What Passions Fit with Your Personal Brand?

Here is an exercise to help you think about your key interests in order to fit them into your personal brand. Ask yourself these past, present, and future questions to explore what you love to do:

Past: Think about a time when you lost track of time. What were you doing?

Present: Cocktail party — you hear a great conversation next to you. What are they talking about?

Future: You have won $50 million in the lottery. What would you do?

Another creative way that to play with interests and passions is through collage. You take a stack of magazines and rip out pictures that appeal to you. When you have a nice stack of pictures, take a large piece of paper (perhaps 11-x-17 inch) or a poster board, glue, and scissors and create your collage.

Pictures will convey messages that words often don’t. Step back and see what you notice. Did a surprise passion show up in your collage?

Interests vary widely from person to person. Some people have wide interest patterns, meaning that they like a lot of things and are often happy doing many types of work. For someone like that, the following factors determine whether a job is the right fit:

  • Do I like the people I’ll be working with?

  • Do I like the work environment, including the work hours, commute, and physical surroundings?

  • Does this work align with my values?

Extroverted people tend to fall into the generalist category more than introverted people. If you’re a generalist and are entering the branding process, you need to find other criteria to highlight for your brand rather than your expertise in a single subject.

Other people have far fewer interests, which run deeper. For them, the kind of work they do really matters, and the other factors (coworkers, environment, and values) play a lesser role. These people are subject matter experts and have a much easier time branding themselves because their area of expertise is more defined.

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