A few years ago I had an opportunity to share some insights about building a Personal Branding strategy in Switzerland. I accidentally stumbled on my article a few days ago. And thought what a sign to actually look how did all work for me. As I am in Switzerland for 6 years.
How it started ... Let’s be honest, we all have that doubt in our mind: are we sure that it was a good idea to leave everything and start something new from zero again. Starting from nothing in a new country, without knowing the language, or having the experience of the local culture and habits to get your dream job straight away. What should you do? How not lose your inspiration to move and remain positive? I did that. If I can, you can too. My key was and is personal branding – the way to control the present, past and future. Your storyline and job profile.
Reflection: After six years I still have my company, also working in the company as Director for Communication and Media, collaborating on projects, still socially responsible. AND very tired. 2021 for me was one big shift in my life. That it sums up the whole journey I had so far. Starting from scratch was an intensive journey, filled with tears, anger, disappointment, failure, miscommunication, insecurities. At the same time having that one thing I was able to control - my personal attitude, reflect on mistakes, be kind, work hard brought me friends, new job, status, and projects.
So there is three sides to my Personal Branding journey. Mental, physical, financial :)
How it started ... My goal during this autumn is to share my own experience and some tips. Maybe it will help you as it helped me. Maybe it will be a little push to start something new. Autumn is a good time to start and set goals for a year. The best time for your adventure.
Reflection: What I realised after all these years, I needed to take much more help than just give. I am a giver, I would say, I am even a pleaser - a person who tries 3000 to support others not thinking about my own benefits nor health. This autumn is the hardest I ever had in Switzerland. Nothing too bad though just I had a moment when I realised that the way I work is not beneficial to me. And if I work as I do - I will have burnout. Simply as that. On the other hand, only by hard work do I manage to be where I am. Only by going out of my comfort zone and pushing my skills - I am growing in my career.
How it started .... When I came to Switzerland I was very confident with my working experience and the projects I had. I was so sure it will not be that hard to find a job. After sending over 70 CVs and two months of research, hours with job searching pages, it was clear -it’s going to be a long and bumpy road. I hesitated. Hesitated about the choice I made to move from my comfort zone into the unknown. Leaving my bubble of safety. I hesitated about the risk and struggles I had in front of me. I understand every person who comes to me now and says “I am lost, I don’t know where to start with”. And I always say: start from yourself and the vision you have about yourself. My first steps were acknowledging the reality and stop panicking. From that moment “Personal branding” was my second name. I became my own client with all the problems and lack of confidence I had. So. what does it mean – Personal branding.
It is your vision, plan and structure and most important it is for each of you. It’s not about being famous, it’s all about being able to stand out of a stack of resumes.
Reflection: You will need to have Your own speed, and you will panic many many times - just don't give up. There were moments when I was like 'snail it, I am done, I am tired. I want to go home - but it's just emotion, tiredness when you need to have a break and breath. I am very thankful that I built a strong community that supports me, that I have my second family here and that I can have help if I need it. Because building personal branding is not only about building a vision you want to be. It's about the people you have around you and their support in your journey.
How it started .... People love to be motivated, but not to act. That is the sad truth. We love to read inspirational quotes, see videos and hear success stories, but when it’s about us and our goals – we stop and hesitate for a moment. We are not catching up to our ambitions with actions. Why? Because it’s hard. You hear more NOs, than Yes’s. You will get a lot of rejection through your email, you will not get the needed meetings, or finally, you will sit and wait till you get your first payment couple months just because you are scared to over push and lose your money. But you shouldn’t. Personal branding is a constant work on yourself.
Reflection: still agree. Personal Branding is your personal journey that part of it will be seen for others and part of it will be seen only by you. It's a constant journey on reflection. Learning where you feel unconfident, insecure, what strengths you have, and what particularly you can improve.
Without dedication - you are not moving. In all doing mistakes, learning from your failure, learning from what did not work - you grow. Each time. If you sit and wait until something will happen - it won't. At least it did not happen to me.
How it started ... When is it the best time to start? Now. Yes, today. The best time was definitely – yesterday, but you can catch up if you start today. This minute. You don’t need to drop anything, you don’t need to leave or suddenly take risks. You just need to start thinking about yourself and what you want to do. Step by step grow the vision and dream you have about yourself, step by step control your data and messages you are giving to others.
Reflection: It's every day. When you start growing, and learning about yourself, and investing your time into your growth - it is every day. Just don't forget to be proud of your journey and do not focus on mistakes. Because You will have them in order to move forward.
How it started .... The first step is the hardest. Criticism. It’s the tricky one step, cause most of the time we are criticising ourselves way too much or too little and let’s be honest, to keep balance – it’s hard. In personal branding you are starting it easily, you are focusing on data you are giving all around: social media profiles, meetings, CV, comments you leave etc. R E S E A R C H – yep. The boring part. You must be a third person and look at all data you have. Write down how you see yourself now, what you post, what messages are you sending. Think, what if you are an employer, would you invite yourself to an interview after seeing true you on the net? No? Yes? If No – there are not that simple steps to keep up and change everything. If yes – congratulations you will need to work even harder.
Reflection: I will be honest, I was surprised by how much of criticism I had during my six years. It seemed that everyone is smarter. In languages, finances, networking, my attitude, my thoughts. And then I was in my own criticism loop too. Easy to say, Lina: "You must be a third person and look at all data you have.". I was too much of the third person. I was so focused on what I give away that sometimes I did less than I could have. And that's the regret of self-criticism I have.
In conclusion, I would say that in six years a lot changed. Same as my perspective on Personal branding. For me, it's more my reputation, my personality, my growth, and the character I want to be in the future. In order to be that person: I work, own my learning, build strong relationships, value people, am respectful and aware that we all are human beings, and we all do mistakes. Including me.
Breathe, my beasts!