It has been interesting these past couple of months as I connect with many people in my search for a job. There are basically two groups of people…those who have lost their jobs and those who are worried about losing their jobs. Sometimes I feel like I am better off because at least I know. I have been lucky to connect to many wonderful people in the recruiting, resume, & placement fields who all possess great insights about the challenges inherent in looking for a new opportunity. Through all of these conversations, a concept has crystallized that I believe is important for everyone to consider and that is personal branding. I see the job market as much more of a marketing issue than a human resource issue. Here are my thoughts:
- Everyone must develop their personal brand. Answer the question, “What do I want people to think when they hear my name?” What is unique about you? Why would someone remember you? Get to the core of who you are…remember that authenticity is priceless.
- Develop a multichannel strategy that reaches across media. Are you reinforcing your brand on facebook, twitter, linkedin, on your blog, in person, etc? Is there a consistent message?
- It does not matter if you are employed, looking, or working freelance…your brand must be built. Remember that people already think “something” when they think of you, is it what you want them to think?
- Your brand and your purpose should be mutually reinforcing. Who you are are and what you are on this earth to do should be fully intertwined.
- What you do for a living may not necessarily reinforce your brand but it also does not have to detract from it. Remember it is more about how you do work that what work you do!
At the end of the day, take charge of your brand and build something you are proud of. Do not wait for someone else to tell you who you are or be someone you are not, be authentic and good things will happen.