Personal Branding is a mixed word when it comes to the modern office environment. We have all been accustom to labels our whole lives from when we first made friends in kindergarten to the office environment. How frustrating is it when you’re stuck as a nerd and trying to get that starting spot as the QB or when we’re just a ‘jock’ and no one takes you seriously when you have an idea that can be worth millions?
Personal branding is our reputation. In the modern world we get to make our own personal brand through social media, LinkedIn, and online publishing platforms. We get to be our own curators, “how awesome is that?” So why wouldn’t you create your own brand? But if we’re not convinced here are 4 reasons why:
We may ask how do we personally brand ourselves and the answer to that question takes a lot of self-discovery. For instance, a family member of mine absolutely loves the Louisville Cardinals sports and made DieHardCard.com. He started when he was in 7th grade writing email reviews of games to every family member and has now created a self-sustaining website with thousands of users. Also, he uses his season pass sideline tickets to games to take photos for a top 10 football program to upload to his site each week. By branding himself in something he enjoys he has created a product and a name for himself. Anecdotal evidence, yes, but putting energy and branding into an industry created something he enjoys and leads into how networking matters.
By creating a website and a place where other fans congregate he has created a network. Networks aren’t boring places they are lively relationships. Nor did he one day wake up and say “I’m going to get season pass sideline tickets” to the football games because by knowing the coaches is that going to lead me to a sports job. He was building a name for himself by finding what he enjoyed and created a product focused around that market. Conversely, maybe he doesn’t want to go into the sports world, but he has shown talent in marketing, production, writing, and journalism all highly sought after skills in the work world that make him different when talking in an interview than a majority of candidates.
Yes all that sounds great, but “what if we aren’t good enough” or “aren’t interested enough in an industry” to create a brand for ourselves? Don’t fall prey to those thoughts, we must self-promote ourselves. We care most about our careers, no one else is in charge of us. If we take our passion and try to learn more people won’t shun us away with anonymous trolling words. They will welcome a community member growing in expertise knowledge. If we don’t create a reputation for ourselves than we are allowing others to dictate our life. Of the few things we control we can control our personal brand and step outside our comfort zone and self-promote ourselves as the industry thought leaders.
- Self Confidence
Having the courage to start from scratch, learn more about an industry, and then become a subject matter expert is very difficult. We will learn self-confidence along the way and be more re-assured in our passion by always challenging ourselves to be the best. At the end of the day taking all monetary, title, and business excellence aside, learning to become the top .1% in the world at your passion is worth more than any gold could say otherwise. If we follow our passion, the pieces will fall into place. If we follow the money, we will always be looking back asking ourselves why didn’t we follow our passion in regret? We might as well give what we truly enjoy a chance to grow.
Start by discovering where your interest industries are and begin by talking about that industry to others. See where the industry could use help or even volunteers. Begin branding ourselves today by showing people who we are. Don’t let the resume be the only reach we have to our network. Create genuine interactions and personally branding our names by our actions and reputation.
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