How do you want to be remembered when you’re gone? What will people say, what stories will be told? How do you define your own personal branding?
I am not speaking of death, but rather of moving on, whether it be a different position, a new job all together, or even retirement. Will your departure leave a void, or will it bring a new sense of calm to the teams you once impacted?
At fourteen, I entered the workforce. I was not starting a new school with a combination of mom made clothes and hand me downs. I needed money, and I needed to shop. I find it hard to believe that I was shy, socially awkward and really, really quiet. Despite my fears, I tossed on my work shirt, and jumped in the passenger seat of my Mom’s car. I was sure I would make new friends, learn exactly how they made the egg patties into a perfect circle, and what the secret sauce is actually made of.
Much to my dismay, the first couple of weeks were spent doing more watching than getting my hands dirty. It was ok, I knew it was necessary, and the person I trained with quickly became a friend. Week three, and it was time to get greasy. Patty was her name, the one who would teach me all there was to know about fryers, griddles and bun warmers. But she didn’t. She flew through every step, expecting me to watch and absorb. Questions were responded to as if I were a burden. There was an edge in her voice, when I didn’t do something exactly the way she had shown me, yet failed to explain. I no longer wanted to get greasy, I wanted to go back to the register and far away from Patty.
I left that job long before Patty ever moved on, but even twenty-seven years later she haunts my memories. She was unapproachable, lazy, and just downright mean. If I learned anything from her, it was that I never wanted to make any co-worker feel the way that she made me feel.
I may not have known what to call it at that moment, but I had already started to define my own personal branding.
What do you need to do to create a personal brand that you are proud of? What can you do to ensure that how you want to be viewed is how you are actually characterized by others? Is it too late to redefine yourself in your environment, or can small changes make a huge impact?
I never plan on leaving ETE, but in the instance that I die or eventually retire, I want to be remembered as dependable, fair, approachable, helpful and even a little quirky. I do not want to be remembered as “Patty”.
My personal brand definitely needs a logo, and maybe even a theme song. I am open to suggestions.