Friday, January 28, 2011

On marketing yourself

Perhaps it's because of my upbringing and personal values, but I've always found it hard to market myself. Most of the time, I can't even accept compliments. This built-in humility isn't really the best personality trait for someone attempting to build their personal brand.

Like many other marketers, I just can't seem to transfer my professional skills to my personal life, in this sense. Selling myself, and learning to accept that it's a necessary strategy for someone searching to build a career in online media, marketing and branding has been a rough road. Still, I'm making small strides. This blog is one of them. Better managing my Twitter account is another. And I've recently started re-organizing my professional profiles, from private professional networks to updating my LinkedIn profile to creating this cute little bundle that combines all my major online presences on one page.

And today, I will be taking the last step on my to-do list: completely revamping my CV.

It's a task that's making me feel apprehensive because I'm nervous about settling on one path for my future. I know that several people have more than one CV or CV type to reflect their different career goals, but I've never been the kind of person to fragment my personality. When you talk to me, you get it all, not just pieces. Yes, we all filter our conversations based on whom we're conversing with, but I don't hide a part of myself like a secret that cannot be revealed. If it comes up, I'm usually pretty open with discussing pretty much anything. This is probably why I'm having a hard time attempting to split my personality on paper.

More importantly, it's quite nerve-racking to settle on one career goal when I have so many interests and avenues left to explore. Do I move away from TV and commit to PR/Media Relations? Do I focus on communications at a corporate level? What of my interest in social media managing and online marketing strategies? Even sticking to sports as my field of choice is a bit of a struggle since I am very much interested in not-for-profit organisations, military and defence systems, and government work in general. So how do I reconcile all these interests? I'm pretty sure I don't have a choice but to filter my presentation of myself and my skills in order to best benefit myself. To borrow from Foucault, I should use technologies of the self to better myself and maximise my future life opportunities.

And speaking of Foucault, I finally created a SlideShare account in order to most effectively share my work without clogging the blog. So for those who were interested in reading my paper on Foucauldian interpretations of the changing power relations in the NHL when its athletes take to Twitter, the wait is over! Without further ado, I am proud to present... *drum roll* "Rinkside Tweeting" available in its entirety online for optimal sharing (and branding!).

Because, as someone whose future lies in creative outlets, I (now) understand the importance of sharing my work with others. It's not about compliments, though constructive feedback is always appreciated. Like digital branding guru Mitch Joel, I am an introvert. So for me, it's about building my personal and professional confidence while sharing the knowledge I have acquired. It's about making a contribution to the world and knowing that I've done all I can to help others open their minds to new worldviews and ideas.

And who knows? Maybe that's what my CV should reflect. My desire to contribute to the world, no matter which professional path I choose to follow. It'll still require some trimming and fine-tuning, but by focusing on my skills and contributions rather than job titles, perhaps I can discover a new path to a fully fulfilling future. Only time will tell!

Stay tuned...

Sunday, January 23, 2011

On writing

So far, the New Year has been full of school work and writing. The paper I was working on for my class last semester went from having a personal deadline of Christmas to January 5th to "before classes start" to finally being finished late last week. Needless to say, with all the work assigned for my classes this semester, I've been more than a little overloaded!

I'm proud to say that my paper just needs a quick edit/revision before I can submit it by email. Plus, I presented it yesterday at Queen's University's 9th annual Macintosh Conference and it got really great feedback. Of course, trimming and turning 28 double-spaced pages of Foucauldian interpretations of the changing power relations in the NHL once players tweet into a 20-minute power point presentation that still covers most of the complex information is a hard feat. It's why the past few weeks have been full of 4am bedtimes and 8:30am wakeup calls. In other words, I've been super tired, super overworked and super brain hurt stressed.

The good news is I've been building in sports, entertainment and BALANCE into my schedule. Instead of sitting around on the couch at home for a few hours waiting for my procrastination to fade and inspiration to strike, I'm being active and sometimes even proactive and going to yoga or aquafit or a play, and working in a coffee shop or pub instead. Surprisingly, this low-pressure approach is actually working out quite well, possibly because the time remaining to get my work done is shorter. In other words, the productivity I gain from impending deadlines is enhanced. Meanwhile, my body feels great, my heart and soul feel fulfilled and life is beautiful! Even my wacky sleep patterns haven't left me feeling too tired. The last time I slept 4 hours, I felt great going to bed late and pretty good waking up too!

All in all, it's a win-win situation. I am glad, however, that this paper is done so my life can get back into a respectable routine, one where work and play and chores are balanced, instead of waiting until I run out of utensils to do the dishes and sleep 4 hours a night so I can get through all my homework.

And speaking of homework, back to class readings I go!

Stay tuned...