I was getting lost in my thoughts and questions while mulling over my personal brand. Rather than waiting for all to clear, I decided to plunge ahead and start this post. After all, blogging is for thinking, learning, and reflecting. Right?
So, here are sample questions and attempted answers.
Question 1: What is the difference between my brand and my online identity.
My brand is what others think and associate with me when they see my school picture on this blog (121 visitors so far), Twitter(48 followers), and Diigo. I want to be known as “an international school counselor with over 20 years of experience forever trying to balance work, family, and time for myself.” This statement works for me because it emphasizes that I’m not new to my profession, and I do have a life outside of work. For now, logo for my brand is my school picture, which is working out fine.
My online identity is made up of various digital footprints I leave behind. These footprints will increase as my online presence increases too. I need to remember to google myself once in a while, with a reminder ringer on my iPhone for that.
Question 2: Do I really need to brand myself? I’m not looking for a job anytime soon.
I may not be seeking new employment, but I am considering putting my resume on the blog, in both English and Japanese. Readers could then get a sense of what I’ve done professionally over the years. Admittedly, the title “Shinjuku West” doesn’t really give the reader much idea about what this is about, but the title speaks to me and I’ll stick with it. In addition, my posts have all been for the COETAIL course, so it’s almost impossible to figure out that I’m an elementary school counselor. For 2012, I will put more posts about school counseling in English and Japanese.
Question 3: Do I keep my private self totally separate from my professional self?
I don’t want to present myself as a professional only, but I realize that I need to have a focus, and not be all over the place. If I let myself delve into personal interests, I’d be writing about cooking, Downton Abby, scrapbooking, reading, traveling, decorating, gardening, shopping, parenting — on the short list.
Question 4: What do I want to be known for?
The poem below by Emily Dickinson sums up what I want to convey. I don’t expect myself to change the world, nor do I want to. I want to make sure that I notice the small things, and that I lead a life where I make a small difference everyday.
If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching,
Or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.
*picture of my business card taken by me