It always shocks me when people call me when they just lost their job and tell me that it was completely unexpected and that they thought, they will stay in this job forever. I can see their disappointment and that they blame the company. I understand, that this is a very difficult situation for people, especially if they have a family to support. This is why I think you must think ahead and create your own, very strong personal brand, so you never have to be in such a situation.
I know that some people will say “But my job is secure, I don’t have to worry”. I don’t think there is anything like job security anymore today, except for situations where the company is legally forced to keep their employees. Job security was a given in the past. People started working for one company after they finished their education and stayed there until they retired. These days are long gone.
Today, where economic shifts take place in an instant, companies have to move and react faster than ever. This leads into constant reorganizations, massive workforce changes and outsourcing.
I believe that the days of job security are gone. We can no longer let the system take care of us and we have to create our own personal brand to create stability and security in our careers. I came up with the Career Security idea because it is no longer a single job that we can bind ourselves to. We have to think about the whole career from start to finish as the big picture. Trying to hold on to a single job makes us dependent to this one employer.
If we can brand ourselves in the marketplace and raise the awareness, we secure ourselves a stable career path and when that time for a change in jobs comes, we will not have to start from zero with creating a CV and blindly applying for job openings.
Old School Personal Branding
Personal branding used to be done one-on-one. You were able to do it by having lunch or dinner with your friends and colleagues. You could call a friend and talk about your work or even help him or her out with something you were an expert in. If you were very smart and had some financial resources, you were able to host dinner parties and other social events.This way you could scale your one-on-one branding to one-to-a-few.
New School Personal Branding
Today, you can of course still do all of the above. However, because of the internet, you are furthermore able to use the most powerful personal branding tools in history. You can let 500 Facebook friends know that you just completed a major project. You can let your 2000 twitter followers know in an instant, that you are looking for a new challenge. If you blog about your current projects or how you see your industry in 5 years, thousands of people can read it in an instant.
By showing your expertise, your values and passion in public, you will attract people who think like you. You will be able to build a following of people who support you and your work and eventually, decision makers and entrepreneurs will read and like what you have to say and offer you to work with them.
I understand that for some people this is hard to believe. There are countless examples of professionals who started their own personal brand and opportunities followed. A few of them are Seth Godin, Danny Ivy, Chris Guillebeau, Gary Vaynerchuk and Corbett Barr.
Start Branding Today
Even if you are not looking for a new job right now, start to brand yourself today. How do you do that? It’s easy when you understand the power of new media and the opportunities that it brings with it.