This post is about doing what you love, inspired by my little sister.
On my last trip to Madison, I met my sister for coffee. We talked life, boys, school, jobs and everything in between. While I ventured back home to Neenah (kicking and screaming), she took my place in the city I love and called home for 4 years. I find myself missing her—and Madison—more and more every day.
I have always admired her positive spirit and desire to do what makes her happy, regardless of what others think. Her quirkiness and easygoing nature are infectious—she brings out the best in me. It didn’t, however, always make her the most driven college student.
She was accepted to the University of Minnesota, but soon realized that cramming for chemistry exams, writing papers, sitting in crowded lecture halls and going through the typical motions at a large university wasn’t for her.
In fall 2009, she enrolled in a massage therapy program at Madison Technical College—and has been completely dedicated since. She has realized her niche and couldn’t be happier.
Her personal brand statement: she wants to heal people. I have never seen her be so dedicated or inspired by school and work. Her personal “brand” is shaped everyday by her desire to learn, grow and become better. She created business cards, asks around for jobs/references and is consistently expanding her network and possibilities. But, completing the massage therapy program is only the beginning. She wants to become a professional in natural healing practices and is already exploring next steps. She hopes to mesh her career path with her passion for music and practice at music festivals or with bands. She is fusing what she loves to shape her dream job.
Do what you love for a strong brand
My point is not that my sister is doing something totally revolutionary, but that your brand, spirit, and drive will be strongest if you are doing what you love. Often that requires thinking outside the box, and sometimes you have to travel the unconventional path. My sister could settle, but she knows what she wants and is working harder than I have ever seen. If you are being true to your passions and goals, it will feel natural to market your personal brand. Hopefully you will put in the extra hours or work because you want to—not because you have to.
Use your personal brand—who you are and aspire to be—and create your career around that. Find what you love and the rest will start to fall into place.
Cassie is a May 2009 University of Wisconsin-Madison Ag Journalism graduate. She recently joined SPARK Advertising in Neenah, Wis. as a full-time public relations specialist. Find Cassie on Twitter, BrazenCareerist, and LinkedIn.