Hard times in the workplace – a few ideas to make it better
As a professional marketer, I understand the concepts of marketing a product. But marketing oneself, especially in an economic downturn, is often extremely difficult to do. Most of us never grew up thinking of ourselves as a product. And HR people or employment specialists rarely tell us how to market ourselves successfully in order to achieve the best outcome in our job search. Yet, that is exactly what we must do in a market like this one.
We need to market ourselves exactly as if we were a product, because that is exactly what we are to prospective employers. And like any buyer of a product, employers want to know what you can do for me, what problem can you solve. We’ve all heard these words before, but to most of us those words don’t translate into actionable items.
Today, I received an email from the American Marketing Association, which has relevance for everyone who currently is looking for a job…or who expects to be looking in the near future. It is well worth reading as it describes how to create a personal brand that can translate into a job.
The article is adapted from Managing Brand YOU: Seven Steps to Creating Your Most Successful Self, by Jerry S. Wilson and Ira Blumenthal (AMACOM, 2008).
In it, the authors state:
What if you thought of yourself as a brand?
Successful brands—Starbucks, Victoria’s Secret, Godiva, and so forth—convey a consistent message and create an emotional bond with consumers. Don’t we all want to convey a consistent message and create a similar emotional bond with those important people around us? The process of building such brands is widely used in the commercial world, and now you, too, can use these techniques to build a brand-new you—a Brand YOU!
Just imagine, for a moment, that you are, in fact, a brand. Step outside yourself and look at you: your background, lifestyle, philosophy of life, and your views on right and wrong, as well as the expressions you use, the stores you frequent, the foods you eat, the clothes you wear. Think of your educational background, your experiences, your special areas of expertise. Consider the features that others respect about you, the features of people you respect and why. These are your personal brand attributes. And now you’ve made the first move toward establishing your Brand YOU.
Finding out and developing Brand You is not easy, but it definitely is worthwhile if you plan to succeed during the predicted continuing recession.