Sunday, July 12, 2009

Personal Branding - When You're Looking For a Job

Today Dan Schawbel started following me on Twitter! This was before I even started following him! I haven't been doing much with Twitter, other than following experts. I hadn't expected any experts to start following me! It may have been the #jobsearch tweet I posted this morning that got him (or some automated tool) to notice me, but whatever it was, it was cool. I'd been recommending his book, Me 2.0, to people as a good first step in coming up with your personal brand.

This business of getting noticed -- that's what personal branding is about. We want to be unique -- just like everyone else! (That's not my quote, but one I've heard in the context of "Everyone 2.0") What are those qualities we want to exhibit in our writings, our relationships, and our lives? What makes us stand out?

Well, when I was happily employed as an IT Manager at Sun, I didn't really think about branding image. I wrote a book (still to be published) called "The Laptop Dancer Diaries." It's a humor memoir about a year in my life as a single Mom looking for love and getting into embarrassing situations. I'm actually quite proud of it and I think it accurately reflects me -- a geeky flirt who spends so much time with her laptop, she starts to think of him as her boyfriend (she knows she can always turn him on!)

I had this photo of me as a Laptop Dancer from a Halloween Party as my primary icon just about everywhere -- even on my profile picture at Sun. One of the many things I loved about working for Sun, is we were free to be ourselves, and I'm a goofball! I love to be playful and silly and I think it's one of the things that made me such a successful manager. Life's too short to take ourselves too seriously. We have to have fun.

But now I'm looking for a job. And as much as I'd like my employers to appreciate my sense of humor, it won't take much to weed me out. When googling myself I was disappointed to find the top search article for me was one I'd written for about Internet dating! It's time for me to start writing some serious, albeit potentially much more boring, stuff! (Unfortunately, does not allow articles to get deleted. While the article is not offensive, I don't want my area of expertise to be thought of as Internet dating! )

On a side note, the top article that comes up when searching using my married name, Yvette Podlogar, is a professional article about Quality Assurance Management that I had published in StickyMinds. Hmmm. It's enough to make me want to go back to my married name, at least during my job search!

I don't know if I'll go to the extent of reverting back to my married name, but I do want a new primary photo. One that's professional, yet playful. Other things I want to capture with my brand? Always learning, happy, caring, and respectful. Whether it's work or play, those are values I hold dear. Will I be able to get another IT Manager job with that type of branding? I don't know, but I'm going to try. Be on the lookout for my new photo. One that captures: Professional, Playful, Studious, Happy, Caring, Respectful Goofball. Yeah! I'm sure I can find a photo that says all that. One thing you can count on - I'll be smiling.

Update-- Here we go with my new photo! Does it reflect a professional, playful, studious, happy, caring, respectful goofball? Well, at least Laptop Guy thinks I'm the World's Best Boss!

1 comment:

  1. Hi,

    Read the article about testing that you were refering to..
    Found it inspiring, as I am trying to set up a QA team.
    Wish you good luck and have fun with your grand kid;-)



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