I spend a lot of time online. So I suppose it’s not entirely surprising that I see people make Personal Branding mistakes every day. Many of these people would be quick to point out that they aren’t interested in Personal Branding and that they’re simply sharing their lives online with friends and relatives. That may very well be true. It doesn’t change the fact that some things shouldn’t be shared online. Ever.
A common piece of dating advice is that you not talk about your ex. There are reasons for this. Some will say that it’s because they’ll think you’re still hung up on your ex. I say it’s because they are picturing you talking about them after the relationship. No woman likes it when you call another woman a bitch. And yet, if you go to any random Facebook, you will see people trashing their exes or having actual online fights with someone they’re dating.
Another common mistake is trashing your place of employment. Sure, you might work with a bunch of people who make brain damaged monkeys look like the control room at NASA. You might be the only one there who isn’t on drugs. Or maybe just the job itself sucks. We’ve all had the shitty job with the stupid coworkers. Some of us have had that job for years. Complaining about it online may be cathartic, but it’s not going to help you get your next job that’s not as shitty.
Yes, it’s cathartic to just go off on a rant about all of the ways you’ve been wronged both personally and professionally. It feels good to get some of that off your chest. But trashing other people is never the way to get past them in the long run.
This does not mean you shouldn’t share your bad day with the world. There are ways to do it that aren’t going to hurt your future relationships or jobs. All you have to do is use this rule of thumb: Don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t say to your boss, your mom, or a cop.
If someone is being a moron at work and making your job difficult, it’s better to say, “Managed to make some progress on the project despite challenging obstacles.” Really, when it comes down to it, Personal Branding is just good personal public relations. What you’re trying to do is say what you want to say without causing any unintended problems.
It’s fine to have an opinion. It’s fine to be angry. Just be sure that you’re in control of that anger and use it wisely. Count to ten. Then figure out the most creative way to say what you want to say.
This is the fourth part of my Personal Branding series. If you’ve come this far, you’ll want to read tomorrow’s fifth and final post where I point you in the direction of the Personal Branding geniuses. I know quite a bit about Personal Branding but it’s all due to reading and watching these guys. See you tomorrow.
– Jack Cameron