In my last post, I asked the question “is your brand really helping you?”
The post asked “does your brand represent what you want to do in the future, what you do today, or – hopefully both?” Here’s the point: your brand should be somewhat ‘elastic’ in nature so it can evolve with you over the length of your career.
If you recognize then that your career will evolve, take some time to consider what you want to do and what you’re good at. The absolute best time to think about this is early in your career.
I would recommend a few resources to this end that include the following titles: Doing Work You Love by Cheryl Gilman and Strengths Finder 2.0 by Tom Rath. I’ll save the book reviews for an upcoming post. These titles should help point you in the right direction and help you think one level higher about where you want your career (and brand) to take you.
Interests (and hobbies) are important and necessary. They don’t always make for a good job. But, they should be reflected in your brand. Think about what interests you have and how to incorporate them into your brand. Part of developing a brand is letting people know who you are and what you types of things you’re interested in – this allows people to build a connection with you.
Knowing what you’re good at is so important – I just can’t stress that enough. In fact, there is a whole school of thought that says weaknesses should be ignored, and you should only focus on what you’re good at – not that I’m suggesting that necessarily. If you know that you are good at a particular skill, how does that manifest itself in your brand?
Right now if a prospective employer was to take a look at your online presence, I’m sure they would know what experience you had by looking at your LinkedIn profile. But, would they be able to get a sense for who you are as a person? Would they know what your strengths are – and what type of things you might be interested in? Building this connection could be crucial to landing your next job.
Understanding what you like to do and knowing what you’re good at is critically important. At the intersection of your personal strengths and interests you can build a very strong brand.
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 Universitywhere 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.