Six Pixels of Separation - The Blog
July 1, 200811:52 PM

Is Your Personal Brand Hurting Your Career?

Your Personal Brand may be doing much more harm than good... to others. This is becoming a more common occurrence that I am seeing and feeling in business. I see more and more people embracing the Social Media channels - they are Blogging, Podcasting, linking up on Twitter and leveraging an online social network like Facebook to grow their connections, and it's really hurting their careers.

Who would have thought this to be possible?

The sad reality is that most of us work within the confines of a big and/or traditional corporation. These types of corporations - typically - do not embrace and encourage the individual. Most companies look towards either the main corporate brand or the CEO/President as the focal point for all attention, so when someone starts to rise through the popularity of a Blog, it is often not only frowned upon by senior management, but also talked about in the corridors by co-workers.

I wish this were not the case. I wish all companies (and co-workers) could see the value and opportunity, but the harsh reality is that when someone who sits beneath others on an org chart starts getting recognition, others start feeling threatened.

I'm lucky. First off, I am one of the co-owners of Twist Image and Blogging, Podcasting and taking part in as many social and digital channels as possible is not only part of our strategy to communicate and connect, but it's embraced and encouraged by all. Second, it's part of our corporate culture, and we do encourage others to take part as well (as long as they are being smart about it and it's not in the way of getting our client work done).

In the past short while, I've seen minor people within cool organizations take on major roles due to their visibility in the social media channels (some companies do embrace it - Twist Image is not the only one). That being said, I've seen many more people forced to leave and take on positions in other companies because their activities in these social channels may have bolstered their personal brands, but in doing so became a CLM (Career Limiting Move). I've seen many people stuck in their current role with little chance to advance, and many others give up on taking part in these channels because the company they work for either doesn't see the value or the individual realizes how limiting it has become for them.

In a way, this Blog posting is simply a cautionary tale to say that "yes, everybody should take part in these digital channels and connect," but be forewarned that most people are just "doing their jobs" and lack the same level of passion that you are displaying. Most simply see your actions either as a threat to the way things have always been or as another example of how brown ones nose can be.

By Mitch Joel