Tag Archive: Human Resource

Because you’re worth it — how a personal brand helps your career

In the late 1980s and early 1990s social and cultural researchers and thinkers began to articulate how changes in the organization of global capitalism were affecting cultural life.

The shift toward networked forms of “just-in-time” production and the pervasiveness of consumption and market relations in everyday life was articulated in concepts like: “flexible accumulation”, “reflexive production”, “promotional culture” and “immaterial labour”.

One curious product of these changes has been the rise of the “personal brand”, particularly in immaterial and knowledge-based forms of labour.

For professional meaning-makers of all kinds – marketers, advertisers, journalists, political and policy advisors, academics and researchers – success increasingly depends on their ability to “brand” their value (skills, networks and immaterial qualities) as a competitive advantage to potential employers and investors.

The crafting of the personal brand began with what Irving Goffman (1959) termed “impression management”, evident in a more conscious attention to attire and corporate accessories like business cards, personal organizers and mobile phones.

Personal branding evolved alongside the development of post-war corporate culture (famously dramatized at its most excessive in the “business card” scene from American Psycho.)

The arrival of mainstream social networking platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, About.Me and Facebook in the past decade have intensified and expanded personal branding in two ways.

Firstly, aspiring professionals can adapt the techniques of corporate brands in the way they “mediate” their identity. And, secondly, the way we present ourselves as personal brands gets mixed up with our private social lives.

Much public discussion about the private-public nature of social media has focused on the potential negatives. For instance, media have fed panic about drunken photos on Facebook harming future job prospects, and many employers report “googling” and “facebooking” potential employees. This panic has subsided as professionals use social networks to scout for talent, interact with leaders in their industry, and build their personal profile.

Developing a personal brand can be a strategic and savvy activity for aspiring professionals in the cultural industries.

Greens Senator Sarah Hansen-Young advertised for a media advisor solely on Twitter, telling The Australian newspaper that “someone who is not on Twitter probably isn’t going to be the right person for the job”.

Latika Bourke was recruited from Fairfax to the ABC largely because of the Twitter profile and following she developed covering Federal politics.

In each of these cases a strong personal brand was the basis of career opportunities. For an exceptional few personal brands can also be commercialized. Mia Freedman has created a valuable personal brand through her Mamamia blog, attracting a lucrative audience of middle-class Australian women.

Natalie Tran, a 20-something media graduate, makes money from the shared ad-revenue of her CommunityChannel on YouTube and has been recently partnered with Lonely Planet to make a series of travel documentaries targeted at her young and educated audience. In each case, online presence, profile and connectedness are valuable commodities deployed by these individuals to enhance their professional profile or to make money.

Far from the panic of keeping everything online “private”, for aspiring professionals in the knowledge and creative industries, making themselves more “public” in a strategic and managed way cultivates a valuable self, visible and strategically positioned for future opportunities.

Aspiring professionals can use platforms like Twitter to follow the conversation within their industry, establish a presence, and interact with industry leaders. Employment in these industries has “always” revolved around personal connections and who you know.

Social media adds another layer to this process of image and impression management. The development of advertising in the 20th century was accompanied by increasingly sophisticated forms of market research.

One sign personal branding has become embedded in our work cultures is the emergence of online tools and services that track personal brand value.

In the field of personal branding, the emerging market leader is a service called Klout (others include Twitalyzer, Backtype and PostRank) which will give your personal brand value a “score” and a profile based on the size and quality of your online networks. Services like Klout encourage individuals to more self-consciously evaluate their online presence and how they can strategically improve it.

Personal branding is part of branding becoming a ubiquitous platform for social communication. On Twitter, Facebook and other social networking platforms, young creative folk both interact with brands, incorporate brands into their identity and present themselves using the codes and logics of branding.

Branding provides a model for imagining our self, constructing our identity, and our place in the world. As middle class individuals imagine and present themselves using platforms and techniques once exclusive to governments and corporations, are they becoming more empowered participants in economic and political processes?

Or, is this further evidence of daily life becoming more intensively plugged into a global infrastructure of cultural production where individuals are pushed into more competitive, and perhaps alienated, relations with each other?

