Haiti

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I’ve been watching the news this week with a broken heart.  The images and stories coming out of Haiti are almost too much to bear.  The photo above was eerily reminiscent of pictures I’ve seen after the Katrina disaster in New Orleans, a group of hungry, thirsty and frightened people waving desperately for help as a helicopter flies over.  I’ve much worse.  If you’ve been watching you have as well.  I’ve seen a picture of a man, the lower half his lifeless body crushed and trapped by concrete, the upper half reaching out in his last moments for help.  I’ve seen photos of bodies stacked in a pile, awaiting a mass burial.  I’ve seen a photo of bodies being dumped into a mass grave by a dump truck.

There are possibly hundreds of thousands of dead.  Tens of thousands buried alive.  By the time rescuers get to them many will be counted among the dead.  Millions are homeless and hungry.  The suffering and pain in that country is beyond measure.  Many are thinking “why did God do this to us?”.  Pat Robertson does not have the answer to that question, regardless of what he thinks or says.  My God did not do this to Haiti.  My God loves each and every one of His children, even those who have gone astray (you might want to check Luke 15:11-32 if you don’t believe that).

God does not punish us with His wrath anymore.  Certainly there are many natural (and un-natural) disasters in the Old Testament that speak to God’s intervention in the natural world.  But nothing lately.  See, we’re not under the old rules.  God has sent His Son to die for our sins.  We are to love one another as God loves us.  We are to love our enemies.  We are to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, give the thief our tunic and robe.  God did not cause the suffering in Haiti.  It was an earthquake, a natural disaster.  The rain falls on the just and unjust.

But you know where I see God’s goodness and grace in this?  It’s in the pictures of the people from all over the world who have dedicated themselves to responding to events such as this.  They could still be sitting in their comfortable homes across the globe watching the events unfold.  But they have dedicated time to train as a first responder and are risking their lives to serve others.  They are sleeping on tennis courts and suffer from the same shortage of food and water as everyone in Haiti.  Voluntarily.   Its the pictures of the orphans who are being expedited out of the poverty of Haiti.   Its the pictures of the people being pulled from the carnage hungry & thirsty but alive.  Earthquakes are bad, but God is still good.  All the time.

So what does this have to do with jobs?  Perspective.  If your job sucks and it’s making you miserable be thankful you have a paycheck.  If you don’t have a job be thankful you have a faucet that dispenses drinkable water on demand.  I’ve said this before and I will continue to say it.  If you are a citizen of the United States of America you have won the lottery.  Opportunity abounds.  God has blessed America.  Be thankful for the abundance that we enjoy.  Even when terrible things happen in this country (i.e. Katrina) we are much better equipped to respond and rebuild.

Pray for the Haitian people.  Pray for the people serving in Haiti.  Pray for the families who have lost loved ones.  For the newly orphaned children.  Pray for those still trapped.  Pray for those living in tents.  Pray for the people in the pictures.  For now, that’s enough.

God Matters at Work

I’ve been doing this newsletter for a little more than half a year now, and it just dawned on me today that every single post has focused on job seekers.  Well, it’s time for “thatjobguy” to branch out a little bit and put some focus on making our professional lives better.   Today I want to start where I draw a lot of my comfort and strength from – my Christian faith.

I’ve never hidden my faith from anyone.   But I don’t want to beat people over the head with it either.   I got a great email today from a newsletter I subscribe to called “Faith and Work News”.   It posed some very good questions that I thought were worth discussing over the next few posts.

So, before we get to the questions I want to discuss today, let me give you some insight into my faith and evangelism in general.  For many years I was what I call a “complacent Christian”.  I went to church on Sunday, but I did not know how to apply my faith outside the 4 walls of the church.  More accurately, I chose not to apply it.  As I have grown my relationship with God I understand that there’s much, much more that He wants me to do.

The term evangelism may conjure up images of people like Pat Robertson who was quoted this week saying the devastating and tragic earthquake in Haiti was caused by some sort of “curse” because the people of Haiti made a “deal with the devil”.   His comment was irresponsible, callous, and the polar opposite of what an evangelical Christian should be thinking given such a horrific event.  Pat Robertson is wrong and comments like this hurt the body of Christ (speaking of the church).

