Work and personal branding

Back when I used to teach acting, I would advise my students never to think about developing a ‘personal style’ as an artist, because style surfaces of its own accord as you continue to practice.  As much as we are all individuals, each with our share of inborn gifts, we can’t help but manifest native styling in all aspects of our lives.  As we progress, we may become more aware of the details of our own personal style, and at that point take steps to modify it according to the dictates of superego. 

This collection of salient characteristics, this automatic communication of personality, might be called our personal brand.  Everybody has one.  Being familiar and comfortable with your brand can help a great deal in locating the work and living situations that will be nurturing for you.

As introspection is a little-admired quality in America, a huge portion of our workforce has never turned their attention to their personal branding.  For most of us, attention is focused on the brands of others, while we remain witless consumers.  For decades, I ignored my personal brand while working for ‘the man,’ or the organization or business, which bore all the responsibility for branding.  I even subliminally assumed my personal brand was defined by the business.

While young, you may not wish to make any self-definitions; brands are developed with maturity, it’s true.  Still, even a small amount of focus on the image you project to others can go a long way towards avoiding situations where you don’t fit, and attracting those situations that nurture your growth.

Having been one, my undying loyalty is much more for the workers of America than for the bosses. The incredible act of heroism involved in simply arising each morning to go and fulfill the wishes of another cannot be denied.  The dreadful lack of decent leadership in business makes this courage even more astounding.  Tomorrow, I’ll look at ways the worker’s branding interacts with that of the employer.


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