You Are Your Own Brand: Why It's Important To Create Your Own Image

by Kerri Schreiber

As many Gen-Yers know, the job search isn’t the easiest feat to accomplish. We may feel as though we are simply just pawns in an older generation’s game of chess, but what we must learn is that it is truly about how you play the game.

Life is a business, and you are your own CEO. Learn to create a strategic plan for yourself and be the one to implement it. Being able to control your own fate will ultimately lead you to what you want. Here are some things to realize and ways that you can market yourself to others:

You Are Your Own Brand.

Just like Victoria’s Secret sells underwear and Best Buy sells electronics, you sell something that is unique — YOU.  This includes your identity, personality, work ethic, goals, aspirations, fears and more. Think of yourself as a brand — as your own public relations, sales and marketing department all in one. Know how to sell the best version of yourself and position your image that will be favorable to all.

Identify With Something.

Almost like the above statement, Victoria’s Secret is branded as a purveyor of underwear and lingerie and that is how we identify it. By connecting yourself with an instrument, a sport, an academic activity or a job, we allow others to quickly understand us at face value before getting in-depth about who we actually are.

These types of identities are what forms stereotypes, which can communicate who we are based on with what we associate. Stereotypes make us relatable and, like a perfect movie script formula, easy to follow.

Stand Out From The Crowd.

Our differences are what make us unique. Nobody wants to watch the same boring movie repeatedly and there is nothing more mundane than someone who only follows trends and fads.

Eventually, those fads will die down and something else will become the new attraction. Be that attraction and be different from your friends and neighbors. Embrace the fact that you are fluent in another language and that you love to cook. Just because nobody else is doing it doesn’t mean that it isn’t relevant.

Embrace Knowledge.

One of the most beautiful discoveries is being able to understand knowledge and apply it critically in our everyday lives. As human beings, we will never know all that the world and that this life can offer, so we might as well continue trying to figure it out. Don’t stop reading and don’t stop asking questions.

With these two basic elementary forms of learning, we can embrace the world around us with an open mind. Knowledge opens us up to possibilities and you will learn to realize that those possibilities that once seemed so far away are actually attainable and endless.

Don’t Be Fake.

I can’t explain how, but most people know when someone is being fake, even from a first impression. It’s almost like speaking to a person and even though they’re wide-eyed and smiley, you know they’re not listening to one damn thing you say or care about what you have to offer and instead are only thinking about their own personal benefits.

Don’t Criticize What You Can’t Understand.

Bob Dylan got it right in that times are a-changin’. Creating a vision in which you look at others with an open mind is a huge part of marketing yourself and one that will allow you to connect with an interviewer and therefore, create more of a conversation rather than a question-and-answer-type interview.

By accepting differences and learning why people in the ways that they do, it will not only allow you to be more informed, but also more conversational when it comes to meeting an employer who you are trying to impress. Being open and willing to see other points of view is essential to making the most of any situation whether that is a job, friends or family and will help you see the world differently.

Take A Chance.

Risk-taking is the ultimate way that marketer achieves success. Products go through a lifecycle and that first innovation stage is important and involves risk-taking. Do you think Apple would be as big of a company as it is if the iPod was never created? Think of yourself as a new innovation waiting to be bought.

Do something you never would have imagined doing and get out of your comfort zone. Once you are comfortable being uncomfortable, great things will be accomplished.

Photo via tumblr