Individuals are increasingly taking the initiative to create their own personal "brand" in order to enhance employment prospects and remain competitive in the fast-changing workplace, according to the latest survey results from workforce solutions provider Kelly Services.
The findings are part of the Kelly Global Workforce Index, which obtained the views of approximately 134,000 people in 29 countries across North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific.
"In taking control of their careers, a strong personal brand becomes critical for individuals in helping to differentiate themselves and gain future employment," says Kelly Services Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, George Corona. "Many people are now embracing the idea of operating as 'free agents,' and accepting responsibility for managing their own careers and enhancing their marketability."
When it comes to marketing their personal attributes, across the globe the survey revealed all respondents worldwide identify verbal communication skills (64%) as the most important element to creating a personal brand, followed by technical knowledge (61%), résumés (57%), written communications (54%), personal attire (47%), and use of social media (36%).
People are also willing to invest in improving their skills or change careers. In fact, approximately two-thirds of respondents are willing to spend their own money to upgrade their skills, while more than half believe they will change their careers or re-invent themselves in the future.
Across Asia, 72% of Gen X cite verbal communication skills among the most important element in personal branding, compared with baby boomers (70%), and Gen Y (68%).
Most of the Gen X (75%) would be prepared to spend their own money on training to upgrade their skills, higher than for Gen Y (71%) and baby boomers (69%).
The study also finds that 66% of Asia's Gen X expect to have to change their career at some stage in the future, slightly higher than for baby boomers (64%) and Gen Y (63%).
More than half of the Gen Y (63%) are "very optimistic" about their ability to keep pace with technological and other change in the workplace, higher than for Gen X (61%) and baby boomers (53%).
The study says that 26% are "very active" and 35% "somewhat active" in their use of social media for personal marketing.
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