Your personal brand must embrace creativity

By Scot Herrick | Job Performance

May 04

In all the interviews for jobs that I have done, I’ve described my Personal Brand like this: I turn chaos into structure. It is simple, straightforward, and compelling. When I described this personal brand to a manager, I received some very good insight into how going from chaos to structure works.

Between chaos and structure is a compelling insight. In the current chaotic world of banks blowing up, loans shutting down and Congress collapsing, knowing what is between chaos and structure can help us through the crisis.

Even a career crisis.

What happens between chaos and structure is creativity.

Every situation brings new circumstances into play. That translates to “your experience doesn’t get you the right answers.” What worked before won’t necessarily work now because the situation is similar, but different.

Enter creativity

Creativity allows you to come up with something new, radical or slight, that helps address current circumstances. Creativity gives you the insight into the current areas of chaos that causes pain.

When your career gets thrown for a setback, such as in a layoff, no matter how well prepared you are, there is a sense of chaos. It takes a while to get back to a routine that makes sense again to you. That structure is the result of some change happening, you using your experience to understand and deal with the change, and then being creative about what has happened to get back on your feet.

The take-away is this: be present enough in the midst of chaos to look for the creative solution to the problem. Not just the easy answer. Your creativity will lead to a better solution for you. Being creative in the midst of chaos, especially chaos in your life, is not easy. But it is black belt career management.

How have you used creativity to work your personal brand?

  • Chris says:

    As a coach whose now working with dozens of clients who’ve lost jobs, the chaos part of your commentary is spot on. People loose a sense of purpose and structure that really can throw them for a loop. Some people respond by taking a deep look at themselves and what they want next, while others panic and shut down. Is this a time when coming up with creative ways to do things can benefit my clients? Yes. No doubt about it. Unfortunately, not everyone sees being laid off that way. Same with organizations. Is this economic downturn a great chance to look at new and creative approaches to old problems? Yes. But too many are stuck in a rut.

    • Scot says:

      Chris…thanks for the comment. This is a site for Cubicle Warriors, so we talk about the hard stuff. Getting to creativity in a chaotic situation is tough, of course, but necessary to position yourself the right way for job opportunities. The same is true with organizations; perhaps more so.

      The key to having the confidence to get to creativity is, in my opinion, financial. Having one year’s take home pay in the bank is a great equalizer to the desperation (and chaos) that comes from a layoff one isn’t ready for. The same is true for corporations. But the effect on individuals is greater and more varied.

      If you are in this position, though, and keep your head…what a way to look at the employment landscape in and out of the company. You now have influence (not control) over your direction that you don’t have with desperation.

  • Chris says:

    Scot – great thoughts.

    I am writing on this topic (and now finally – on my blog). Thought you might enjoy this post:

    I will definitely be a regular visitor here. I really enjoy your insights.


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