Columnist Liz Ryan recently shared a letter she received with the readers of Forbes.com – and frankly the letter’s content gave me pause:
I got laid off in mid-April and I’ve been going to outplacement classes since then but the job market has changed a lot since I job-hunted last.
Everything me and my former colleagues are learning about job-hunting is is related to personal branding now. The discussion leaves me cold. I’m not comfortable bragging about myself.
I don’t want a personal brand. My work speaks for itself, as far as I’m concerned.
Click here to read the letter in it’s entirety (and Liz’s response), and know that many people still struggle with the concept of (and commitment to) personal branding.
This blog is dedicated to the advancement of personal branding, so I won’t bore you with a detailed recounting of ALL of the previous articles I’ve written on the subject (here are the search results, just to save you some time). I will, however, re-emphasize the importance of embracing YOUR brand.
I’m sorry, but there’s no way around it…no way to minimize it…no way to ignore it or wish it away. YOU HAVE A BRAND.
If you don’t claim your brand, then by default others will define you FOR you. Yes, your work (theoretically) “speaks” for you, but it’s your job to align your work with your WORTH – so much so that you AND your deeds speak to your overall value.
Liz sums it up quite nicely:
Since you aren’t likely to have the chance to meet everyone in your community or your local business ecosystem, what do you want people to know about you? That’s your personal brand.
Do we really have a choice in deciding whether or not to have a personal brand?