More Personal Brand Bullsh*t
Happy week-between-xmas-and-new-years everyone! I hope all is well, at work and at home (and for those of you awaiting your fall semester grades - good luck there as well!). OK, so here is is a comment I've been wanting to make on this story on the Brazen Careerist Network: 10 ways to get fired for building your personal brand. Now I've harped on and on about how I believe that this term (Personal Brand) is just another meaningless bullshit term that people are using to obfuscate what they mean and get people jazzed and excited about things that we already do and possibly to get you to hire a brand coach to get you through this difficult phrase of creating your "brand" (a good book on the subject of business bull, by the way, is Why Business People Speak Like Idiots).
Anyway, here are Dan's 10 ways of getting fired for building your personal brand:
- Friending your manager on Facebook and then complaining about your job
- Putting your personal brand in front of your company’s brand
- Complaining that your company blocks social networking sites
- Attracting the wrong attention to your company’s brand because of your own
- Announcing your new job on Twitter when you’re still employed
- Thinking you’re superior to older workers because you’re tech literate
- Wearing rags to work because it’s part of your brand
- Posting inappropriate photos on Facebook, forgetting that your profile is public
- Spending more time on yourself than being productive during work hours
- Calling in sick, when you’re not, so that you can focus on your brand.
Now I know that there is a certain naïveté that comes with youth - we've all been there, some of us are still there, but all of these reasons seem like "well, d'uh!". If you complain about your work in a public forum, you will get some blow back because this type of public negativity looks bad for the company and tends to bring down company morale. Announcing that you've already got another job (or looking) in public forums - again, same category about complaining. You wouldn't be looking unless things were not to your liking, right?
Ditto on wasting company time (d'uh!) and calling in sick when you are not (d'uh!) and not wearing clothes that are not appropriate. Now you don't have to wear rags to be like a fly in milk, it depends on the job. If you are working in construction, coming in with a suit would not be advisable. Working in a bookstore where you have to wear khakis and a green shirt (polo, long sleeve or t-shirt), and you come in with jeans and a printed t-shirt...well you'll get a warning and if you don't comply to fit in with the company's image, well then you're a goner.
Now, I know that the Brazen Careerist is geared toward millennials (i.e. my generation), but I find it hard to believe that millennials are (a) falling for this jargon, and (b) that this logic of dos and don't of work politics is beyond them.
Just to recap - there is no such thing as personal brand. As human beings we are made up of many social circles, each circle requiring a separate code of conduct and has a separate set of rules. Sometimes these circles intersect, sometimes they don't This jargon we see called Personal Brand is an attempt to try and encapsulate all of these circles into one global image (aka "brand") - the "brand to rule them all" I guess, and this just isn't possible. Wisdom comes from knowing which circles can and should intersect (and at which times they should intersect), and which ones should not.