Why Having a Personal Brand Matters in 2019 (No Matter Your Job Title)
Here's why everyone needs to develop their own personal brand as a part of their career, why I started a blog in 2010 and how it has transformed my life and changed the course of my career.
It's not rocket science to conclude that we are living in a world where computers are increasingly dominating our day to day tasks and many jobs risk being automated. In this digital age, now is the time to develop a personal brand that explores our own humanity in whatever our interests that cannot be replaced by a computer. If you're looking to change jobs or perhaps create your own field, now is the time to invest in your own personal brand. Whatever field you may be in- real estate, B2B or an owner of a coffee shop- needs a personal brand. Here's why and how I started this:
Fresh out of college, I was sitting at an office job bored wondering what my next career move would be. I'd just arrived in Hong Kong from New York City during the 2009 global recession into a job at an online fashion retailer. During those 2 years as an editor-turned-fashion analyst, I realized I needed to make a transition but I knew a weak resume, little street cred save a college degree at Parsons School of Design (aka the 'Project Runway school') and the aura of having studied in New York City was not going to land me my dream career. A year into my 9-5 job, I realized in order for me to transition out, I needed to create a platform and a personal brand to achieve 2 things:
1. To be able to constantly put out work without necessarily having to get it approved by upper management or being judged by others. For me, the blog was the answer; a place where I could pour all my interests and passion on the worldwide web and not care if my cake flatlays were 'on brand' with my interest in chunky knits and floral dresses. In this dynamic age of digital media, having a sketchbook with a constant flow of ideas and images is better than a portfolio of dated work stunted by perfection. And as a result, it shows potential companies your work ethic and drive to create and improve.
2. To connect with people and create relationships. I knew if I wanted to leave my full-time job, I'd have built a foundation of trust in my work and a community of like-minded individuals. So in 2010, that's when Sam is Home, a lifestyle and fashion blog, was born. Over the next 8 years, I dedicated a lot of my time into creating content for the blog- partially as a hobby- but also because it kept me in the forefront of where digital marketing and advertising dollars were going into. It also helped me to transition into other forms of media- from my Instagram which is now my primary channel of communication- to Youtube and now here on LinkedIn. "Community first" may sound like some cheesy 2012 Instagram hashtag, but at the heart of it is where you'll find success in finding your future job.
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below and hit me up on my Instagram if this helped you!