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How to Build Your Personal Brand


A personal brand isn’t just for business owners and entrepreneurs. If you don’t know much about marketing and casually found your way into your current role, you may not know what personal branding is, why it’s necessary, or how it can help. defines personal branding as the practice of creating a brand around a person rather than a business entity. Personal branding furthers people’s careers by positioning them as an industry expert. By developing a personal brand, a person can grow their social following to secure a better job, sell more products in their business, and increase better opportunities in their career.

Success in personal branding doesn’t happen overnight and doesn’t come easy. And if your company isn’t discussing professional development or prioritizing community involvement, you won’t feel the support or incentive to create a plan for yourself. So let us share a few tips on building your personal brand to achieve your personal and professional goals efficiently.

Define Your Goals and Audience

First- think about what you want to get out of building a personal brand. As a first step, define your personal and professional goals and think about connecting with the people who can help you reach those goals. How do you want a stranger to view you? What about your coworkers and your community? What do they need to see or hear from you to help you reach your goals? And how often do they need to hear from you? These are the types of questions you must ask yourself (and answer) as a first step to building your personal brand.

Stop and Evaluate Your Current Status

Now that you understand what you want (or don’t want) be strategic and think about where you are now. Take an assessment of where you are in your personal and professional life. What’s happening that is positive and or negative? Are you generally disorganized? Do you need to take some professional courses to update your skill level? Being honest about where you are can be a little painful, but it will help you be realistic about what you actually need to do to get where you want to go.

Networking is Key

social-media-applications-on-phone When you build a strong personal brand, you need to connect with others on a more intimate level. Closeness to other industry professionals and thought-leaders benefits you professionally as you navigate a job search or switch career paths, but it can also improve your daily confidence and authenticity. Get comfortable with reaching out to people. You can do this by finding a mentor, joining professional organizations like the Chamber of Commerce, or joining local volunteer groups. Take this time to open yourself up to online networking as well.

Grow Your Online Presence

Online platforms like LinkedIn are free opportunities to build your personal brand from your laptop or phone. You can quickly broaden your network when you join professional groups online and connect with others within your industry. In a post-covid world, this is big for college graduates

Search for a job title similar to yours and look at what those professionals are doing. Are they connected to other networking groups? Think about joining. Look at their expertise and track the types of Continuing Education courses they have taken in the past. Consider revisiting your online profiles as well- do you have a professional photo or an old, outdated image? Update and clear out old and irrelevant information and untag yourself from unflattering or unprofessional pictures and past events. Please clean it up!

Quick Tip: 99% of professionals should invest in taking professional photos at least once. Not only will it help your online visibility, but you will always have professional photos on-hand in case you have to conduct a presentation or lead an important meeting.

Execute Your Personal Brand Strategy

Once you understand what a personal brand is, how do you execute your brand strategy? After some self-evaluation and planning, it’s time to put your freshly developed brand to use. Begin by finding people you can connect with and resources that are readily available. Get out there and exemplify your personal brand everywhere you go.

Through this process – and as you climb up the ladder – you will eventually start shifting toward becoming a legacy leader. A legacy leader is more than just being a “great” leader; a legacy leader is an emotionally intelligent, visionary thinker, and a demonstrative investor in people. A legacy leader leaves behind an “enduring quality” that generations will remember forever.


Building a personal brand and becoming a legacy leader takes time. But taking steps to get started today will be an investment in your future self.

Just Graduate? Here’s What to Do Next (In a Post-COVID 19 World)

If you or someone you loved just graduated in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, this one’s for you.

This May’s college and high school graduates are headed into the worst job market since the Great Depression. It’s an anxious, uncertain, frustrating time.

First, take the time to grieve. You likely didn’t have the graduation ceremony or celebration you expected. Maybe you didn’t have time to say goodbye to friends before quarantining. There’s a lot going on, and a milestone has been abruptly interrupted so take space to process that.

More, now than ever, you’ll have to be (and remain) flexible. Be open to the possibilities tangibly related to your major and past experiences, rather than focusing on one industry or one career path. Look at other lines of work, consider applying what you know already in a new way and use your foundation to expand.

