When is the last time you put some time and effort into rebranding how you are perceived in your work and personal worlds? If you’re a busy working parent just trying to put one foot in front of the other, probably not too much. Quite understandably.
Parenthood shifts so much about our lives, though. And I’m excited to bring a guest to you today on the Mindful Return blog, who makes the case that rebranding after becoming a parent is really important.
Nikki Adamson is the Founder and CEO of Hustle Hunters, a recruiting firm whose mission is to help early stage startups leverage flexibility and culture to attract/support/retain talent. Nikki is a working mama herself who recently had an “aha” moment about her own post-parenthood personal brand.
In case nobody told you yet today, you’re awesome. Just knowing that you’re working to advance your career while managing additions to your family is enough for me speak your awesomeness with confidence.
But let’s do a check-in. Are you speaking truth to your new awesomeness?
For example, how old is your LinkedIn picture?
I found myself waiting to take a new LinkedIn headshot until my body looked like it did before having my kid. One day, though, I woke up and realized that was never going to happen. And I didn’t feel like that same person anymore anyway.
I’ve grown so much in the past 5 years since I became a working parent. And I really need to be telling both myself and the world about today’s me – not the me of the past. In my world, that started with updating my profile picture on LinkedIn. Then it evolved into a “brand refresh” or “rebranding” in the stories I share about myself with the world.
Pandemic time feels slow and fast all at once. But it’s been nearly 3 years now since Covid arrived, and a lot has changed while we’ve been doing what we can to survive. We owe it to ourselves to at least update our stories, so the world can know us.
If we’re not telling the truth about our accomplishments and who we are, nobody will know anything about them. I learned this practice from Meredith Fineman of Brag Better (highly recommend).
But First… Branding: Who Are You Now?
Branding and messaging for Hustle Hunters as a business has been on my mind a lot lately. I was challenged recently by a panelist we hosted (view here) to think about our company’s internal talent brand, too. In other words, spend some time thinking about the tone/vibe/voice that best resonates with current team members and the folks we hope will join our team in the future.
Today, let’s all take a minute to treat ourselves to a personal brand refresh. Let’s be sure we’re telling today’s stories. Not those of us as a greener employee with less experience (both professionally and in life).
Do our colleagues see us as a previous version of ourselves, relegating tasks to us that don’t leverage our current skillsets? Are we coming up in the right promotion conversations, because leaders know us for today’s accomplishments? Or are they thinking back to past work only?
Here’s a link to Beyoncé’s Renaissance if you need inspiration for how important it is to keep updating our stories.
Rebranding Reflection Exercise
As you think about the brand that is uniquely you, it can be helpful to consider your various identities in defined categories. Keep Company is a community coaching program for caregivers that’s moving the needle in terms of how caregivers can find their footing in their new identities by focusing on 3 core facets: work, caregiving self, and personhood.
These categories really resonated with me. So often I identify strongly with my work self, or as mama to Izzy. But I forget to focus on that last category with as much fervor.
Take a minute to answer these questions and jot down a few things under each of these three categories:
- What’s something that used to be hard that is now easy for you?
- What’s something you’re proud of in this facet?
- What’s a goal you have for yourself in this facet of your life in the next 6 months?
- What’s a challenge you’re facing right now?
What’s Your Brand Voice? What’s the Tone and Vibe?
This should be consistent. As in, consistent to the point where if you cover up your face on a social post or even on a resumé, you’d still know it’s yours! **Cue the Cozy track here – this should feel authentically you.**
What’s Your Through-Line Message and Story?
Be prepared to answer this question: “What are 3 things I should know about you, to hype your work better?” (This is another Meredith Fineman gem).
Be sure to focus on where you’re going, not just where you’ve been. Remember: if we’re not actively sharing our update message of who we are today, nobody else will be doing it for us. **Now shift the track over to Alien Superstar.** You’ve got this!
New You – New Photo!
How long has it been since you updated your LinkedIn photo? Or treated yourself to a photo shoot that left you feeling amazing? We are finally shifting from stock over to the real us on the Hustle Hunters website and it feels so good every time I see us 🙂
My colleague Nicole is a beauty expert, and she walks us through how to take a professional-looking headshot with our own phones. Watch the video here (and while you’re at it – follow us on IG to see weekly tips)! **Pure/Honey’s got you on this one.**
Parenthood pushes us to grow in such amazing ways (the good kind of baby brain!). And we deserve to have the brand we show to the world reflect the new amazing us. Let the rebranding begin!
Cheers to ending this year with a refresh that is authentically you!
Nikki Adamson, Founder + CEO @ Hustle Hunters, Mama to Izzy. I’m Nikki (she/her) and I’m an entrepreneur, recruiter, competitor, equity advocate and mom. I currently run Hustle Hunters, a recruiting firm that has helped over 15 startups hire early team members with an equity-centered approach to building the right hiring foundation and building trust within historically excluded candidate communities.
Current Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to Company website: www.hustlehunters.com
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Want more practical tips on working parenthood? Check out my book, Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave