7 Ways You’re Branding Yourself as Old

15 October, 2012

Old BrandI bet you wouldn’t introduce yourself as someone who is worn-out, irrelevant, stuck in your ways, inflexible and boring, would you? Yet this can easily be communicated by your out-of-date turn of phrase, dress sense, and believe it or not, punctuation.

Branding yourself professionally is by far one of the most important criteria for people to take you seriously. Age discrimination is reprehensible, and subtle as it may be, it exists.  In order to stay professional, you need to stay relevant.

Here are 7 ways you’re branding yourself as old. Recognise any of them?

1.     You talk about your experience

Long gone are the days when an amassed amount of years in any particular job was a positive. Now all it means is that you haven’t had the courage, talent or skill to do anything else. When speaking about what you’ve done, rather focus on specific and tangible achievements and accomplishments.

 2.     You have a shoddy on-line presence

You’re not familiar with the major social-media platforms out there and your representation on them is apologetic. Using the excuse that you don’t have the time – or aren’t technologically skilled – is a cop-out and is the most obvious way you give your age away. Get social. It’s not optional.

 3.     You’re still making your high-school English teacher happy

You pride yourself on good grammar and punctuation. We applaud you for that – after all, there’s nothing worse than bad spelling and lazy writing. But if you’re doggedly determined not to start a sentence with And, or if you insist on placing inverted commas around every title, you might be branding yourself as out of touch. Today’s accepted writing styles are speak-friendly, not text-book friendly.

 4.     You’re slow to adapt

Charles Darwin hit the nail on the head when he said that those least adaptable to change are the ones who struggle to survive. It goes without saying that we’re living in a world of phenomenal change and in order to stay relevant you must be willing to make peace with this environment. And then actively engage in it.

 5.     You’ve stopped learning

Around your mid-20’s you finished with your books and haven’t touched them since. You haven’t done any training, updated your skills or participated in any continuous professional development. You haven’t even heard the term.  You’re famous for the line “We’ve always done it this way.” A fundamental impulse of any sharp, savvy professional is a relentless desire to get better at what you do. Sharpen the saw and share what you’ve learnt.

6. You think innovation is for other people

You no longer have a desire to stand out from the crowd and are happy just being good at what you do. Good is no longer good enough. In order to be ageless in the marketplace you need to constantly create and innovate. Develop new products & services, new ways of doing things and craft a new way of being.

7. Your mojo is waning

It can be hard being in business, especially if you want to be exceptional. You need to have courage to face the rough stuff and be willing to call rubbish ‘rubbish’ when you see it.

Stay focused, keep your eye on the ball – and your customer – and you’re guaranteed to stay fresh.

Image: life123.com

Robyn Young - Personal Leadership Branding for Executives

About the Author

Robyn Young

As a personal leadership branding strategist, Robyn Young helps individuals identify and articulate their unique strengths, values and goals, empowering them to build an authentic personal brand that resonates with their stakeholders.

Robyn has a keen eye for aligning personal attributes with professional aspirations, helping her clients project a powerful and compelling image in their chosen field.