Also, know that your school and your support system has your back – so use them! Reach out to your school’s career center or advisors and look into the tools available to sort through feelings, reactions and next steps. The people around you can help you build a game plan, including some Plan Bs and Plan Cs, so you feel confident moving forward amidst the uncertainty. Some of your community may even know of current opportunities, so don’t be shy in asking around.

You can also use this time to learn new skills, expand your professional development and make new connections. A company or organization may not have any jobs available, but you can still reach out for informational interviews to learn more about someone’s position and even ask how their company is handling the pandemic. Being curious is always a good thing, and networking now may help you out in the long run.

Yes, life is always unpredictable but this is an entirely new reality we have to face. Stay grounded, open and creative as you navigate this next chapter post-graduation.

Photo Courtesy of JD Photography

Do You Know Your Personality Strength? Take the Assessment with HRinMotion!

Self-awareness is crucial to career development and team culture. Understanding how you operate, recognizing what gets your gears turning and learning how you really handle conflict can significantly improve how you work with colleagues and handle situations.

Sure, you may already have an inherent idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are. But taking a personality test (in an unbiased way) opens your eyes to a fresh perspective and sheds light on qualities you haven’t found the words to describe and maybe even qualities you’ve denied having. It’s pretty enlightening.

There are myriad assessments out there: Enneagram, Myers-Briggs, the 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire. The list goes on and on.

Our favorite? The DISC assessment. Developed by psychologist William Moulton Marston, this “test” examines how an individual ranks in the four areas of behavior – Dominance, Influence, Steadiness and Conscientiousness.

Organizations that utilize DISC benefit from improved communication, more effective meetings, less conflict, more collaboration, greater productivity, and better results. Whether you’re looking to learn more about yourself or develop leaders or work on conflict management, DISC can be incredibly useful.

When it comes to hiring for your business, personality tests are essential to understanding fit. These assessments won’t glean significant insight into quality of work or job performance, but they will show work ethic and strengths, as well as challenges and fears.

It could help with what team an employee is placed on based on leadership or how you approach the onboarding process. If you find they’re a social butterfly, it could help determine where their desk is placed to ensure a conducive and effective work environment – in this case, probably not next to the kitchen.

Now, we want to be clear: The DISC and other personality assessments don’t offer a full representation in understanding a potential or current employee. There are many nuances to consider that come with being human, but it’s a good place to start.HRinMotion can help you integrate DISC assessments into your HR processes.

Should Your Company Continue to Work From Home?

As states begin to open back up and relax regulations around stay-at-home orders due to the coronavirus, many business owners are wondering what the right balance is for themselves and how to approach their own reopening plans.

There is a big chance that COVID-19 will change the future of work. Let’s face it, many people are used to working from home now that they’ve been forced to do it for the past two months — all the while finding how to remain productive, effective and communicative with their teams. There’s also a chance that people almost prefer it now.

It may be time to relax your work from home (WFH) policies. This pandemic is an uncertain, unfamiliar and anxiety-inducing situation — and many people are still weary about heading back into “normal life” too soon. These next few months will require important decisions around:

  • How you distribute information, and what it says about what you’re doing to handle and consider the situation
  • What new measures you’re implementing to ensure the health and safety of employees
  • How you express empathy and understanding for those who are concerned or just not ready to return back to the office yet

As you consider all the options, take the time to evaluate how things are currently going as everyone is working from home. If your team continues this rhythm, are there systems or procedures you could revise? Could you collect everyone’s input on what has and hasn’t worked best for them throughout the past few months? Maybe think about “lessons learned” and apply them to implement a more flexible, but more productive WFH set up for the next few months or a year until things are stable.

Although it depends on your industry, your business will survive if you continue to work from home. There may be a few things to adjust and innovate around, but if you make the effort and make intentional decisions around what is best for your company and employees, everyone can remain safe and healthy.

Unemployment Insurance 101

As nearly 30 million Americans filed for unemployment due to lost jobs or reduced hours amid the coronavirus, many HR departments are in an unfamiliar spot. But this is exactly the kind of situation when unemployment insurance is your saving grace.

