So…we’re building a personal brand. For what? This is part of a larger question probably, like: “what do you want to do with your life?”
Let’s say we built a brand around becoming an accounting professional. Combined with our work history, a blog we’ve started, and other activities – we’re recognized as a very strong professional in the accounting space.
But, what if we don’t really want to do accounting? Through a series of circumstances we found ourselves in that field and subsequently built a brand around it. We don’t own our brands – so we can’t wake up tomorrow and decide that now our brand is going to be something more suited to our recent tastes.
What if Google switched its entire business to something completely unrelated to its entire body of work on the internet and information? We would have a hard time accepting – or even understanding the change.
Personal branding (and all branding) is extremely powerful – we’re talking about shaping people’s perceptions, the way they see and interact with us, and what we represent. These things take time to build. Without a large online presence we can make material changes and not have to worry about changing the perceptions along with it. But, if we have that presence, we have to change those perceptions as well – which is to say: start with the end in mind.
Okay, so obviously our interests and tastes will change – so will our career. Your brand should serve both where you are and where you want to go. So if we have an idea of what we want our next step to be, we should build that into our brand.
Let’s look at our brands…ask if the brand is suitable for where we are now? Next, let’s think about what our next step would be – is our brand serving that goal?
What makes you happy? What do you want to do? Hopefully – these things are represented in your brand.
And, I want to share this article http://nyti.ms/ejxkJz from the New York Times. A great example of someone taking a non-traditional route and doing what they love.
Jonathan has broad ranging experience and currently works in eMarketing at Thomson Reuters in the Twin Cities area. He is a recent graduate of Oklahoma State University where he majored in Marketing. Prior to returning to Thomson Reuters, where he had an internship during college, he worked for Expedia in an account management role for their North American lodging business. Jonathan is an avid enthusiast of all things marketing, economics, and travel. And, he is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter (@jonathanpetrino), LinkedIn, and his website.