I’ve been attempting to develop and curate my own personal brand for the past two years – it does not seem like a long time but I feel like every time I have something consistent, I have a huge shift in interests and the process starts over.
I worked for a very popular retailer for nearly nine years – and they became my whole personality. I was constantly boasting about the company, I bought all the Pride Program “merchandise” so I could represent outside of work, my Instagram and LinkedIn feeds were consistently posting about the company and resharing their posts – you could say I drank the Kool Aid.
The problem was that it was such a toxic environment. I was constantly looked past for promotions because I was a woman, but they were so smooth about it and would throw on a couple hundred to my salary to “award” my performance. It was easy enough to get sucked in but when push came to shove and I finally opened my eyes and left the company – I had no “brand” anymore.
When forced to evaluate my characteristics to “find my brand” again, s few come to mind. I am aggressively opinionated and I am confident in myself and my abilities. I like to make that well known in all professional aspects, but maybe not putting it so bluntly.
I recently set a goal to achieve 1000 followers on Instagram, so I signed up for the Ottawa Hunt for Hearts campaign. Using hashtags that people are tracking really comes in handy when you are trying to boost a following, plus I have had a ton of fun while doing it! The greatest part was seeing my face holding my favourite sushi dish on the screen during the 6:00 p.m. news!
However, enrolling in Hunt for Hearts, accompanied by the tragic passing of CFRA producer Brian Fraser has inspired me to put a lot of research into something I care about, and dedicate my platform to raising awareness for it. Even a small platform can have a big voice, and Brian inspired so many people to donate blood (to the point where the website crashed!) For the remainder of 2021, I want to focus my brand on something I can truly be proud of.