In today’s corporate world, people are hired and fired on a daily basis. There is a transient nature to this ever-evolving process; I may be here today but could be gone tomorrow. People attempt to stitch together the semblance of a career while trying to maintain the perception of loyalty to their current employers. We often remain vigilant to the next position possibility, and the reasons are numerous, but often these reasons are rooted in consistent themes: an opportunity came along that I just cannot pass on; I have a desire for more money, and I deserve it; my manager is simply unrealistic, unreasonable, and unbearable – it is just time to go! Regardless of these valid motivations, one consistent reality remains unchanged; we are each CEO of our own company: Me, Inc.
In a sense, we are all just free agents in an ever-changing job market paradigm. But as free agents we each carry certain notable attributes along with us, many of which are intangible. It’s incumbent upon each of us to ask ourselves: What do I want my brand to be? What are the qualities of my brand that differentiate me from my competition? Everything matters: our educational level attained, our ability to communicate in verbal and written form, our choice of wardrobe, and our ability to work and play well with others.
We have sufficient control over most of these. What we do not have control over is the manner in which they are perceived, and perception – in marketing – is everything. The best approach to mitigate this reality is to contemplatively observe and critically analyze each segment of our brand: Me, Inc. More than likely we are stronger in certain areas than in others, and can strengthen our shortcomings to become a more formidable brand overall.
Utilizing LinkedIn or writing a blog are channels to market oneself and assist in constructing a solid foundation for the mosaic that composes who we are as individuals. Gaining new expertise, developing new capabilities, increasing our colleague set, and constantly reinventing ourselves as a brand are critical in the process of brand strengthening. The sooner we begin viewing ourselves as individual brands, the better positioned we will become in reaching success in whichever career path we find ourselves on.
John Brigantino is a graduate student in the Master of Science in Business Management & Leadership Program at the CUNY School of Professional Studies. He enjoys writing, non-fiction books, traveling and the many cultural and leisure experiences Manhattan has to offer.