There are far too many people who, in their zeal to save souls, forget that people who have been hurt by,  scared away from, or have avoided the church by people like Pat.  You aren’t going win souls for Christ through fear, intimidation, wrath, guilt, or punishment.   I believe a good evangelist should simply live their lives in a way that shares the grace and mercy God has shown us.

Everyone’s faith journey starts small – the Bible references a mustard seed with regards to how much faith you need to start.   It also says that we start as infants, only able to drink milk, unready for solid food.  Evangelism needs to understand that.  That is why Jesus asks us to live by His example.   In the great commission of Matthew 28 we are charged to “make disciples” and “teach them to obey everything that I have commanded you”.   I see a 2-part charge, the first being to make disciples.  People are drawn to those who are content in life, those who are happy, those who give to others.  Those people have an influence on lives.  They are not drawn to those who use fear and foreboding doom.  I’m not going to make any disciples by telling them that they’re going to Hell or that they’re cursed.

Evangelists are called to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   Jesus asked Peter & Andrew to drop their nets and follow him.  They did and they witnessed first had His love, grace and mercy.  He touched the unclean, He talked to the Samaritan woman, in His last moments He forgave a thief.  He did not strike people dead, He raised them.  He did not curse them, He blessed them.  That’s what being an evangelist looks like.  In my never to be humble opinion, any individual who is not sharing the message of grace is not an evangelist.  I’ll admit that many times I’m a terrible evangelist in that respect but I’m working on it.

So, on to the question that sparked this thread:

Does the product or service that I provide, and the way I provide that product/service offer value to the culture that is consistent with God’s moral principles?

I think the essence of this question is “Does what I do make a difference to others that is consistent with God’s values?”.   This question applies beyond Christians, Jews & Muslims (who all believe in the same God of Abraham).  Buddists, Hindus, Taoists and other polytheists can ask themselves the same question.  Atheists and agnostics can ask the same question.   Am I contributing to society in a way that is consistent with my beliefs?  If the answer to that question is no it might be time to find something that is consistent.

If you want to be truly great at what you do, you need to be passionate about it.  If you want to be happy your profession needs to be consistent with your interests and desires.  If what you do is in opposition to your moral compass its time to move on.  Sooner than later.

Are you uncomfortable with the way your boss expects you to treat a co-worker, vendor or customer?  Is the business your company is in taking advantage of people?  It is unfortunate, but it seems that the quest for money (greed) overrides the need to show compassion to others.  The desire to please shareholders overrides the desire to please customers.  I could go on.

The bottom line?  Find a profession where you are contributing to the well-being of others.  Show a little grace in the workplace.  Don’t gossip about one another.  Don’t hold people back to secure your position in the organization.  Resolve conflicts.  Treat everyone as you want to be treated.  Follow the greatest commandments, the summation of God’s law – Love God with all your mind, heart and soul and love your neighbor as yourself.

7 years down the drain….

Animal House is one of my favorite movies.  It’s a classic.  Maybe it’s because of the antics of the Delta’s.  Maybe it’s the Omega / Delta rivalry.  Whatever the reason it’s the movie that put John Belushi, Kevin Bacon, Tim Matheson, Peter Reigert and Otis Day on the map.  (Otis actually was played by DeWayne Jesse, but he’s changed his name and continues to perform as Otis Day to this day).

So what does Animal House have to do with this post?   Nothing really, other than the setting was college and that’s what I want to talk about today.  College.

One of the LinkedIn groups I follow had a LOOOONG thread on how important a college education was to a job seeker.  There were many posts from people with 20+ years of experience who could not understand why they would not be considered for a job in their field of expertise due to the lack of a degree.  Posts that were almost caustic in their tone. 

How could I, someone who has been doing nearly the identical job for 20 years, be disqualified right out of the gate just because of the lack of a degree?

The answer is simple.  Or maybe not.  Did you reach out to the organization, make a personal connection or even apply for the job with a well-written cover letter that overcomes the potential education objection?  No.  Ok, well I promise you won’t get the job then.

Just because it says a degree is required doesn’t necessarily mean its a hard and fast rule.  If its in a field that requires a degree to ply the trade (i.e. doctor, lawyer, CPA, RN, etc..) then yes, you will be DQ’d out of the gate no matter what you do. If it is in a field that doesn’t require special degrees or licensing then you should at least TRY.  I’m not saying you’ll be successful but I know you won’t be successful if you don’t try.

