Everyone is writing posts on the economy and tips for beating it. I thought I would join in, but with a personal branding angle to it. Below is my top 10 list of ways you shouldn’t brand yourself during this economy, or at all really, but especially during this time. If you have more to add, please leave a comment.
1) Appear concerned that you are going to get laid off
If you think you might lose your job, you probably will. Most of your success and failure lies in your mental state. The more you think about losing your job, the more it will shine through to others that you might deserve to lose it. Those who are confident in their own abilities, skills, internal network and the future, will survive and thrive during a period of economic struggle.
2) Continue to do the same work everyday
The easiest way to lose your job is by not expanding your role and learning new skills. If you do the same tasks every single day, then the chance you will be eliminated is considerably high. Think about it, if a company no longer requires those tasks or projects to be done, then they don’t need you. The way to save yourself is to learn about more areas of your company, especially ones where you can lend support with your expertise. When this occurs, even if your current position is eliminated, you may have a bridge to an opportunity, where on-the-job training won’t be required.
3) Search for new jobs during your full-time job
Some people are in panic right now and may fear they are about to lose their current position. Instead of working harder after work to find a new job or to build their personal brand, people invest time at work to search for new jobs. This is a very bad move, not only because most companies monitor employees computers and web routines, but because you are wasting precious time that you need to do your current job. In a recession, you have to work harder to keep your job, so losing those hours will get you fired quicker.
4) Start asking people you’ve never met for favors
The worst way to network is when it’s forced. When you come off as “using” someone else or begging for favors, without giving first, you lose. It’s really that simple and I don’t care if it’s online or offline, the results you’ll get are the same. You need to build your network before you need it. If you’re desperately searching for a job, people might not even consider you an ideal candidate due to perception. Also, people don’t want to get harassed right now when they have their own problems. The best way to ask for favors right now is to go to your immediate, trusted network.
5) Focus on monetary equity and not social equity
During a recession, many people choose to focus on every penny they have. They save money, instead of spend it (of course). The issue is that you come off as “cheap,” which will hurt your brand image. Also, people divest or don’t put much energy into building social equity (relationships/strong network), but rather monetary equity. This is a problem because money can’t really get you another job if you’re laid off, but your network can.
6) Convince yourself that you have job security
No one has job security. There are just people who are better off than others. In fact, the only insurance policy you have is your network! You may even be getting laid off while you read this. The people who feel like they have job security are poorly positioned because they aren’t taking the steps needed to protect themselves and invest in their personal brands.
7) Laugh at social media and concentrate solely on your current position
Please don’t ignore the social media explosion on the internet. It is at your own peril! I know if you’re reading this you are actively engaged with social media at some level, either as a content creator or producer. Lacking social media knowledge, passion and having assets (a blog) will actually count against you in many ways.
- First, you will lose a vital channel by which you can communicate your personal brand for free.
- Second, you won’t have any web 2.0 personal brand equity that you can parlay into another job, transferring your brand from position A to position B.
- Third, you won’t have an additional revenue stream to get you through the hard times.
- Fourth, you won’t be discovered for the next big opportunity.
8 ) Work shorter hours, knowing you won’t be getting a raise
The economy is hurting everyone and really depressing people, but to try and get revenge on your company by working fewer ours is crazy. There is a 120% chance you won’t get a raise if you work shorter hours. Also, you will feel a lot less satisfied with your work and life. Your boss will notice and you will be added to the long list of people to get laid off. Don’t worry about a raise; worry about keeping your job!
9) Speak to your coworkers about how much you hate your job
You can’t trust anyone, trust me . People talk and at work, where a lot of people are talking about the economy and are trying to get watch their own back, a “rat” or “unhappy worker,” will be heard and fired pretty quickly. Work environments are quite harsh, so it’s better to be quiet and let everyone else screw things up for themselves. When the pressure is on and people feel threatened, anything goes and that is VERY scary. Be smart about your interactions and let your communication work for you, rather than against.
10) Use social networks as a microphone for complaints
The worst thing you can do is vent through social networks. Social networks cater to all audiences now, so everything you share could be seen by your parents, teachers, coworkers, manager, etc. Just knowing this should make you smarter about how you participate online. If people see you as negative or annoying, they aren’t going to offer you a job and you might even lose your job because of it.