When a business is forced to shut their doors for any reason, unemployment insurance provides temporary financial stability for workers (former employees) who no longer have an income. The program also helps to stimulate the economy during a downturn or recession when the unemployment rate typically rises.

This federally mandated and regulated program has been around for a while, but is managed state by state. For example, some states allow eligible recipients to collect benefits for 26 weeks while others allow for 12 weeks. We recommend you dive into your state’s requirements, eligibility and payment amounts to know more.

How does Unemployment Insurance affect you, as an employer?
If your business has employees (from 1 to 100), you are required to pay into your state’s and the federal and state unemployment insurance programs. If you hire independent contractors, this is only applicable for W-2 employees, not 1099. These unemployment insurance taxes fund the pot, so to speak.

How does Unemployment Insurance affect your employees?
Employees do not pay unemployment taxes; It is only the responsibility of the employer. If an employee becomes unemployed and is eligible, they should apply for benefits through their state as soon as possible — but that must be done on their own volition. An employee can only collect unemployment benefits if they are out of work through no fault of their own.

Most of the time, this is a straightforward process for employers and employees alike. However, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, the entire program has been flipped upside down. The newly enacted CARES Act, a $2 trillion relief package, extends the duration of unemployment insurance benefits by 13 weeks and increased payments by $600 per week through July 31, 2020.

Regardless of how dire the situation may be, unemployment insurance protects employees when they can’t make ends meet. And employers do their part to make sure the economy and families remain strong.

Efficient Processes Keep this Millennial Happy – Meet Kristi Sellers

NAME: Kristi Sellers

JOB/ PROFESSION: Statistician

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Forensic Crime Scene Investigation and a minor in Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness from Virginia Commonwealth University and a Master of Social Work degree from Temple University. I currently work in regulations with the federal government.

Millennial (born between 1980 – 1994)

My current experience in the workforce is great, especially when you have the support of management. I have been in positions where I was not supported by management. There was also a lack of training and room for growth within the agency. However, now I have all three, which has helped make my experience more positive.

I love the flexibility of my current position. As a millennial, we value work, but also personal time to travel and spend time with family and friends. The flexibility of telework and alternative work schedules give me that ability.

“Buy-In” is the biggest challenge with being a millennial. Getting Gen X and Baby Boomers to buy into new ways of operating.

Managers and CEO’s can energize their employees by being open to new ideas and ways of doing things. As a millennial, we believe in working smarter, not harder.

I show up for my team by being a team player. I am always willing to step in and help co-workers and management when necessary. I also show up by consistently bringing new ideas to the table and revamping procedures to make processes more efficient and effective.

To be in a management level position and start a new side business in real estate.

A legacy leader is not simply someone who is in a managerial or supervisory position, but someone who has positively influenced the agency or organization so that processes run smoothly and efficiently. A legacy leader not only ensures that the mission of the agency/organization is fulfilled, but also ensures that staff has the resources to complete tasks, creates opportunities for advancement and provides flexibility and appropriate compensation. A legacy leader is one whose influence and institutional knowledge remains with agency/organization even after they are gone.


HRINMOTION, LLC Q&A FEATURE: Gen Xer’s Have the Ability to Bridge Workplace Gaps – Meet Patricia Thompson

NAME: Patricia Thompson

JOB/ PROFESSION: Director, Human Resources

I've been in the HR field for over 15 years primarily working in the hospitality industry and for a short period of time in Operations.   During my career I've had several roles ranging from HR Business Partner, Manager up to Director.  My experience encompasses all aspects of HR to include traditional HR responsibilities such as handling FMLA and Workman's Compensation Claims, Performance Improvement/Management, Personal Development, Recruiting, Hiring and Retention, Employment Law, Conducting Investigations, Team Member Relations and Strategic Planning in support of long and short-term business needs. I hold a Master’s Degree in Christian Studies and a Bachelors in Business Administration with a concentration in Management.

I have the distinct pleasure of spearheading the “Gen X” generation demographic – at least according to most charts.