Personal branding might make individuals “richer” within the current system of cultural production, but that doesn’t mean it enriches our social, cultural and political life. The “value-added” presentation of the self might make us more interested in out-manoeuvring our fellow competitor in the game of life rather than contributing to meaningful public conversations.

There are both utopian and dystopian views of personal branding. The challenge for media, cultural and political researchers is to assess the limits and possibilities of branding as a platform for social communication.

The Conversation

Nicholas Carah, , The University of Queensland

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Weekly Roundup reads: Hello New Zodiac Sign?


Source- Pixabay

Thank God it’s Friday! Here are some of my favorite end-of-week reads:

  • If you are one of those kinds of people who make their important life decisions based on zodiac signs and the magic of astrology, you might be interested to know that your star sign has probably changed. Say what? Yeah, you read right, and it’s O.K to freak out!  (Cosmopolitan)
  • Is the corporate world really a ‘boys’ club’? And will it always be that way? Companies That Discriminate Fail (Eventually) (Bloomberg view)
  • Sad, but true- Poor vision is one of the biggest curable disease, that people rarely talk about. What’s the remedy? (World Economic Forum)
  • Are leaders born or made? You guessed right! The answer is … both (Jack and Suzy Welch, on LinkedIn)
  • Why is Goldman Sachs encouraging employees to talk about race at work? Edith Cooper, Global Head of Human Capital Management at Goldman Sachs, shared an interesting article on LinkedIn)
  • Would you care to become so good you can’t be ignored? Here is why and how.(Lifehack)
  • Broke entrepreneurs, business fund seekers… If you’ve been down that road before, you’ll  agree that raising money for a startup can be quite stressful! But here’s why entrepreneurs and founders should care where their VCs get their money. (TechCrunch)
  • The 5 elements that hinder your company’s development and are harmful to your organizational culture. (Entrepreneur)
  • “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” –Winston Churchill. Dr. Travis Bradberry  gives excellent tips on the “8 Ways Smart People Use Failure To Their Advantage.” (Forbes)
  • #Futureofwork– The Future of work is here. And it’s here to stay. No need for chills and goosebumps- Josh Bersin explains the three simple parts of the ‘Future of Work.’ (Forbes)
  • Liam Fox, the Secretary of State for International Trade and President of the Board of Trade accused the British business of becoming “too lazy and too fat.” He said that businessmen and women prefer to “golf on a Friday afternoon” instead of working. (The Telegraph)
  • Reality TV star, Kim Kardashian wants to go to Law School. You go girl!  (Daily Caller)

If you like what you read, please share the word


“You Used To Call Me On My Cellphone”- Guilty About Losing Your Friends? Here’s Why You Need To Focus On Your ‘Growth Friends’

If you’ve listened to Hotline bling, then you must have heard Drake singing the first lines you used to call me from my cellphone. The lyrics are quite straightforward and for this sensitive topic, i thought i’d borrow that first line too.

Recently, i ran into an old friend of mine from college. She was not just anyone. She was my best friend! Our little meeting didn’t even last for more than 5 mins because we were both in a hurry. But i couldn’t help notice how much we both changed!  7 years ago, we were inseparable! The long talks, long walks along the sea, the parties…etc. But when we met again after such a long time, there was this distance which made us  feel  like we were strangers.  Honestly, it felt awkward!

What changed?

Well, life happens! We both made decisions, opened new chapters in our lives and  became extremely  busy with our careers and personal lives. And somewhere down the road, we drifted apart and  we lost our “friendship” connection. I must admit that even though i made new friends who i love very much (and i guess she too), i realised that getting over friends from the past is also not easy.

Maybe that is what they call ‘growing up’? So i hear. I don’t know. You tell me?

To me, friends are very important. I can’t imagine how some people cope without friends.

“No man is an island “

Studies show the importance of friendship-based relationships because it fosters moral goodness in people.  Friendships are vital for our overall mental well being and happiness. And in your career or personal life, it’s important to know who you keep in your life as friend.

But how important are past friends to you?  Do you feel bad for letting some of them go?

If you have guilty feelings about letting go off friendships, then this video by leading motivational expert, Brendon Buchard will inspire you. He talks about 3 kinds of friends (old, maintenance and growth) and he explains the importance of “Growth Friends” in our lives. Just pay attention to details.