Tag Archives: life

Class of 2013: Build Your Personal Brand

As I usually do, I like to chime in whenever possible on trends on Linkedin. This week one of the major topics that Linkedin Influencers are talking about is what advice should be given to new graduates (the class of 2013). My favorite post by an influencer is titled, “Class of 2013: Write Your Eulogy, Then Live the Life You Want,” by Geoff Yang. In it, Yang talks about a number of things you should keep in mind in order to live a worthwhile life, but the major takeaway is to, of course, think about the story you want to tell when you’re of age, so to speak. I think that’s a really excellent way to go about making decisions. For me though, the advice that I believe is most important is to solidify who are you and to in that way build your personal brand.

For many, college is a time of exploration and many come out of it knowing themselves better and knowing their interests. Nonetheless, it’s a difficult to task to define oneself. You can imagine that whenever you’re asked who you are, you tend to take a pause and end up providing a lot of factual, descriptive information that doesn’t really define who you are. You have to stray away from defining yourself by your degree and your major. You have to realize that you are not simply the summation of all of your past work experiences. You’re not your resume. I believe it’s become a necessity to build your own personal brand because that is really what let’s you be able to stand up to the task of defining yourself. What do you value? What are your boundaries? What are your interests? What are you passionate about? What do you have to say that people should listen too? These are the questions that you have to answer when thinking about your own personal brand, how to build it, and then how to use it to your advantage. I believe that if you know who you are and keep an eye on your brand then your on the course to making the right decisions for yourself. Congratulations.

Why Not Rushing to Accept a Position After College Has Turned Out to Be Blessing in Disguise

I’ve noticed that it’s become a trend for influencers on Linkedin to write about how a radical decision turned out to be one of the greatest choices they have ever made and that’s inspired me to write about my own. I think that during a time when we’re attempting to improve with a slowly regrowing economy, it’s essential to view stages in life as opportunities.

It’s that time when soon to be graduates are scrambling to finalize their plans after college. There’s definitely a lot of pressure involved and I remember that well. The truth is that I’m probably still at that stage, but my nascent realization is that it’s turned out to be a blessing in disguise. When you have the time to think about who you are, what you’re passionate about, and what inspires you, you have the ability to make profound discoveries.

Since graduating, I’ve had the time to expand my interests in ways I would’ve never thought possible. With the time to take risks and begin new projects, I’ve had the ability to expand my mind and gain an even better understanding of myself. While some interests have only grown, others have developed. It’s an extraordinary thing. If I want to start writing a book, I can do that. If I have an idea for a start up, I can begin to lay down the groundwork for that. If I want to write about something, I can start another blog. The takeaway is to be true to yourself. It’s important to take everything as an opportunity and above all else to stay true to yourself. Take control of your personal brand and use the Internet to your advantage. Not rushing into accepting a position after college has been a blessing in disguise.

Top 5 Things I’ve Come to Realize About Blogging

1. Give Your Readers Something with Every Post

The number one realization shouldn’t really be all that surprising. It’s sort of human history to be drawn to free things for one, but more than this if we draw something positive from a piece of writing then we’re much more likely to see it as having been of value. The key isn’t to always tailor your writing to your audience (unless your looking for max clickthroughs), but rather to make sure that there’s a message or a takeaway with every post. From a writer’s perspective, keeping your sight on this can also help to focus your writing and give it purpose. If you what you’ve written lacks a message, then why did you write it? It’s an obvious concept. Give your readers something to try, something to look into, a different way of thinking or anything that they can use to potentially make a positive change in their life.

2. Be Authentic

We all have role models whether we’re aware of it or not and our role models influence our aspirations. I think that one of the worst things you can do is to write about something that you either don’t have a background in or lack a passion for. In general, people, I believe, are good at piecing out when someone is being sincere or insincere. If your writing is forced, than that will show. From the other side of the coin, why would you write about something that you felt indifferent towards? Writing is fueled by opinion and desire. If I’m ever writing about something and not enjoying myself as I type, then I know I lack interest in that particular subject and that usually ends up as an unfinished draft post on my dashboard. This still happens all of the time and I take it as a learning experience. The second this starts to taper off, then I’ll know what I’m most motivated about. In the meanwhile, as I find things I’m motivated about, I’ll continue to create new blogs or as is the case, I’ll create new blogs for the purpose of feeling out a particular interest. You’d likely be surprised to discover certain interests that you’ve never really given much attention to. Above all else make sure that your writing is authentic.

3. Never Reblog Without Adding Something to the Original Writing

I’m assuming that the re-blog feature of WordPress is relatively new and a response to features found in other micro-blogging, blogging, and social networking sites. I think that this feature itself is positive, but can be misused. If you’re constantly re-blogging then you’re likely using a blog as link bait. This really defeats the purpose of blogging. If this what you want to do, then by all means utilize a service like Pinterest or Twitter in order to share content of interest. If your blogging, then your intention should be to create original content. You start a blog because you have something to share. That being said the desire to reblog does come up. In this case, when you re-blog be sure to add something the content you want to share. It gives credit to the original author (and yes I know that still happens) and demonstrates why you’re singling out a certain blog post.

4. Blogging is a Great Way to Organize Your Thoughts

One of the things I’ve enjoyed about blogging, thus far, is that it really forces me to think about my beliefs and call into question certain things. It’s a great way to challenge my own thoughts and organize my thinking even before anyone has the opportunity to challenge what I have to say. If you’re looking for a way to focus in your thinking about a particular topic then you might actually want to consider blogging it. During the course of my college courses, I came across a handful of courses that required me to blog and I will say in these instances it wasn’t that effective, but only because it was a requirement. In that case, the blogging wasn’t authentic and was more of a chore than an actual exercise I could use to focus in my knowledge and thinking. It didn’t work because it wasn’t authentic, but if their is a class that’s challenging you, blogging may help. This is just one instance of many others.

5. It’s Really Interesting to Look at WordPress (or any blogging plaform) Statistics

One of the things that I find really interesting is seeing which posts are popular, where the hits are coming from, and the diversity of people who share an interest in any particular topic. It’s really fascinating and it’s a great feeling to know that your writing not only benefited you, but another person. Even just looking through all of the blogs on WordPress, you come to realize that there’s a lot of great content out there aside from the mainstream. Sure, blogs like Lifehacker and Gizmodo are really great. I check them regularly, but you never know which blogger our there might hold much more knowledge and a stronger viewpoint on a particular topic. Mainstream blogs cover a wide breadth of topics, but smaller blogs have the luxury of being able to specialize on a certain topic. Take the time to wander around WordPress.

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