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From Campus to Career: The Crucial Role of Personal Branding

By: Keith Orlean

Crucial Role of Personal Branding
Personal Branding

In today's hyper-connected world, where every click, like, and post can leave a lasting digital footprint, the concept of personal branding has never been more pertinent. As someone who navigated the teenage years in the early 1970s, long before the age of cell phones and the internet, I've witnessed the evolution of communication and its profound impact on personal reputation. The question that arises is, when should one start paying attention to the crucial role personal branding plays in their future career?

The Timing Dilemma:

Recent studies show that the average age for creating a social media account is getting younger. With the allure of instant connection and the desire to be relevant, teenagers are diving into the world of social media. However, the consequences of uninhibited online expression are often realized later, during crucial life transitions such as entering the job market.

Start Early, Start Smart:

Considering these challenges, I believe that the college years are the optimal time to begin crafting one's personal brand. It's a phase of self-discovery, education, and exploration – the perfect backdrop for developing a positive online presence. This is not just an individual endeavor; parents, too, play a pivotal role in guiding their children through this digital landscape.

The Pitfalls of Social Media Overemphasis:

One of the primary challenges faced by today's youth is the overemphasis on social networks for communication. While social media platforms are excellent tools for connecting with others, they often neglect the development of essential skills, particularly formal writing. Writing is a fundamental form of expression that enables individuals to communicate creatively and thoughtfully.

The Writing Skills Deficiency:

According to various studies, a decline in formal writing skills among young adults has been observed. This deficiency can hinder effective communication and expression. Thus, it becomes imperative to strike a balance between social media interaction and honing the ability to articulate thoughts coherently in writing.

Crafting Your Online Persona:

A simple yet powerful way to initiate personal branding is by creating a personal website with a blog section. This serves as a platform for creative expression, allowing individuals to share their thoughts, experiences, and aspirations. But what should one write about, and how can it be done without risking an online faux pas?

Choosing Topics Wisely:

Understanding what topics are appropriate and engaging is crucial. Sharing personal insights, discussing industry trends, or narrating experiences can provide a positive glimpse into one's character. Guidance on steering clear of inappropriate content ensures that the narrative aligns with the values one wishes to project.

Shaping Your Narrative:

Several success stories illustrate the positive impact of early personal branding. Individuals who carefully curated their online presence during college found themselves at an advantage when entering the professional arena. It's about thinking beyond the present and molding a narrative that aligns with long-term personal and professional goals.

In Conclusion:

The journey of personal branding is not just about being mindful of the present but also about sowing the seeds for a promising future. By starting in college, individuals can cultivate writing skills, express themselves creatively, and build a positive online presence. As we navigate the digital landscape, let's remember that our personal brand is an investment in our future selves – a reflection of who we are and who we aspire to become.


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