Are You an Ambassador? 

The short answer to that question is yes. Whether you know it or not. At a minimum you are the ambassador for your personal brand. Your words and actions create the impression you make on the people who you hang around with. You might know that but did you also know that sometimes those people talk about you with others you may have never even met? They are passing along their impressions of you. Then those people you have never met are forming an opinion of you…based on what the people you do know have said. 

What you should also know it that those “second hand” first impressions are as hard to change as first hand first impressions. So it’s a good idea to ask yourself from time to time how effective a Brand Ambassador you are for your personal brand. 

But you should also keep in mind that you likely represent a second brand. That is the brand of the company, firm, or organization that employs you. That’s true whether you’re self employed or work for a company that has thousands of employees. That’s true whether you hold an entry level position or you’re the head of the company. 

Think of it like this. You’re out after work one night with some friends having a few sodas. You’re wearing something with your company’s logo on it. Let’s say you’re not exactly on your best behavior, especially after your 5th or 6th beverage. People could get the impression that you’re some kind of jerk.

It’s a fair assumption for other people to make that you work for the company whose logo you’re wearing. Someone may even ask you to be sure. Even if your company employs thousands of people, you may be the only person from your company that person has even interacted with. You at that point represent the entire company and every one of it’s employees.

He now believes your company hires jerks. We all “know” that if a company hires one jerk then they likely hire more than one. It’s not too much of a stretch for many people to decide, even subconsciously, that the company you work for is made up of a bunch of jerks. 

And it’s entirely possible you will never know you sent that kind of message to people when you were just out having a good time. 

Maybe it’s possible that you don’t care what people think of the place you work. But the place you work is made up of everyone else who works there. It’s more than possible that you’re causing them to be thought of as jerks too…you know that whole “guilt by association” thing. 

So if you don’t what to be a good Brand Ambassador for your company you may want to consider being a good Brand Ambassador for your friends who work there.

On a side note, if you’re at a company event, especially in the presence of customers, and you think drinking even a little too much is a good idea then your drinking is most definitely clouding your judgment. You are absolutely killing your brand, whether anyone tells you that or not. It’s simply not acceptable these days. It shows poor judgment, a lack of discipline and a total lack of professionalism. 

I don’t want to be a party pooper but I’d hate to see all your hard work during the day be discounted by one too many drinks at night. 

You Represent More Than You Think

Know it or not, wherever you work, you represent that company to outsiders. It matters little if you’re at the top of the org chart or even at the very bottom. If you’re one of the only people they know at your company then for all intense and purposes YOU ARE the company.

The reputation of the entire organization can rest on your shoulders.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say you’re in the market for a Flat Panel TV before the big game on Sunday. You swing into XYZ electronics, a large national electronics chain store and pick out a gigantic 196 inch beauty. It has surround sound and some sort of shaking device so you can actually feel it when players hit the ground. It is simply awesome!

You have your friends over on Sunday and since you’ve been bragging up your 196 beast of a TV they too can hardly wait for the game to begin. You push the ON button and nothing happens. Nothing. You push it a few more times, still nothing and then the hoots and hollers of your “friends” begin.

Ha they say, that sure is one heck of a TV you got there. You are embarrassed and more than a little mad. So…. You call the XYZ store and as luck would have it you get a 16 year old kid on the phone who is absolutely disinterested in your problem. He tells you it would be best if you called back on Monday when the “TV guy” was in.

Now you’re VERY unhappy and you’re not going to be happy with that store, or that kid, anytime soon.

A couple of weeks later someone asks if you know of a good store to buy a TV. So what do you say? Do you say, “yes, XYZ is great, just look out for that 16 year old kid” or… do you say “don’t go near that XYZ outfit, “they” don’t have a clue what they are doing.

If you’re like me, and most people, you wouldn’t have anything good to say about anything that has anything to do with XYZ or it’s 50,000 employees around the country.

Because of one 16 year old kid. Who didn’t even sell you the TV.

It’s not fair that the whole organization is painted with the brush of one individual interaction but that’s often how it is.

You see, you not only represent your company, you also represent your fellow employees of the company. You may not be in Public Relations, you may not get paid to deal with customers but when people discover where you work you DO represent your company. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. All day, everyday.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have fun, can’t be yourself, or just “let your hair down.” It does mean that you need to be aware of your surroundings, who is near you, how you are behaving and what you are saying. I’m told there are even some people who have cameras in their phones now so this is doubly important these days. 😏

Whether you think you have a crummy job, a menial job, a low paying job, whether it is a temp job, or part time job doesn’t matter, you have an obligation to represent yourself professionally because it’s not just you that you represent.

You may not like this thought, you may not agree with this concept but you do have to understand it because it’s true. Yes, I know those are high standards but you know that successful people set high standards for themselves. I encourage you to set the bar very high for yourself.

Remember, you don’t guard the reputation of your company and your colleagues because you’re paid money to work there, you do it because it’s the right thing to do.

You’ll never go wrong doing what’s right!