Article by Maria Papazoglou published in Alternative Action in November 2022.

In recent years we often hear the term Personal Branding. But what is personal branding and who does it concern? According to Career Coach Maria Papazoglou, the issue does not only concern professionals who “sell” themselves, but every professional or employee who wants to perceive and define the image that others have of them.

Maria Papazoglou regularly organizes online and in-person Personal Branding seminars and on the occasion of the next one that will take place on November 25, 2022, we asked her the following questions.

Ms Papazoglou, you are a distinguished Career Coach. Can you briefly explain what Career Coaching is and who it is aimed at?

Career coaching is the “ally” of every professional who aims for personal and professional growth, distinction, success and satisfaction. More specifically, the method I have developed includes individual sessions of professional self-awareness and empowerment, goal setting and an action plan to implement the actions that will lead to the achievement of the goal.

Thus, in just a few sessions, the coachee reaches the final goal: He develops skills, changes his way of thinking, is motivated to take action and effectively pursue his professional goals.

For a coach to be able to deal with career issues, specialized knowledge and extensive experience are needed in order to ensure the coachee’s desired results. Through a relationship of acceptance and trust, we support people to find alternatives and create new perspectives for their lives and careers. To enable them to develop at whatever age and stage of their professional life they are at. Whether they are already experienced executives or professionals, or are in the early stages of their career.

Why are you involved in this particular field?

First of all, let me share with you that I am very happy that I had the opportunity to introduce and establish career coaching in Greece about 8 years ago. Thus, a new path has been opened for those who want to strengthen themselves as professionals and develop more quickly and efficiently.

The reasons that prompted me to specialize in career coaching are several:

I experienced firsthand the difficulties and challenges that an executive or a freelancer can face. I too have been through these roles over the past 26 years of my career. So I found that there is a need for professionals to get personalized support so they can resolve issues, overcome obstacles and gain new resources. I wanted to offer a solution to this so I created my own career coaching programs.
I also noticed the constant changes in the labor market that push professionals to move not only to another company but also to different industries and subjects.

The much-discussed career change was also my own experience as I have already changed the field of work three times in my career so far. My own motivation was my personal ambitions for self-realization that directed me in new directions. I had decided from the first day I worked that I would only deal with objects and roles that I really love and that express me. That is why the changes occurred during my course.

Of course, the career change process requires specific steps and knowledge that I can now pass on to the people we work with for their own career change and development.

You often refer to personal branding and its importance to professional success. Which professionals does it concern and what exactly is Personal Branding?

Personal branding is the image and opinion that others have of us. It is our personal and professional footprint and the way we strategically promote ourselves. It is the opinion formed about us by those who know us, those who work with us or want to work with us. It is therefore the professional identity and reputation that we have formed for ourselves, in the area where we work or do business.

But do we take care of this very important parameter with the corresponding attention? My daily life as a career coach is full of highly capable dynamic professionals and executives who face the same challenge: They have the qualifications but have not yet managed to show them off. The result is that they do not develop as they should and ultimately feel frustrated and lack motivation.

Personal Branding provides the solution. It is one of the most valuable elements that every professional needs to have in order to invest in himself. And that goes for every employee, executive, freelancer or entrepreneur who wants to step up and achieve even more. To create and highlight the best version of himself, building an image of reliability, trust and anything else he considers important for his development.

Can you give us some examples of people who have a successful personal brand?

You might expect me to answer this question by mentioning some big names in business life. And yet. Every professional can have a successful personal brand in whatever industry and hierarchical position they are in.

It can be an employee who serves us in our daily purchases and needs and impresses us with his kindness, smile or neat appearance. Perhaps a scientist to whom we turn on a case-by-case basis because of the prestige and security created by working with him. Our colleague in the office next door who is willing to cooperate and is a useful and reliable member of the team. It can be our manager who, through his own good example of behavior, pushes us to become better and better.

Therefore, every professional who is in a role that suits him and who with his appearance, image, speech and behavior honors and upgrades this role even more has a successful personal brand. For this reason, personal branding is necessary for every employee, executive, freelancer and entrepreneur.

Mrs. Papazoglou, on November 25, 26 and 27 you will organize a workshop entitled “PERSONAL BRANDING: Create your best professional self”. Can you tell us what anyone who watches it will get and how it will benefit them to take the next step in their career?

Indeed in a few days I will have the opportunity to repeat this very successful interactive workshop live and online with a select group of participants. We will learn step by step all the ways to build our own Personal Brand. Thus, each participant will be able to achieve the professional goals they set for themselves.

The basis of this workshop is professional self-awareness, inspiration and empowerment with the aim of upgrading and highlighting our professional selves. So we will identify the strengths and special skills that can highlight our profile and differentiate us from the competition. We will learn how to correctly set our professional goals so that we can more easily conquer them.

We will discuss the best practices that one can follow to gain impressions in any situation. How to take care of his appearance, image, body language, speech, voice and behavior.

Social media plays an important role in our workshop as we will learn the most modern techniques to be able to use these platforms to highlight our professional selves.

We will work with each participant closely and methodically in order to complete this 3-day session ready for constructive change and action from the very next moment.

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