My experience has been overall very rewarding.  The opportunity to impact the lives of others in an honest and professional way gives me great satisfaction.  As an HR professional one of the most important qualities in my opinion is consistency, confidentiality and building trust with your clients and the people you support.   This can be challenging at times when the "business needs" appear to disregard the "needs" of the employees.  However, keeping a level head and balancing the people and business aspect is key during these times.   Over the span of my career I've witnessed unfair treatment of employees in the workforce particularly for promotions and growth opportunities.   Those are the moments when I rely on my faith and integrity to always do the 'right thing' whether my opinion and recommendations are accepted or not.

Over the years I've found it very gratifying to be in a position to impact those employees who may be challenged in certain areas and after coaching and mentoring seeing them flourish and go forward successfully.

I actually believe that my generational demographic (Gen X) provides me with a unique opportunity to swing between the Boomers and the Gen Xer's.   In addition, because my adult children are all millennials, I have a knack for appreciating the wit, quick-thinking and advanced technological abilities of this demographic which I actually view as an asset more than challenge.  However, if I had to decide on a challenge, it would probably be more on the side of trying to better understand and then positively influence the younger millennial who may not always appreciate or respect the wisdom and experience that can be obtained from a Boomer or Gen Xer.  On the same token I think the Boomers can use some assistance in bridging the gap between themselves and the millennial.  At times being a Gen-Xer can feel like being trapped between the two sides.

Hands down, I believe the best way to energize employees is through trust, recognition and respect.

I show up by being a team player operating in honesty and integrity everyday with the utmost respect and professionalism.  Always being open to new ideas and opportunities.

At this stage of my career I would welcome an opportunity to lead an HR team for a few years and then groom the next great leader.

A legacy leader leads by example with confidence and tenacity.  Always empowering, mentoring and keeping a keen eye on the next person to fill his or her shoes.

Legacy-Leaders Feature: A World-Changer with a Heart for the Community – Meet Kristin Shymoniak

NAME: Kristin Shymoniak

JOB/ PROFESSION: Student Support Coordinator

A native of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, Kristin Shymoniak is currently a Student Support Coordinator and Commissioner on the Mayor’s Commission on African American affairs. Kristin has dedicated her life to serving her community. Some of her community activism efforts include being a board member for Black Millennials 4 Flint, a grassroots civil-rights and environmental justice organization; the Darrelle Revis Foundation, a non-profit striving to end childhood hunger; and being a D.C. Commissioner on Mayor Bowser’s Commission on African American Affairs. In addition to being a community leader, Kristin is an educational advocate. She received her Master’s degree in Special Education with a specialization in autism from the University of Pittsburgh. She is currently a Student Support Coordinator in Arlington, Virginia. Kristin is the 2017 AASA and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Women in School Leadership Award recipient and 2019 National Urban League Emerging Leaders Fellow. Kristin is a world changer and has a heart for the community and future generations

Millennial (born between 1980 – 1994)

It has been a great learning experience. I have had the opportunity to work with a variety of elementary-age children with varying needs. I have also had the opportunity to use my position as an educator to cultivate and plant seeds in my student’s lives. While as a student support Coordinator, I have the opportunity to work closely with families and help them understand and become comfortable with the special education process.

I love working with families and seeing parents’ eyes light up when we share their child’s strengths and abilities with them. Often times in special education, a student’s weaknesses are the topic of conversation which can be very discouraging to parents and teams. When we share what a child is capable of accomplishing, it creates a more positive narrative.

The stigma of the title! lol Everyone thinks that we (millennials) possess a sense of entitlement and are lazy. It is offensive to me when someone makes those generalizations. I think with every generation, you have the good and the bad apples. I’d like to consider myself one those good apples that defy that stigma.

– Be present and listen
– Provide incentives to let them know they are valued
– Create opportunities for growth

I make it a priority to be accessible to my teams, allowing them to feel comfortable to approach me with questions or concerns. I try to help my team come to their own solutions using cognitive coaching so that they do not become dependent on me to provide them with solutions. I also provide reinforcement as much as possible to let the team know they are seen, heard, and appreciated.

