The Student Branding Blog is all about personal branding, as you well know. In this instance, personal branding really encompasses your professional image as you prepare to enter the workforce. What if I were to say that you can have TWO brands: a “professional” brand and a “personal” brand?
I have always viewed people as multidimensional. While your personality and values permeate every aspect of your life, your professional interests and your personal interests are often varied. While I know it’s been said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” many people wish to keep their personal interests somewhat removed from their careers. A job is still a job, with the related stress, bad days, etc. It’s nice to protect a hobby from the hassles of a job to keep it enjoyable. And either way, you can turn certain interests into your career and keep others for your personal life.
It’s possible, though, to have an interest that has nothing to do with your job but that you may wish to develop into a more serious activity. And here is where a branding split becomes possible.
- Start a blog related to your hobby/hobbies.
- Create two Twitter accounts: one to connect with professionals in your career field and one to connect with individuals related to your hobby.
- Seek out opportunities for growth in both areas, such as contributing to related blogs.
My professional brand is well-developed, and I’m currently expanding the personal brand I’m building. Some might say it’s like I have dueling brands, but I say that I’m honoring more of who I am than my professional brand alone could. And if you thinks it’s challenging to build two separate brands, think again. Each showcases an aspect of my life distinctly different than the other.
I’m interested in your thoughts. Developing separate professional and personal brands: possible or impossible? Something you would do or wouldn’t do?
Laura serves as Internship Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater in the office of Career & Leadership Development. In this role, Laura advises students who are pursuing internships, assists employers with intern recruitment, and supports university faculty who oversee academic internships. She also provides students with job search readiness assistance through presentations, individual counseling, and social media. Laura earned her bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she majored in French and Political Science, and she received her masters degree in Counseling from UW-Whitewater. To learn more about Laura, read her blog, follow her on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.