Great article from Fast Company - Quote of the Week: Don't Change Who You Are

So true. But what if you don't know who you are?

Then stop focusing on that stupid question and instead ask:

What do I want to contribute?

"Don't change who you are." This is so true when it comes to personal branding in today's economy. It is imperative that you don't try to one-up the "competition" or try to position yourself as something you are not.

Organizations are now hiring more for cultural fit than skills, so it's more important than ever that you clearly articulate WHO you are and WHY you are that way.

Don't know where to begin?

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, tea, beer...whatever helps get your thinking juices flowing. And then start answering these questions:

  • What do I want to impact?
  • What do I want to create?
  • What do I want to contribute?
  • At the end of my life, what do I want to look back on and see?
  • What pisses me off?
  • What is broken that I want to work toward fixing?
  • What types of people and organizations do I want to align myself with?
  • When am I most successful, and why?
  • What environment do I need to be my whole self at work?
  • What unique strengths, knowledge, experience and skills do I have that can help me with my contribution?

How did you do? Do you feel that you have a better sense of what you bring to the table?

Take this and turn it into your personal brand. Seriously. Don't use jargony words. Don't talk about how many years of experience you have managing $xxx budgets. Tell us what you believe and value. And what problem you're trying to solve in this short life.

And once you do that, there is no way that you haven't truly expressed your personality through your "brand"---which will allow anyone looking to hire you to understand who you truly are and what you will fully bring to the table on day one.