You might think a personal brand is only for celebrities, who are in the public eye all the time. Think of Steve Jobs’ black turtleneck – he was the only one to wear that, it set him apart, so much so that now we have that automatic association in our heads. That is successful branding.
How do you separate yourself from the masses?
Developing your personal brand has a lot to do with standing out, with separating yourself from the masses. Why would somebody hire you, rather than all the other people who showed up for the same job interview? What are they getting when they’re hiring you?
If they are not getting anything special, anything that a hundred other job applicants couldn’t give them, why would they want to hire you?
A lot of people panic and think, “But I’ve nothing special to offer – I’m not particularly talented, I’m not gifted, I’m not a genius… I’m just another ordinary person!” This is where you are all wrong. People don’t want to hire an Einstein. People want to hire whoever is able to solve their problem.
If you want to get that job, show them that you are the solution they have been waiting for
Now your panic goes up one notch – “But how do I do that?!” The answer: don’t be generic, run-of-the-mill. Be multi-faceted. There are many ways you can do that.
Many people “talk a good game” in an interview. This is a constant worry for employers: “What if I don’t get the employee that they tell me they are?”
If you can demonstrate, on the basis of factual evidence, that you have displayed those attributes in the past, you are already way ahead of those who just say “I take the initiative, bla, bla, bla.”
All those little things add substance to your character.
Look inside, be yourself
If you think you have nothing to give, that you have no contribution to make, think again. You need to take a good hard look in the proverbial mirror and examine who you are. “Know thyself” has been a popular slogan since Socrates for a very good reason. We all have a contribution to make.
And very often, while we’re trying to come up with the million-dollar idea, our real contribution to the world has been staring us in the face all the time, but we didn’t see it. Your own personal outlook on life is your biggest asset.
Take a grown man, for example, who is a fan of fairy tales and comic strips. He doodles animals, and also princesses and witches. Then he decides that it would be a wonderful idea to recreate this fairytale universe on earth, to build it from scratch on a real plot of land.
This man is clearly out his mind, isn’t he? I mean, an adult doodling mice and dogs and ducks? A grow man dreaming about fairytale princesses? He can only be a failure, right?
Only this man is Walt Disney, and the LaLa Land he imagines grows on to be one of the biggest commercial successes of all time! He only did what he knew how to do: he took his fairytale view of the world from his imagination and put it on earth.
There is an awful lot of value to what goes on inside your head. But because you are accustomed to it and live with it every day, you don’t see how new and exciting it is.
What makes you different? You don’t even need to work at setting yourself apart: just look inside, really look inside, listen to how other people respond to your views, and that is all you need to do.
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