In these days of social media and networking, self-branding often called a crucial part of of the working world today. While many young people participate in self-branding and use it to further their careers, the idea seems to be based on narcissism. Is self-branding a necessary evil, or is there a way to participate in self-branding in a more authentic light? Through my research, I discovered that self-branding can be used more authentically, honestly, and purely for nonprofit.
As a graduating senior of college, I am currently searching for a full-time position. Ideally, I would like to work in the nonprofit sector abroad. I desire to work in the nonprofit sector, because, as a Christian, I believe that we are called to help others in need. However, when one thinks of self-branding, they think of self-promotion purely for their own benefit. This appears very much at odds with the fundamentals of nonprofit work–helping others and not self. However, more and more people are discussing the necessity of self- branding in the nonprofit sector. Self-branding is important for two main reasons–1) acquiring a position and 2) garnering support for nonprofit work.
Individuals who are interested in nonprofit work may be less likely to desire to self-brand and self-promote. However, these techniques are not only appreciated, they are also expected. Self-branding shows a future employer what type of employee you are, and what types of values you stand for. This second half is particularly important in the nonprofit sector. “Tap into the beliefs and convictions that you hold” says Tamara Schweitzer. Values and belief systems, especially religion, are a very crucial part of being a nonprofit employee. Therefore, it is necessary to self-brand and communicate these values to future employers. This self-branding would likely be seen in objective statements in resumes and cover letters as well. Thus, the whole application process of nonprofits rests on the idea of self-branding.
Self branding is also important for gaining support. Many nonprofits, particularly Christian ones, are tight on funds. They often pay employees little to no salary. Thus, it is necessary for employees to garner monetary support. So, many employees turn to self-promotion through media and self-branding. They do this on social media and by holding fundraising events. In those speeches, events, and social media, the speaker is self-branding as trustworthy and authentically trying to help others. They show the supporters that they are worthy of their support.
Overall, while at first self-branding seems purely like a product of narcissism, it can be used in a more authentic light. In fact, self-branding can be used for good. Self-branding clearly promotes the good of the promoter, but it can also be used to do more. It can be used to actually help others, by promoting those that can do the helping. Initially, I disliked the idea of self-branding. However, after more thought, I realize that self-branding can be used for good. Therefore, in my future job search, I would consider using self-branding to aid in my nonprofit work.
Nolan, L. The impact of executive personal branding on non-profit perception and communications. Public Relations Review. Retrieved April 12, 2016, from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/268690297_The_impact_of_executive_personal_branding_on_non-profit_perception_and_communications.