Friday, January 9, 2009

Creating My Brand

I have a brand. It sounds odd and maybe a little more complicated than I'd like, but a brand is a brand. I didn't actually 'brand' my body. I also didn't create a 'name brand' for myself. I created a fabulous reason why I am essential to any office that is looking to hire an Executive Assistant.

For the last few months I've been reading a forum called Brazen Careerist. This is where I first heard of branding oneself. I thought it was strange and in no way applied to me. I'm not an entrepreneur, or self-employed (entirely). So why would I need to brand myself? Why would anyone need to brand themselves if they don't fall into the two above stated categories?

I discovered what my brand is yesterday afternoon after looking at some job postings (this is what I do in my spare time) and it just clicked. In order to become an Exec. Admin, within the next few years, I needed to give employers a good reason to hire someone who is young, slightly inexperienced, not necessarily polished in professionalism and a little quirky at times. My brand was going to do just that.

My brand takes any characteristics about me that might be negative and turned into a positive:

I'm a young administrative professional. I do not necessarily have extensive skills or knowledge in my profession, and I'm not seasoned in what we assistants do in our offices all day. But I'm up to date with what companies are looking for. I have a 'I'll figure it out if I don't know' attitude and I'm part of the generation that is leading business into a new decade. I'm self sufficient and ready to learn at my fullest potential. These are the qualities to look for an an Executive Assistant, proficiency tests are outdated, loyalty to a company doesn't add any value to a resume. If you want confidence, creativity and enthusiasm in an Executive Assistant, then look towards the younger generation. Look towards me.

Honestly, I'm not sure if this is what Brazen would call a 'brand'. Of all the posts on the site talking about 'creating your brand', I have yet to see anyone's example.

If, in a brand, we are supposed to present ourselves as our brand, I would say my brand would be presented with hair down and slightly styled, wearing a nice fitting black suit and a bright colored shirt underneath to standout. (Since I'm female) My makeup would not stand out in anyway and carry natural hues that highlight the best parts of my face, no lipstick. I'm a chap stick sort of girl. Pointy black shoes would meet the hem of my suit pants and flatter me well, no high waters. Upon greeting anyone I would offer confidence, lean into a handshake with a genuine smile. From there would begin the conversation. I would be well spoken and direct, but also add some humor and provide insightful, genuine information about myself.

Is that closer? Of course, during the conversation I would pursue why I'm perfect for the job. And that would relate back to my brand.

In the end, I think a brand is more for personal purposes. Now that I've discovered my brand, I will be able to focus myself in job interviews, and as my career grows. I don't ever see myself pitching my brand to an employer or any other professional that I would meet with. Knowing what my brand is will reflect in my personality, persistence and professionalism.

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