Have you ever heard of a business management guru named Tom Peters?
Actually, it’s quite possible you’re not familiar with Peters because he’s not an engineer. He’s a seasoned management consultant, management thinker and author.
So why did I bring up Tom Peters? Well, I brought him up because in 1997 he wrote a classic article in Fast Company magazine titled, The Brand Called You.
You Are The CEO of Me, INC.
Long before the current trends around personal branding and personal platforms became popular, Tom Peters clearly articulated the idea of thinking about yourself as the CEO of Me, INC.
In other words, Tom Peters declared that it’s our responsibility to manage the marketplace’s perception of who we are and what we bring to the table.
I wrote a blog post in the past titled, Five Personal Branding Questions To Drive Your Engineering Career, where I shared the core ideas from Tom Peters’ article, so I’m not going to repeat it here.
SUCCESS MANIFESTO Action #8: Build and Manage Your Personal Platform
However, I do want to suggest that the idea of building a personal platform and brand fits nicely as the final capstone action (#8) for the STRAIGHT TALK GUIDE I wrote titled, A SUCCESS MANIFESTO FOR 21st CENTURY ENGINEERING STUDENTS: 8 Actions To Help You Rock Your Engineering College Experience and Land a Top Job After Graduation!
Action #8, Build and Manage Your Personal Platform, serves as a way to wrap your arms around everything that you might choose to do with Actions #1-7, shown below, from the MANIFESTO.
Action #1: Kill It In the Academic Arena
Action #2: Internships, Internships, Internships
Action #3: Be a BFF With Career Center Staff and Professors
Action #4: Engage in “Hands-on” Activities
Action #5: Socialize, Have Fun and Build Relationships
Action #6: Become an Efficiency and Productivity “Machine”
Action #7: Develop the “3C” Skills…Caring, Communications and Career
Define Your Brand…Then Deliver It With Your Platform
Action #8 let’s you offer all of your actions and successes to the world as a well-defined message, that’s your brand. Then you deliver your message by way of a well-managed structure, that’s your platform.
So again, the brand is the message, or perception, of who you are and what you bring to the world.
The platform is the structure. All the various channels that you use intentionally, and in some cases unintentionally, to deliver your brand message.
For example, if you’re an engineering student your platform would include the social media sites where you hang out (including LinkedIn, Twitter, and others), a website or blog if you have one (and you should), your resume, and your transcript. It would also include a YouTube channel if you have one.
The Key Takeaway…and Two Questions To Ask Yourself
The most important thing to take away from this conversation is that whether we think about it or not, or even care about it or not, we all have a brand, and we all have a platform, both of which are operating out in the world everyday.
With this understanding, two important questions for us to consider regularly become:
Is our brand and platform serving us in positive ways?
What should we be doing differently to manage our brand and platform so they do more for us and for our careers.
If desired, you can view this entire post in the video below:
Questions: What’s your experience with building your own personal platform? What pieces do you have in place so far? You can leave a comment by clicking here.
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A SUCCESS MANIFESTO FOR 21st CENTURY ENGINEERING STUDENTS