We’re looking to hire a salesperson right now and I want someone that has a degree.  I’ll get into the reason in a minute.  Does that mean I automatically disqualify a person without a degree?  No.  I have several customers who won’t hire you unless you have a degree.  It’s not because of any legal or licensing issues, it’s because that’s what they expect.  That’s just the way it is.

I prefer candidates with degrees for our positions.  If they’re software engineers a CS degree is ideal.  If they’re analysts an MIS or business degree is awesome.  But I don’t DQ candidates that don’t have a degree unless the client specifically wants a degree.   Our next salesperson probably will have a degree.  If they don’t they’re going to have some pretty specific and compelling experience that is going to trump the lack of a degree.

I heard a lot of banter in the group about requiring a degree might be a form of age discrimination.  I don’t agree with that.  See my posts on age discrimination v1 and age discrimination v2 if you want to know my feelings on that issue.  If you have 30 years of experience and no degree it will be a barrier to a job you might be well qualified for in some organizations.  Nothing illegal or discriminatory about that.

You know why I like college degrees?  It’s not so much the knowledge – we don’t hire recent grads.  Frankly, I’ve forgotten more about what I learned in college than I care to admit.  It’s the fact that someone achieved a significant long term goal.  You don’t get college degrees in 3 months.  The commitment to get that diploma is significant.

Let me tell you something not many people know.  I am a high school dropout.  My priorities in high school were completely out of whack and education was not on my list of things I thought I needed.  I will be forever thankful to my parents for sticking with me through those very tough years and encouraging me to get my GED and go to college.  I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology in December of 1986.  I would not be where I’m at today without that experience, good and bad.

I will leave you with this thought.  If a job posting says “college degree required” and you think you fit all aspects of the position with that one exception you should give it a shot.  (Unless it’s necessary to have that degree to perform the duties).   If you have the experience, aptitude, attitude and demonstrate that you’ll be a valuable asset to my team I’ll hire you.

Goals & the 7 Habits

If you have read the Steven Covey “7 Habits” book you know that goals are a big part of the habits.   Being proactive, beginning with the end in mind, “sharpening the saw” are all habits that are goal-driven.

For those of you who still carry around planners (I was one of those people for many years) you know that each one has a “system” for writing down and tracking short and long term goals.  Goals are really important.   The experts suggest that written goals are very, very important.

Let me admit something – I’ve never written down long term goals.  Actually I take that back, I did write down some long term goals in the last planner I used.  That was about 1995, right before the Palm Pilot hit the market.

I don’t write down long term goals because frankly I’m not sure what the next 5-10 years is going to throw at me.  I remember one of my long term goals I wrote down was to be a good father and husband.  Not really a “SMART” goal, but it’s one that I like to think I achieved.

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t have goals.  My goals tend to be more operational than strategic.  For example, I have a goal every month to place 3 people.  To make this happen my daily goal is  to manage the workload that I’ve set up for myself in Outlook and our Applicant Tracking System which is designed to meet a weekly goal of making 50 calls.  Those calls will turn into 4-5 candidates that I can market a week, and I place 20% of the people I market.

If I average 4.5 people to market a week and there’s 4.2 weeks in a month and my placement averages hold I will place 3 people consistently, each and every month.  Guess how many people I placed in 2009.  36.  I don’t write that annual goal down (maybe I should), I don’t write the monthly goal down and I don’t even write the daily goals down.  I simply know what it’s going to take.   The numbers are tracked in our ATS and I do keep an eye on them to make sure I’m on track, but I don’t write “Place 3 people this month” at the top of my calendar.

The point I’m making is Steven Covey is right – you need to begin with the end in mind.  Maybe you do have a 5 year plan.  Break that down into 5 separate years.  How far should you be along your path after 12 months?  24 months?  Now break each one of those 12 month periods into quarters, what should you have accomplished by the end of March?  June?  Oct?  Between now and March what do you need to get done on a weekly basis?  How about on a daily basis?  The bottom line is we live day-to-day and we need to know what we should be doing when we get up in the morning.  What do I need to get done TODAY that will get me where I need to go?  Whether the end game is the end of the year or the end of the new decade, you need to have a daily plan of actionable items that are taking you down the right path.