I plan to work in educational policy or civil rights one day. My passion has always been to advocate for those that are marginalized and in turn teaching them how to advocate for themselves.

To me, to be a Legacy-Leader means to create positive change and power that transcends generations and grows exponentially. Being a Legacy-Leader means being eternal and being that catalyst that helped create legends.

IG: Shyshowbob_
Facebook: Kristin Shymoniak
Twitter: shyshowbob_

Setting Business Goals for 2020: Where to Start

What’s your vision for 2020?

You already set new year resolutions for your personal life, so why not do it for your professional life as well? Since the new year is rapidly approaching, it’s time to create a roadmap for 2020 and create goals that set you and your company up for success.

As a small business owner, here are a few areas to focus on as you set goals for the year ahead:

2) Consider your employees and office culture: Since you’re focused on the bigger picture, take a step back and think about how those working around you are doing. Keeping employees fulfilled is not only important to the bottom line, but it also affects office morale. Set up 1-on-1 meetings to ask what changes they wish to see or look back to staff surveys you’ve conducted. Maybe 2020 will bring new job titles, a more lively office culture or updates to human resource processes. Perhaps there’s an opportunity to offer more flexible hours — it is the way of the future after all.

3) Hone in on your audience:Since you’ll want to set goals that focus on business metrics like revenue and retention, you’ll need to look hard at your customer base — both existing and prospective people that are the bread and butter to your business. When you’ve taken the time to understand your customers better, you can revise your strategies around marketing efforts and sales tactics in the new year.

Once you’ve looked at these three distinct areas and figured out what you’d like to revise, you’ll be much more informed to set realistic goals. Hint: We advise using the S.M.A.R.T system to fine-tune your strategy and trajectory.

One way to hold yourself accountable? Tell people! Share your goals with colleagues, family members, a mentor and tell them to check in every once in a while to see where you’re at and what your next steps are. You’ll thank yourself later.

What to Wear on Your First Day at a New Job

Just like the first day of school, the first day at a new job can be exciting and a little nerve-racking. Maintaining your self-proclaimed “efficiency in Excel” or thinking about the commute is usually at the forefront of your mind, but what you wear is a key detail to successfully stepping into your new career. Here are some tips on what to wear on your first day at a new job:

The Basics
Wearing “Business Casual” attire is always your best bet when starting a new job. Even if the office is more casual (jeans and a t-shirt) or traditional business (suits and high heels), you will fit right in between the mix with a business casual choice. Once you’re clear on the company culture overall, you can adjust your attire, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Secretly you get a small pass on wardrobe as no one expects you to know exactly what to do on your first day anyway.

BEWARE: Even in business casual attire, you can make the mistake of wearing something too tight that can either be unflattering or show a bit too much. When in doubt, go with loose and comfy clothing and do the “fingertip” test (then add 2 more inches) for skirts.

Follow the Clues for Cues
A little tip – if you read this article BEFORE you start your first day and you have a chance to do a “second interview” or somehow get into the office before your official first day, pay attention to what other employees are wearing and model their attire.

A Staple Piece
Business casual is safe but, do not be afraid to add your own flair and “brighten up” your look. A great necklace or piece of jewelry is always a good way to make your first-day outfit “your own”. It’s been said that a unique piece of jewelry, shoes or accessory is always a great conversation starter. If you want to really show off, you can throw the colors of the company into your color/ clothing options.

It’s All in the Details

Fashion Stylist Natalie Sexton says, “Remember that details matter, and it’s often the simple things that pull your look together: a fresh haircut, manicured nails, and a classic makeup look”. We completely agree! Neatness, cleanliness, and tailoring can take your look to the next level and it’s an easy way to show your commitment and desire to represent the company well– even when you’re out of the office on business travel or at a networking event. Your appearance could be the difference between you getting a promotion!

Ultimately, the clothes really do make the man or woman. Fashion guru and life coach Mary Patterson always says, “ Dress how you want to be addressed!”. To many employers, your appearance translates to how you’ll perform in that role. It is also an indicator of how you will represent the company when you are out of the office. If you’re a manager with aspirations to become a CEO, get into the habit of dressing like a CEO now.

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