Battling Labels

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You have the ability to judge me just by seeing me.
• Female
• Not super young but looks FABULOUS for her age. 😊
• Race- Caucasian + something else
• Nationality…? Maybe not but most will try.
• Religion…? Unless I am wearing something to indicate my faith it may not be clear. (Cross, hijab, Star of David…)

These are just a few things you can be judged on just by walking by someone. Let’s not forget clothing and accessories. Assumptions can be made about your level of wealth and success simply by the brand of sneakers you wear.
Image result for pink converseI’m not wearing sneakers. I’m wearing house shoes and pajama pants. I am sitting in my Image result for slippered feet on deskhome office writing about brand building. My brand is online, unless you come to a book signing. Then, I’m branded from my pink converse on up. That is what I have learned while reading Personal Branding for Dummies (A Wiley Brand). Are you ready for some more awesome info on how to build your brand? Cool, grab your copy, a cuppa something caffeinated, something to munch, then settle in.

Branding is an invisible thing. No really. Sure, people can see your hair and clothes, and accoutrement, but that isn’t your brand…YET. A brand takes time to create, unless you are cool with being known solely for your outward appearance. Your brand isn’t SOMETHING it is being SOMEONE. YOU are your brand and you need to remember that above all else.

Your personal brand allows you to define who and what you are to those around you. Image result for the go-to personYou are the go-to for XXX, you are the one to talk to about XXX, you know everything about project XXX- that is the brand you want. Not the douche who wears loafers without socks and wears ties that hang to his crotch. No, be known Image result for wearing a very long tiefor your abilities, your skills, your unique and sought-after talents. A suggestion- if you are wearing too long ties and no socks, skip back a few posts to where we talked about what NOT to wear.

Your first main battle will be with stereotypes. This is where I am gonna talk about me and the hardships of being female in the workplace…well, in my case, the military. I served in the USAF and am proud of my time, but it SUCKED as a woman. My career field (or MOS for the military snobs out there) was 99.9% male. I stuck out like a soar thumb. I remember my first formation at my first duty station. I was standing in line when the Major came out for inspection. We hadn’t met and as you will see, he had no clue there was a female in HIS ranks. He traveled along the edge of our formation looking down the pristine lines when he stopped at the line yours truly was in. That’s when I heard… “Airman! Suck in that chest!” Soooo…what do you say to that? My response… “Ssir, um…I can’t, sir.” The look on his face was priceless and to see the entire squad attempting to hold in laughter to this day makes me chuckle.

Image result for huge bandaidNow, that was cute and funny but the next few weeks were not. Being surrounded by 97 men was nerve wracking. None of them believed I could do the physical requirements of the job. Let me tell you, the ENTIRE job was physical. What was worse was when I could best one or more of them at physical tasks. It took time, bruises, blood, and tears I shed in the bathroom, but I was able to get them to see beyond the stereotype of me being a female.

Stereotypes are a bitch, but you can make people see beyond them with time and effort. See, I wanted to be part of the squad, and was willing to prove myself to get there. That is branding.

Your first challenge is to figure out the stereotypes stuck to you. Age, gender, work history or lack of, nationality, education level, religion, hired due to who you or your family know, money/ no money, too pretty, not pretty enough, too tall, too short… people will slap a label on you as quickly as it takes to step into a room. It is now your job to change their minds while building the image of the person you want them to see. Get on it. The longer you wait the harder it will be.

Image result for stereotypesWe have one more chapter to go and then a review- so maybe 5+ posts left until we are done with Personal Branding for Dummies.

What do you want to read next?

  • Around the Writer’s Block- Rosanne Bane
  • Get a Literary Agent- Chuck Sambuchino
  • Building Believable Characters- Marc McCutcheon
  • Getting Your Book Published for Dummies (A Wiley Brand)
  • The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits- Linda N. Edelstein, Ph.D.
  • Or suggest another topic!!!

I am taking votes- be heard! Let me know which book interests you. I’ll share the results in a few weeks. Vote now!

Polish your sparkle and just keep twirling.
Find joy. Be joy. Enjoy.
I’m always looking for new friends! 😊

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