When I ask college students “what do you want to do when you graduate,” they always respond the same way. They dictate a job title that is somewhat reflective of their current interest area or topic of study. A job title is what corporations want you to be, not what you want you to be. “I want to be an account executive at an advertising age” is not forward thinking, nor differentiates you from thousands of others who have the same short-term aspirations. Please take a step back and realize that you will just become a number if you promote yourself and set your objective on your resume to a job title.
Job Title vs Personal Brand Statement
- Job Title: What corporations want you to be, to fill their organizational hierarchy.
- Personal Brand Statement: What you want to be in a single sentence that answers two questions: what are you the best at and who do you serve (audience)
Job Titles are Over-rated
Do you really care if you are the “Associate Product Marketing Manager”? If you do, then you are seriously at a competitive disadvantage, relative to your peers. A title is constructed by human resources to position people who have more years of experience, more political power and influence, as well as for compensation purposes. Although you may believe that a title of “executive vice president” or “chief financial officer” will help you build your brand, give you visibility or more money, let’s move away from titles and onto your personal brand. Your brand is forward thinking, whereas a title can change up to a certain level and then stays stationary. You can’t have a title stronger than “chairman” or “CEO”, but you can have your own title that you make for yourself, such as “the common sense guy.”
When you start out at the bottom of the ladder, you are given titles that are not attractive, which in some way forces you to push yourself to the limits in order to get promotions for the next highest title. Obviously you can’t stop an organization from giving you a title, but you need your own title as well. A title that carries and is held inside your head, regardless of the corporation you reside in. You are the chief marketer for the brand called you and your own CEO of You Inc. If you get caught up in job titles, you will lose focus from what is really important: your personal brand.
Personal Brand Statements
In order to build a very high profile personal brand, you need what is called a personal brand statement. It is a statement of positioning and targeting. In order to be remarkable and the one called upon for opportunities, you need to be the best at something to a certain group of people. There are billions of people in the world and of course there will always be competition in your field, maybe even some that are more talented or have stronger networks than you. In order to survive and thrive in the digital world, you have to choose a topic and master it.
Do not say that you are the best marketer or accountant in the world because you most likely aren’t even close. You need a more specific and concise niche topic and audience. It needs to align with your passions and goals in order for it to be reflective and hold up. If you are successful in establishing this statement, then you are setting yourself up for success, where others have failed.
My personal brand statement is “I’m the leading personal branding expert (niche topic) for gen-y (audience served).”
- Natasha Vincent – Business Ideas Catalyst for Salon and Spa Owners
- James Seay – Providing imaginative solutions for selling problems
Your turn: What is your personal brand statement? Write it in the comments section and I’ll put it in this post.