How Proactive Building of Personal Brand Equity Helps Employees’ Marketability?
Building a personal brand is a key concern of many celebrities. However, despite a growing need for self-promotion in the context of invisible work, little attention to this phenomenon is given for regular employees. In this paper, we argue that in the context of invisible work all knowledge employees need to invest in developing their personal brand to be internally and externally marketable. Specifically, we focus on the recently proposed concept of personal brand equity (PBE) and test its effects on employees perceived (internal and external) marketability. Following assertions of the signalling theory, we propose that career planning will lead to stronger PBE especially for employees with a proactive personality, and that PBE will have positive effects on employees perceived internal and external marketability. We test our model in two studies: an online experiment with 585 students from a Dutch public university (Study 1) and a time-lagged survey study with 278 Chinese employees (Study 2). Our findings suggest that PBE mediates the relationship between career planning and perceived marketability, particularly for individuals with a strong proactive personality. We discuss these findings in light of future research and practice.