When we think of branding, yes we can think of cows that are marked to receive their distinction, but in the business world it’s a company’s trademark. In communication, we typically think of the term in regards to businesses. Branding is a necessity for businesses, but it’s also important for professional individuals. Our theme this week is careers in corporate communication. Now that the end of the semester is in close sight and many are looking at graduating, we thought self-branding would be a good topic to discuss.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people change careers approximately 3-6 times during a lifetime for various reasons. Our world is constantly changing and evolving and a career-oriented professional has to keep up with the times. Generations before us found a job after college and it was considered the norm for a person to stay with the same company and in the same field until they retired. Not many people do that now. This is one reason why it is important for us to brand ourselves. As most of us begin to carve out a career path over the next few months, there has been a lot of talk about what we want to do with our lives. The main focus is what we are passionate about and where are strengths lie. An interesting article points out that self-branding is the difference between “just a job” and a career. It can make you employable in a profession you are passionate about and open doors you never thought existed.
There are many steps to self-branding and the first step for the college graduate is to discover what you are passionate about and where your strengths are within that passion. This brings to mind a chapter in one of our textbooks entitled, “Good to Great” by Jim Collins. He finds that the great companies follow the Hedgehog Concept. In short, the Hedgehog Concept is about aligning
1) What you are deeply passionate about?
2) What can you be the best at?
3) What drives your economic engine?
As you see, self-branding sets us apart from the rest of the cattle out there. Let’s go make it happen!
Sarah McIntosh, Sean O’Connell, Eliza Wadson, Jocelyn Walson