I subscribe to a lot of newsletters.  My email box is filled with around 25-35 new emails messages daily that come from various shopping sites to which I subscribe (you get advance notice of sales, coupons, etc), and a few other select sites.  One of those sites is The Ladders.  I used this site when I was helping a friend of mine look for a new job (it is a site used to search for $100k+ jobs).  And while I don’t advocate working for someone else, this site and their newsletters has some of the best career advice out there.

Today one thing that caught my attention was an article written about creating your own brand.  The author talks about building your brand and reputation both online and offline.  He emphasizes the importance of being an expert, and making yourself known–networking is about quality not quantity:

Focus on real world interaction with people. Have the kind of conversations that will make people remember you, not run the other direction because you are hounding them. Be genuine. Be thoughtful. Find ways you can help people as much as they can help you. These tenets may seem natural to some, foreign to others, but in any case, they will go a long way in building your brand.

The thing I liked most about the article is that it gave some some useful tools and advice, namely:

  • Get involved in your trade–speak at panels, attend networking events, write articles, etc.
  • Build your network in a good way (not just collecting business cards)
  • Even when you are working for your company think about how your contacts and interactions can work for you and your reputation
  • Be memorable

In general I don’t think I am very good at these things.  I am clumsy in social settings and I tend to be so focused on the task at hand I seldom think about myself in a larger capacity.  Though to really use this advice I need to think through it all a bit more.

One thing though, is that is also made me think about my website and the fact that everything I write about is all over the board.  I sometimes feel like I am not really an expert in anything I am just kind of good at a lot of things.  Furthermore, I think I have so many interests and hobbies there isn’t one thing I am entirely focused on.  I had originally hoped to move this site in a more concrete direction–focused on fashion and finance–since those are the things that interest me most but my entries are all over the board on everything I feel is worth sharing with the world.  I will have to spend some time thinking about this too!  Lots of food for thought!

Hope you enjoy the article (and there is lots of other good articles in the career advice section–I would strongly recommend checking it out).

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