Personal Brand Planning

You would think that everyone would spend some time wondering about what they were going to do with their lives as soon as they had enough time watching the world go by in their own specific situations. They have the experience of their family life and their social circles, and the overwhelming amount of information on the rest of the world all day everyday.

However, even with all this input most people seem oblivious to what they should be doing to carve out a specific niche for themselves so that they can succeed in having a fulfilling and financially rewarding life. Typically, most go through high school and even college for others without a thought as to what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They then search desperately for a job – any job, regardless of whether it is right for them or not.

Then after getting a job they realize that they are not happy in the job and begin searching for another job, and then another. A lot of people spend the best years of their lives on this job

merry-go-round, unhappy, unfulfilled, and financially struggling.

To support this, a recent Gallup survey concluded that 7 out of 10 of 100 million American workers are “actively disengaged” in their jobs. More significant was the finding that employees with college degrees are more likely to be running on auto pilot at work.

The reason most people are not successful is that they have never taken an aptitude test and consequently do not know what they are naturally good at – their internal skill set. In addition, they also have communication issues with their peers, superiors, and subordinates professionally, and in their personal lives, as well. That is because they have never taken a personality profile exam, and as a result do not really know who they are and more importantly do not recognize the personality profiles of those they come in contact with.

This lack of an understanding of individual “persona’s” creates misunderstandings and often negative reactions that could have been avoided if they had studied basic personality profiling.

It’s a known fact that those who are working at what they do best and enjoy doing are successful and financially secure, while those who do not are unhappy, unfulfilled, and struggling financially. The goal is to have fun and make money. Unfortunately, most people are not having any fun at work, nor making enough money to enjoy their lives.

Thinking about the rest of your life wouldn’t you want to develop a career plan? Well if you haven’t thought about a life plan, you probably haven’t thought about a career plan either.

Since most people work for about 40 years wouldn’t it be a good idea to have some kind of a plan for how you are going to spend those 40 years? Like doing what and for who?

Unfortunately, most people let someone else plan their careers for their best interests, not yours. And in the final analysis many invest their sweat equity helping someone else make money at their expense.

Wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to invest all that time in yourself rather than working for someone else? The other

unfortunate part about this scenario is that all kinds of things can happen along the way over which you have no control whatsoever. The company can go out of business, get sold, merge, change management, reduce benefits, and experience a variety of other events that impact your employment unfavorably.

Once you have lost control of your destiny there is little you can do about it. That magic age is 45. By then you know what you will be and what you won’t. And have another 30+ years on average to regret not planning better.

The most painful part of not developing a life/career plan is losing your job. Many people don’t even know that they’re going to lose their job until the day it happens?

Panic! What am I going to do now? If you are only thinking about that once it happens and not even contemplating that it might happen, you are truly living in la la land.

Part of the value of developing a plan is also developing contingency plans. What will I do if? How will I live if I lose my job, feed my family, pay the rent, etc.?

Unfortunately, an awful lot of people have found themselves in that situation recently, and a lot more will as technology continues to automate jobs out of existence.


Robert M. Donnelly is the author of: Guidebook to Planning - A Common Sense Approach, an educator: Professor of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Saint Peter's University, and a brand builder and marketing expert. His new book: Personal Brand Planning for life is a guide for anyone w...

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