This is a guest post by Dr. Cindy McGovern
Do you show up for work, day after day, but save your enthusiasm for the weekends? You might do what you’re required to do, but that’s it. You don’t raise your hand in staff meetings. You don’t volunteer for projects that require extra effort. You don’t pitch great ideas to your boss. You don’t give 100%. Instead, you give as little as possible.
In short, you’ve checked out. In your head, you’ve resigned, but you’re still collecting a paycheck. There’s a name for this now, and it’s “quiet quitting”. I have another name for it, which is personal brand sabotage.
Maybe you’ve lost interest in your job, or you simply don’t like to work hard, and that’s fine with me if it’s fine with you. Be aware, however, that your lackluster behavior at work is creating a personal brand that screams “lazy, detached, not a team player, slacker, underachiever.”
When you do find a career opportunity that you can get excited about, who do you think is going to recommend you for the job? The supervisors and colleagues you’ve shortchanged with your do-the-minimum workstyle?
What you do today affects what you’ll get to do tomorrow. Limiting your effort at your current job will limit your opportunities to get a better one.
The good news is that there’s a tool you can use to repair the damage. It’s called a personal brand, and it can help you create a new reputation, leave a better impression, and present yourself to the world as a perfect fit for whatever it is you really want to do.
Most people think about selling themselves when they land a job interview, ask for a raise, or meet someone with the influence to help them get ahead. The reality is that we sell ourselves every single time we interact with anyone.
When you arrive to work on time every day and meet your deadlines, you sell yourself as reliable. When you contribute with enthusiasm to brainstorming sessions, you sell yourself as creative. When you pull your weight and then some on group projects, you sell yourself as a team player.
Even if you haven’t taken the time to create a personal brand and write it down, in this case, your personal brand would be seen as “reliable, creative, team player.”
Your personal brand is how others view you, based on your behavior, attitude, appearance, conversations, and statements.
When you scroll through social media all morning until someone gives you something else to do, you sell yourself as unambitious. When you start packing up to leave half an hour before quitting time, you sell yourself as uninterested in your work, your career, and your company’s well-being. When you do the bare minimum and leave the heavy lifting to your colleagues, you sell yourself as lazy and selfish.
In this case, your personal brand says, “I’ll be the first one on the list when the company starts furloughing employees.”
Is that what you want to sell? Is that the reputation you had hoped for? Is that the impression you intended to make?
Sell something different
Everyone has a personal brand, even those who have never identified their brand, believed they needed one or knew they had one. The way you present yourself at work and to the world becomes the personal brand that others think of when they think of you.
Start selling something different. Start selling yourself in a way that will lead others to talk about you the way you want them to when opportunity comes knocking.
Your best sales tool is your personal brand. Create a powerful personal brand by taking the time to consider what your goals are. Then, brand yourself as someone capable of achieving those goals.
Next, live that brand. Speak, act, dress and present yourself to the world as someone who has already achieved those goals and people will buy you as ready, willing, and able. Use that brand to sell yourself as the right person for the next big opportunity whenever it presents itself.
“Quiet quitting” is not the same as actually quitting your job. It’s more like quitting yourself and your future. If you want to rejoin and move forward, it’s not too late. Your powerful personal brand will help you regain control of your story and to live like everything you do and say matters.
Because it does matter.
About the Guest Post Author:
Dr. Cindy McGovern, bestselling author and former professor with a Ph.D. in Communication, is the author of SELL YOURSELF: How to Create, Live, and Sell a Powerful Personal Brand and is the founder of Orange Leaf Consulting, a business consulting firm. She is the creator of The Orange Leaf Academy and the author of the Wall Street Journal best-seller Every Job Is a Sales Job: How to Use the Art of Selling to Win at Work. Known as the First Lady of Sales, Dr. Cindy speaks about personal branding, sales and leadership topics all over the world.