Personal Branding, Baby Boomers and a Dirty Little Secret
A guest post by Marc Miller
The Dirty Little Secret?
Yes, there is a dirty little secret around personal branding and baby boomers. First, let me digress.
I was born in the mid 1950s. I started my career with IBM in the late 1970s. This thing we call personal brand did not exist. What did exist was your reputation. Your reputation was largely established by the good work you did. Your colleagues experienced working with you first hand.
I was raised to believe that if I worked hard, kept my nose clean, and obeyed the rules I would be rewarded accordingly. I was going to work for IBM for 30 years and then retire off into the sunset.
The problem was…they moved my cheese in the 1990s.
First, there was the rise of the Internet and then Social Media. Rather than competing for work with people in my company locally, I was competing for work worldwide with people both inside and outside of IBM.
I was first introduced to the concept of personal brand in 2009, when I picked up Dan Schawbel’s Book, Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success.
The concept of personal branding became clear when I read the following quote:
“Your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room” – Jeff Bezos, Founder of Amazon
The kicker is that, in our hyper-connected world, people may say things about you when you have never been in the same room, city, country…or even continent!
The dirty little secret is that we all have a brand…whether we like it or not.
Personal Brand – We All Have One
I hear from a lot of folks my age:
I am not a brand, but a person!
My response is:
Get over it!
It is a step by step approach to defining your personal brand and then implementing those steps so that you can easily be found.
Step 1 is to define your personal brand. How do you want to be perceived?
Remember that, in the past, people only experienced you face to face. Now, people connect with you online. You need to define how you want to be perceived and then manage it. This is no longer optional.
Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.
I’d like to thank Marc for this post and let you know that I have read and reviewed his book as well! If you’re a Boomer or know a Boomer, please, check out his book!