I was grown up in a time where you didn’t toot your own horn or talk about yourself. If you did, you risked being thought of as conceited or stuck up. The thing about that was as you got older, the people that got opportunities were not always the ones that were good at specific things, but rather the ones that were able to talk about themselves so that people knew who they were and what they did. The ‘trick’ was doing it in a way that people didn’t find obnoxious and totally repelling. Nobody gave a class in this!
When you go in for a job interview, they ask you to talk about yourself and what you have done, especially the things you have done well. They ask you about awards and accomplishments and you are expected to put these on a resume. They ask you about goals, dreams, what you aspire to and who you are. They don’t ask you about anybody else. They ask you about you. And then, on top of that, they expect a certain confidence in how you share this information with them. Nobody gave a class in this.
If you decide that you don’t like working for other people, then you might decide that you want to freelance or start your own business. In many businesses, there is a product that you sell. You have to go out and check in with people to see if they want to buy your product. You have to talk about the product, why it is great, why the potential customer needs it and why their lives would be so much better with it. The fancy word for this is marketing. But, what if the product that you are selling is….YOU? What if you are trying to sell them on your ideas, your thoughts, your skills and not a physical product? Then that means you have to talk about you, why you are great, why the potential customer needs you and why their lives/business would be better if they hired you to do what you do. Again, you have to talk about yourself. THEY DID NOT GIVE A CLASS IN THIS!!
Well, here we are in 2013. Everyone talks about themselves, what they are doing, what they eat for breakfast, WHERE they are eating breakfast, shares pictures of what they are eating for breakfast and in a few VERY unorthodox moments, pictures of breakfast after it did not come to a complete agreement with their stomachs. Yeah, that’s definitely a lot of sharing. But, the point is that this type of “sharing”, while it does have some pitfalls, is the type of sharing that has been expected all along, in some ways. My generation is the transition generation in all of this. We’ve seen it change. We’ve watched it develop. Not all of us get how it works, but we understand that the shift has occurred. My kids generation will be so wrapped up in the sharing that they will want to have some semblance of privacy, some way to figure out how they can get a moment without being expected to share. They WILL NEED a class in this……how to create and have some escape from your personal brand.
That said, I’m on a journey to create my personal brand as well. Like quite a few people, I am interested in a lot of things. I’m interested in anything technology related, love gadgets, love sports, love music, love teaching, love reading, love learning new information, love helping, love trying new things. The difference is that now, I am going to include a lot more people on the journey, like ….. you, and maybe even you too. Let’s see what happens.
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I never thought about our generation being socialized in a very different manner as today’s norms. You made me realize that it wasn’t classy to share yourself because of the way if would come off, even though the potential job opportunities required that easiness at bigging up yourself. Great thought. Thanks
Yes ma’am. Our generation was certainly socialized differently. I’m learning to catch up a bit now though ;-).