The Time Manager with an Acute Attention to Detail and Flourishing Communication Skills

dr.suessI have been struggling for the past year to determine my personal brand. I am somewhat of a perfectionist and I wanted something that was clever and would define me at the same time. This is ironic because I consider myself pretty witty, but I have a hard time talking about myself.  I cannot stand someone who is an over-the-top self promoter so I often down play myself to avoid being perceived as one of those types. But as I began looking for internships and started thinking about interviewing for my first “big girl” job I knew I would have to stand out.

I have read countless articles on personal branding to aid me through this process. I have found some to be very helpful and they offer some very clever ideas, but a lot of them say the same thing: pick 4-5 traits or qualities you have, are proud of and want to be known for. I was reading an article on Mashable by Dan Schawbel,  author of  Me 2.0: Build a Powerful Brand to Achieve Career Success. The article  was written in 2009, but it was still relevant. Schawbel says that your self impression is how people perceive you. This is something we all know, but need to be reminded of at times. If you think of yourself as a optimistic, others will see that in you, but you must be honest with yourself.  

So as I attempted to brand myself I became discouraged because I felt that it should be natural, but that is not the case. I started by doing as suggested and picked 4-5 of my best traits: time manager, organized, perfectionist, professional and expert in communication. Then I was stumped. I didn’t want to just say I had all of these qualities, I wanted to be these qualities. This is where my wit comes in.

I knew I had to narrow down the 5 traits I picked. I started with process of elimination. Perfectionist and organized are one in the same so I condensed that into “attention to detail.”

Next I wanted to focus on my role in communication. I’m proud of my professional communication skills and knowledge. I have learned a lot in my time as an undergrad, but I had yet to land a job so I also did not want to lie. I tossed around words like “developing” and “maturing.” In my search for the perfect word, I stumbled upon the word “flourishing.” When I asked my friends how they felt about the word, they said it made them feel like something was promising and developing in a healthy way. That lead me to decide on “flourishing communication skills.”

I had it narrowed down, but it did not feel good enough. I was missing something. I asked myself what I am most proud of and right now  and the answer is the fact that I am graduating in three and a half years after I spent three and a half years working and attending school, both full-time. This is where my time management skills come in.

I jumbled my power qualities up in various different forms and I researched other ideas. I finally formed the beginning, “The Time Manager.” Since I was most proud of this quality, it made sense to start my self branding with it. So I was a “time manager with an acute attention to detail with flourishing communication skills.” Although that sounds great, I knew it just didn’t sound right. By simply adding a “the” to the front of my branding slogan, I was displaying confidence without having to come right out and say that I am proud and certain of my skills. “The Time Manager with an acute attention to detail and flourishing communication skills” is strong and bold, yet not too flashing or arrogant. It was just what I was looking for.

I’m sure that as I enter the professional world and gain more experience my personal branding will change, but I am glad that I took the time to figure out who I am. I know that  I am a hard worker and will be a great asset to any team, but before I begin applying for jobs and going on interviews I needed to determine what angle I would use to make myself stand out from other candidates. Now as I move forward in my search, I will use my personal brand as a guidelines for my job searching strategies.

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Communication Can Define an Organization

The “protester” is someone that we hear about on the news and read about online and in the paper, but a majority of us would never label ourselves as a protester. We are a country that is fortunate enough to have the freedom of speech. We have the right to assemble and protest a cause that we hold close to our heart, but some people do get out of control. This is why many protesters have a bad reputation. Many non-protesters critictize the behavior of protesters, but TIME Magazine did the exact opposite. TIME named the protester their 2011 Person of the Year. TIME magazine was trying to tell the world something and I think that there are some people that are gradually catching on. Communication is the key to success and everyone knows this, but the way that we communicate is what defines us as people or organizations.

It is predicted that in 2012 one of the biggest trends will be the way communication defines an organization. This means that if an organization is bad at communicating with the public, their clients and any other stakeholders their reputation will suffer. I believe that this has been true all along, but people are just now realizing the effects of good and bad communication. The “protester” is the just a normal man or woman and if they can effectively share their message so can any organization. The protester is TIME’s person of the year because he or she utilized the communication tools her she has, phone, internet, T.V., to spread their message and to get people talking about them and their cause.

Communication is not always about selling and making a profit. An organization needs a stable foundation to have a great reputation and a stable foundations starts with good solid relationships. Relationships can be made by conversation. If an organization communicates effectively, that organization can form lasting relationships with clients, vendors, the public, etc. The relationships make a stable foundation. As an organization, you want people to be talking about you and you want that chatter to be positive. For example, on a Facebook page, instead of advertising a product, ask fans a questions and the person with the best answer wins a prize. It may be small, but almost half the people that only participated will go tell a friend. The quality of communication does matter. With their being so many media outlets out there and the fact that anyone can create news and start a conversations makes it hard to stand out, but an organization should know their target audience and have a meaningful purpose. It may take practice and advice, but quality communication is up to the communication generator.

It is not only about quality, quantity matters too. An organization should have a consistent communication plan and follow it, but the plan should not be consistently annoying. If an organization is constantly pushing their name and saying all the wrong things, it will make the public mad.  The public will just tune out there messages or complain. An organization should communicate enough so that people do not forget their name, but never too much.  Part of maintaining a good relationship is letting people know that you are always there for them, but you should never smother anyone either.

Communication comes down to quality and quantity. Both matter equally, but if both are done right and organization can have a great reputation.