What are some good goals for a job seeker?  How many networking events do you have in your planner for January?  How many new contacts have you made since the New Year started?  How many cups of coffee have you drank gathering information from those contacts?  What company have you targeted and what steps are you taking to get them to talk to you?  How many resumes have you sent out and (more importantly) how many follow up calls have you made on those resumes?  What additional training are you seeking?  Have you even identified what you want to do when you grow up?  Each one of these action items can be broken down into a daily regiment.

Like it or not, you’re now in sales.  Prospecting, product knowledge, market research, following up, giving your “pitch” and closing the deal are all part of the job search process.   Set some goals around these activities.  You’ll be surprised by the results.

Don't be "That Guy"

A little humor for you today…..

Lemons or Lemonade?

There’s a documentary out called Lemonade (www.lemonademovie.com).  You can visit the site and share your lemonade story.  I bought the DVD and visited the site this week.  I encourage anyone struggling with the emotions of a job loss to do the same.

Lets face it, losing your job is hard.  Whether you’ve been working there for 20 years or 20 days there is an emotional blow.  There’s uncertainty about the future, there’s thoughts of “why me” and “what did I do”, there’s a financial blow.  There’s just nothing good about losing your job.  Or is there?

You cannot change the past.  You have just been handed a lemon and you have a choice.  Choose to eat the lemon as is and you’ll be full of bitterness.  Choose to change the lemons into something else enjoyable and you’ve just made lemonade.

So how do you make lemonade?  Well the first thing you do is accept your situation.  Deal with the anger and bitterness of losing your job early.  It’s going to be there.  Get past it.  If you’re weeks (or months) into a search and haven’t gotten anywhere don’t let that bitterness or anger resurface, you MUST maintain a positive attitude.

It can sometimes take YEARS to find the career you want.  In the meantime find a job to pay the bills.  Find two if necessary.  I’ve been unemployed before – I cleaned chimneys with my neighbor.  If you own a shovel I bet there’s some homes that can use your services.  Deliver pizzas, stock shelves, be a cashier.  There are jobs out there.  They may not be your career, but they will keep the furnace running.

Adjust your lifestyle.  Shop at Aldi instead of HyVee.  If things are really bad contact Harvestors and get some free food.  Shop at Goodwill or the DAV instead of Target or WalMart.  Sell stuff you don’t need.  I had to sell my prized Mustang in 1998.  I don’t miss it.

Be thankful for your daily bread.  Be thankful for friends and family support.

That’s all lemonade.

If you watch the movie you’ll find that people lose their job, are devastated and go through all the emotions any unemployed person experiences.  Then they use their positive mental attitude to make something happen.  They think out of the box.  They follow their dreams.  Dreams that never were possible when they had a job.

Our pastor asked a question Sunday that has been on my heart all week.  “What are God’s dreams for me?”  Dare to dream.  Ask God “what are your dreams for me in 2010?”.  Make some lemonade.

Where's Waldo

Last week I was reading an ebook called “What Matters Now”.  The book is a compilation of various bloggers and “thought leaders”.  It’s a quick read and there’s some really good stuff in there.  One of the nuggets I took away from the book was a simply slogan “Don’t stand out from the crowd – avoid the crowd”.  It struck me as a slogan that any job seeker should keep in mind as they develop and execute their job search strategy.

Waldo wants to stand out but, despite his trademark red and white striped sweater and hat, he still takes quite a bit of time to locate in the crowd.  What if Waldo avoided the crowd?  Imagine “Where’s Waldo” with only 5 people per scene – you’d find him pretty fast.

So how should a job seeker avoid the crowd?  You can start by focusing your search on jobs that never get posted.  Here’s something you might not know – RiverPoint is looking to hire 2 people right now.  We need a recruiter and a salesperson.  Besides this blog you won’t find those jobs posted on any site.  How can you find out about these jobs (well, besides the obvious fact that you now know about them)?  If you’re connected to me on LinkedIn you probably know about them.  If you’ve talked to me on the phone in the past 45 days you probably know about them.  If you aren’t looking for a sales position, but know someone that is you might let them know (seriously, let them know).  That means you need to be connecting to people.

