Baby Boomers, should you care about your Personal Brand?
I have written a couple of posts on this topic in the last few months:
Each time I have posted links to these posts on a variety of LinkedIn groups.
I have received comments like:
Why do I have to post on social media? Face to face communication is far more important.
You cannot build real relationships on Social Media!
First, that’s actually not true. I know many people who have met clients, customers and collaborators on social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn. They begin by commenting on one another’s posts, having online discussions and getting to know one another. Then, after a period of this, one or the other recommends they meet off line. Frequently, the relationship they built online proves to be something fruitful for both of them.
I also have many clients who work on large multi-national teams. They rarely meet face-to-face with their teammates. One of them has been running worldwide events for a large multi-national corporation from his man-cave for the last several years. His only interaction with his teammates was over the phone. And, like many people who get entrenched in a company, his business relationships were entirely with people who worked for the same multi-national corporation. It was an all-consuming culture.
He is now looking for employment. He knows his stuff. The problem is no one knows that he knows his stuff. Had he been interacting with other people who do similar things in other companies, he would be a known entity. He would have connections outside of his own company.
Now he has to start promoting his skills. He has to be a salesman where he is the product.
Does this sound familiar? Had he been building relationships, reputation, answering questions for peers on social media, he would have a personal brand as an expert in this field.
That’s why Baby boomers should pay attention to Personal Brands!
We, baby boomers, were raised to be employees and were expected to go to work for father like corporations that would take care of us.
Those days are gone forever!
Dan Schawbel’s new book Promote Yourself is counter to the way many baby boomers were raised. Promote yourself? Many of us were taught that our work should speak for itself. Or we should let others speak for us. People who promoted themselves, unless they were really, really good at doing it subtly, were seen as arrogant.
The world has changed.
You now need to look at yourself as a product. A well-defined product that can be promoted worldwide!
That well-defined product is defined by your personal brand.
Can you afford to ignore developing and promoting your personal brand?
If you want to stay employed for the next twenty years (which many boomers will need to do) your personal brand cannot be ignored.
Should baby boomers care about their personal brand?
You tell me!
Marc Miller is the founder of Career Pivot which helps Baby Boomers design careers they can grow into for the next 30 years. Marc authored the book Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers, published in January 2013, which has been featured on Forbes.com, US News and World Report, CBS Money-Watch and PBS’ Next Avenue. Career Pivot was selected for the Forbes Top 100 Websites for your Career. Marc has made six career pivots himself, serving in several positions at IBM in addition to working at two successful Austin, Texas startups, teaching math in an inner-city high school and working for a local non-profit. Learn more about Marc and Career Pivot by visiting the Career Pivot Blog or follow Marc on Twitter or Facebook.