This past week I attended a personal brand workshop with Anna Knutson that was hosted by UO Social Media Club (shameless plug). Anna is a digital strategist at Funk/Levis in Eugene. She came in to talk to us about our personal brand and how to use it in our careers.
At first, I thought I knew what my personal brand was. I was a public relations student from Hawai'i who loves Harry Potter. I also thought it was only useful to myself when writing or building this website. After a bit of preliminary research and this Forbes article, I realized that was not the case.
A personal brand is a leadership requirement. It is intentional and offers any potential employer a clear sense of who I am as a potential employee. It is not just about what I post, but it is also what I can provide in any relationship. So now that I knew why I needed to define my personal brand, I was prepared to listen to Anna with an open mind.
Anna first asked us to write down 10-15 words that we think describe our personalities. She gave us the tip to think of what our peers, teachers or employers would say about us. Some of the words I wrote down were ambitious, passionate, optimistic and curious. Be authentic, not your "fake self," as this article on living an authentic life emphasizes.
Then she asked us to think about our brand positions—why should we be hired, why should someone listen to me. I wrote down a couple sentences:
I am an ambitious strategist with a passion for learning new things. I can adapt to different environments while still having a goal in mind.
Lastly, she had us what can our employers expect from us and what can we genuinely promise them.
I will produce quality work, and I will not be afraid to pursue new heights of quality nor to ask questions when I am unsure.
My answers were written down in two or three minutes, but as a junior looking toward my future post-grad, I will be honing my personal brand starting with these three questions. Although, I might have to read more articles like this one to get more familiar with how to build my personal brand.