The fact that a successful job search means you need to network is not a revelation, but how much time and effort are you focusing on networking?  Developing new relationships and business contacts?  Job clubs are a start, but you need to be building connections with people that are working too.  If you aren’t connecting with people “on the inside” of your company targets you are missing opportunities.

Avoid the crowd by getting on the inside.  Ever heard of Martha Stewart?  Besides making a fortune teaching us all how to make a “window treatment” out of discarded wrapping paper, she went to jail because she had someone on the inside of a company giving her information regarding her investment in that company.  Insider trading is illegal because it gives investors an unfair advantage over the general public through connections on the inside.

“Insider trading” is not illegal if you’re after a job.  When you have someone on the inside you have an advocate that can get you directly to a hiring manager.  Take your connection and his or her manager out for coffee.  They probably aren’t looking to hire – yet.  But you never know when a 30 minute conversation will turn into a job.  They might see something in your background that will spark a “hey, I need this person” moment.  Boom!  You just created a job, and guess what?  You are the perfect fit.  Trust me, if people like you, and can see the value in having you on board, they will figure out a way to hire you.  This won’t happen often, but it only has to happen once for you to have a successful search.

Do you have a daily, weekly or monthly “new contacts” goal?  If you don’t you should.  There’s 30-31 days in a month, you should easily be able to add 30-31 new connections to your network if you focus on that activity.  Do you have a “coffee” goal?  Try to get 1-2 people out for coffee a week, preferably some of your new contacts.  The crowd is searching on HotJobs and CareerBuilder.  The crowd is hanging around job fairs.  They are not at Scooters having a meaningful and mutually beneficial conversation with a director at a company you’ve targeted.

Another thing you can do to avoid the crowd is to put together a marketing program that is beyond a 2 page Word or PDF document.  Go check out some YouTube video resumes.  I’ve seen dozens.  Some “Are you Serious”, some well produced but not well thought out and even some that aren’t too bad.  Do something interesting, don’t just sit in front of a camera and recite your qualifications.  Nothing against Mr. VanGessel, but you’re not avoiding the crowd.  This is avoiding the crowd.  A good video resume not only will help you avoid the crowd, it will help you stand out from the crowd too.

You should start a blog.  Don’t make it just an “I need to find a job” blog.  Make it a “I have expertise to share with you” blog.  You can start a blog for free at www.blogspot.com or www.wordpress.com in about 2 minutes.  I’ve received literally hundreds of business cards from job seekers.  Only a handful had a link to a blog – those are the ones that are avoiding the crowd.

Don’t stand out from the crowd – avoid the crowd.  A very good search strategy to start off the New Year.

Brand Make-Up

A good brand has several important elements.  A slogan.  A story.  A “face”.  A reputation.  Think about great brands.  McDonalds is arguably the most successful fast food brand.  They INVENTED the category.  McDonalds has a great story.  Ray Kroc was a milkshake machine salesman who parlayed a vendor relationship into a hamburger empire.  Ray is long gone but he had the foresight to not be the face of McDonalds.  That honor was bestowed on a clown named Ronald whose plastic statue who sits in most of their stores.  The McDonalds arch is another “face” of the company.  The Golden Arches are unmistakably linked to the brand.  They’ve had many slogans over the years, but the most prominent is the announcement of “over ten billion sold”.  You make a Big Mac with “two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun”.

Toyota.  Ralph Lauren.  Nike.  Rolling Stone.  Goodyear.  Think about what makes them memorable.  Why is that brand respected? Quality?  Longevity? Performance?  Style?  Attitude?

So what makes up your brand?  Your brand is not what you’re saying or doing, it’s how that is being perceived.  How do people perceive you?  Start building your brand by taking positive aspects of that perception and enhancing / promoting them.   Are there negative elements of that perception that you can you change or eliminate?  What people think of you IS your brand.  An effective personal branding strategy will promote what you’ve already worked your entire career to build.

So lets go back to elements of a good brand.  You need a short “tag line”.  Something that is memorable and can be used to start conversations.  “I’m That Job Guy and I help people find jobs”.  I’ve got a story.  It can be told in 30 seconds, 60 seconds or over coffee depending on the circumstances.  The “face” of a personal brand is YOU.  How you carry yourself both professionally and personally.  How you interact with others.  Your reputation has been in motion since you entered the workforce, your personal brand will simply build on that reputation.

