Personal Branding Across Cultures Blogathon – Day 14 / Marina Vogopoulou
Isn’t Personal branding such an attractive idea? Finding out what makes you special, live it and make your life example your career flag. Surely, it must be a Greek who invented it…or not?
Us Greeks understand from a very young age the notions of “reputation” and “making a name for yourself”. In a typical Greek family it is expected that you will not do anything to stain your good reputation. People care about their “good name” and will guard it feverishly. “Good reputation “is vital.
Greeks also have a natural flair for communication and networking. We find it only too easy to operate in networks and we appreciate the power of networking. Our family is really our first (and last) network. We use our networks to help both others and ourselves. We love making referrals and we believe a good referral is indicative of our own personality and efficiency. We think very highly of people who have managed to build strong networks and friendships.
We also love analysis and critique. We always discuss and analyze what makes someone special, successful, not successful, brilliant or not. We form very strong opinions about others’ suitability for a role, or about their effectiveness, whether they deserve the reputation they have or not and what makes them so reputable.
Reputation + Communication+ Traits’ Analysis = Personal Branding?
Not quite. As a nation, us Greeks stereotypically possess all the above characteristics that can help us create and communicate our personal brands. However, what we need on top of these, are two other key “ingredients” in order to uncover and consistently communicate our brands: self-awareness and a systematic approach to career management.
Self-awareness will allow us to critically look at ourselves and dig up our uniqueness. It will allow us to cherish any positive feedback we receive from our networks. It will help us expand, grow, understand each other better.
A systematic approach to “career care” (I believe a career is to be cared for, not just managed) will help us effectively sustain our personal brands. Up until a few years ago, very few professionals consistently and methodically cared for their careers. Titanic effort was put in to set the wheels in motion and then most careers were left on auto pilot mode in terms of steering and destination. Hard work was put into keeping a career off the ground but there was no clear destination. As a result, not many people enjoyed the journey.
Understanding the importance of Vision and Purpose in steering our careers towards our chosen destination, becoming aware of our deep-rooted values and looking forward to travel through life, caring every day for a career that is close to our true call, are the missing pieces from our Greek Personal Branding jigsaw.
Most pieces are already there: respect for good reputation, communication and networking, supporting others in networks, analyzing, discussing, referring, working hard, they are all part of who we are.
What is still missing is method, consistency and a good inner look at ourselves. It is really that simple and I am so lucky to be introducing Personal Branding to this country.