal branding pioneer William Arruda defined it succinctly as “your Unique Promise of Value.”

As you can see, while we often think about branding in terms of the outward messaging, before that can happen there is the work of deeply understanding what it is you are branding, in this case, yourself.  Who are you? What makes you special? What impact do you want to have on the world? What are your motivating and burnout skills?

Because you don’t see others and they see you, when developing your personal brand it can help to get feedback from others, especially others who see you in different contexts, from your family and friends to colleagues, managers, team members and customers. The 360⁰ Reach Personal Branding Assessment is a simply and affordable way to get this feedback. The feedback can tell you if you’re on track or not as well as provide you with insights you may not have had before.

“When you know and live your personal brand you are living in alignment with your values, talents and skills and your performance sky rockets as a result.”

If you want to build your personal brand on your own, this personal brand checklist will help you focus on the areas you need to get more clarity on.   

Personal Brand Checklist

  1. Values
  2. Vision
  3. Mission
  4. Purpose
  5. Motivating and Burnout Skills
  6. Unique Promise of Value

Your Personal Brand In the Age of Automation

“The key to successfully navigating this transition is more than simply learning new skills. It is knowing yourself and the unique value you have to offer any potential customer or employer. “

Understanding what makes you unique and the value you can bring to others is not enough. You need to further develop and deepen your expertise and uniqueness, help others to understand it and focus on living your brand, at home and work. Since your personal brand is who you really are, there is no separate work you and home you.  You are the same person, focused on different activities, where ever you are.

For the time being, machines are being build that focus deeply on one particular problem or service. Google’s AlphaGo® robot offers an example. It has a very limited purpose, to play the game Go. In 2016, AlphaGo beat that year’s world champion Go player, Lee Sedol. The original AlphaGo system was designed by Google’s DeepMind® division and was programmed with not only game rules but also human expert input of around thirty million moves. Reigning champ Sedol was only able to win a single game out of five against the robot, which could accurately anticipate his moves 57 percent of the time. And that was just the start.

What’s important to see is that the machine is learning to “think” more like a human. The answer for you is not to think and act more like a machine. It’s not to simply add more functionality to yourself.

“Machines are being developed to be more human. To compete you must better understand what it is to be human. What it is to be you. To stay relevant you have to be better at being human.”

Where Do We Go From Here?

When you live you personal brand in everything you do you will find that more of more of what you want comes your way. You know which jobs and clients to accept and which to decline.  The path from where you are to where you want to be becomes clear. You can just walk over what once seemed like blocks to your success.

Success through this transition is the essence of deep personal branding combined with business skills and discipline. This combination will enable you to develop a career management strategy that will help you navigate these changes and secure your financial future. 

What are you doing today that brings value to someone else's life?

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About the Author

Larry Boyer, CBE, ACC helps people and businesses prepare for the changing and evolving economy of the 21st Century. As a recognized leader in advanced analytics, finance & economics, future technologies and personal development he speaks, writes, coaches and consults on these topics and their impacts on businesses and people. His book The Robot In the Next Cubicle: What You Need to Know to Adapt and Succeed in the Automation Age is available for preorder.