This time of year, we are inundated with messages about new year’s resolutions. If it’s time to start a new diet, get in shape, call that loved one, or reset in other ways… by all means, please do so. But is there one important one you might not have considered? I’m talking about your brand: your personal, professional, and business brand. We all have a brand whether we are actively managing it or not, and the wrong brand can greatly hinder our progress (and our health).

So, how do you know if it’s time to revamp your brand? Here are three signs to watch out for:

The way people introduce you doesn’t match what you want to be known for

Has anyone ever introduced you as the best person at [insert skill here], and you were left scratching your head as to how you became so strongly associated with that? Maybe you are good at that skill, but it’s not exactly what you want to be known for — and you certainly don’t want to invite more of it. A leader of a former department I worked in one said “I see her role as a reporting role.” Anyone who knows me knows I am not a numbers person, so while I may have been able to pull together good reports, I hated doing it! I had a brand problem. If this sounds familiar, remember that people can’t read your mind. If you do a lot of things that showcase a certain skill, you’re going to be known for that skill and be asked to do more of it.

You seem to be included on all the “wrong” emails and meetings

Do you find that you’re often copied on emails for a different job function than the one you want to be known for? This can happen sometimes if, for example, you’ve been asked to do a favor that was outside of your job scope, and did a really good job at it (ever heard the saying “no good deed goes unpunished?”). The next thing you know, you get asked to do more and more of it, until you wake up one day and realize that makes up more of your job than your actual job does. Houston, we have a brand problem! If you’re included on meetings and emails that don’t match the brand you want, it’s time to start communicating your strengths and interests more overtly: volunteer to help out a colleague on an interesting project, mentor someone, invite a colleague to lunch and share your interests with each other, or try job crafting!

You’re just plain burned out

Burnout can occur when you have to do something stressful or frustrating for prolonged periods of time. Why does this burn us out? Because we hate doing it and it drains our energy to muster the strength to carry on. Before you know it, your proverbial candle is burned out and you’re wondering where you can find more “matches”… in fact, you may not even remember what a “match” is for you. When I teach seminars on brand (you can watch one online here), I point out the difference between strengths and skills. Strengths are — wait for it — what strengthen you. Skills are what you’re good at doing, and if you hate doing that skill, then you are slowly weakened more and more every time you do it. Which would you rather be known for (and be asked to do more of)? That which builds you up, or that which tears you down?

I hope these signs that it’s time to revamp your brand sparked some creative thinking about how to experience less burnout in the new year. If you’d like some help exploring your brand, please don’t hesitate to contact me. I’d love to help!

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