Thursday, June 08, 2006

What does your personal brand cost you?

I've lost count of the times I've heard or read about how the job search is about marketing yourself or building your personal brand. Not that I disagree, mind you.

Kathy Simmons writes that a strong brand can repel as well as attract. An important part of deciding what to do (or be) is deciding what not to do (or be). If your decisions about who you are and what you will do get in the way of certain opportunities, that should mean that those opportunities were somehow wrong for you. If you've done the self-discovery and personal branding homework, your commitment to your plan should close doors—just not the doors you want to open.

The key is for your brand to attract the right people while repelling only those people you wouldn't want to attract. Mike Wagner puts it this way: your brand is in the tension.
Your brand is in the tension between your business brains, your human hearts, and the marketplace realities. That’s not going away anytime soon. Own the tension and you will always own your brand!

Marcus Buckingham on sustained individual success: "Discover what you don't like doing and stop doing it." A high-paid job opening doing what you don't like doing is not an opportunity, despite the sales jargon that is so often applied in the job search. Turning them down early may be the hardest and best thing you can do.

What doors have you closed to make your brand coherent and aligned with what you know about yourself? What have you decided not to do?


At 6/16/2006 10:29 AM, Anonymous Michael Wagner said...

Nathan, good to discover your blog and honored to have you quote me. Much appreciated.

There is always the danger of trying to please everyone. Individuals like business feel like they might be limiting their options by deciding what they don't want to do, as your post wisely points out.

In fact they are losing their career brand by being all things to all people.

Thanks for enlarging the conversation!

At 6/16/2006 10:50 AM, Blogger Nathan Gilliatt said...

Exactly. Limiting your options is part of defining yourself. I like your post for the view of the pain that follows that definition. The pain doesn't mean you've done it wrong, it's just a natural consequence of defining your own boundaries. There's always the temptation to take on something beyond your boundaries, or else the boundaries would be meaningless.


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