Branding Basics

Think about this for a minute.  What if you had to boil your 30 second commercial down into 3 seconds.  You have one sentence to grab your audience’s attention and the them interested in what you have to offer.  What are you going to say?

“Hi, I’m That Job Guy”.  This is how I like to introduce myself at networking events and it always – ALWAYS – initiates a conversation into my background.  I found a catch phrase for my brand that seems to be working.

Branding Basic #1 – Branding needs to be memorable.  The people I talk to remember “That Job Guy”.  It grabs their attention.  It’s fairly unique – how many people do you have walking up to you at a networking event and saying “Hi, I’m the People’s Programmer” or “Hi, I’m Physical Therapy Phil”?

Branding Basic #2 – Branding needs a slogan.  Coca Cola was the original soft drink.  Others followed but Coke is “The Real Thing”.  What do choosy mothers choose?  I can have it my way at Burger King. I love Miller Time. I like my chicken finger lickin good (although if it’s finger lickin good I’m still at a loss as to why they’d give you napkins).  A solid brand almost always has a solid slogan.

Branding Basic #3 – a brand needs to convey a consistent message.  Your business cards, your resume, your online profiles, your blogs, even your wardrobe need to convey your message.

Branding Basic #4 – your brand needs to be focused on your area of expertise.  An effective personal brand means that you will be considered an expert. If you don’t know your stuff the brand will suffer.  If you’re not passionate about something your brand will suffer.

Branding Basic #5 – it’s called “Personal Branding” for a reason.  You are not branding a bucket of chicken – you are branding you.  Your brand needs to reflect who you truly are, warts and all.

Branding Basic #6 – your brand needs to be specific.  I hate to pick on project managers, but the market is flooded with people who have held the title project manager.  It’s an all encompassing term that is not very unique.  You can manage IT projects or construction projects.  You can manage people or processes.  You can be a strategist or an operational manager.  You can manage projects, programs and products.  You can manage managers.  I’ve met people who have held tremendously diverse “Project Manager” roles.  Your brand needs to be focused.

Branding Basic #7 – don’t expect your brand to stick right away.  It may require some trial and error.  You may have to make adjustments to your brand as it develops.  It takes time and patience to develop a brand.  Commit to a course and make adjustments along the way as necessary.

Next week we’ll talk about the components of a personal brand that you can leverage in a job search.

Protecting your Brand

Quick – what company does the logo at right represent?  They want you to “just do it”.  Obviously I’m talking about Nike.  I would argue that this swoop is one of the most recognizable brand identifiers ever conceived.

Who do you think about when you see this logo?  Michael Jordan?  Probably not anymore, although he used to be synonymous with Nike.  If you’re a basketball nut LaBron may have come to mind.  But I think universally if you have to name one person who personifies this logo it’s Tiger Woods.

Up until late last week that association meant excellence above and beyond the norm.  Perfection.   EA Sports ran a spot about a year ago that summed up where Tiger’s brand “stood” when it came to golf.

Tiger no doubt has single-handedly changed the game of golf but Tiger Woods is a human, just like you and me.  How ironic is it that less than a year ago part of his brand included a comparison (albeit tongue-in-cheek) of Tiger to Jesus Christ?  A statement on his website this week included I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.

He goes on to talk about how this matter is being handled privately and that Personal sins do not require press releases. I tend to agree with Tiger on that one.  The news media used to be focused on reporting news.  Today the news media is focused on ratings and revenue.  Their ultimate goal is to gain viewers and readers so they can sell advertising and sex sells.  Tiger, who has helped pay their salaries, is now the main target of their speculation and scrutiny.

With all this being said I am not going to judge or defend Tiger’s actions and reactions to this situation.  I’m only making an observation that probably one of the most powerful marketing brands in the history of sports won’t shine quite as brightly as it has in the past.  No doubt this week the Tiger brand has taken a big hit.  Right or wrong, that cannot be undone.

Over the next few days I’m going to talk about creating and growing a personal brand.  I started with Tiger because it demonstrates how effective a brand can be.  It takes a long time to build a strong brand.  It’s taken Tiger over a decade and made him rich beyond measure.  It’s taken less than a week to permanently tarnish that brand.  Creating and growing a personal brand takes time and effort, and it’s worth protecting.