Choosing Your Professional or Job Title

Diamonds are nothing more than chunks of coal that stuck to their jobs.

~ Malcolm Forbes

You know when people say that they have put their blood sweat and tears into something? Yeah, I can actually say that’s the case for me.

Running through my mind lately are the footsteps of duckling little memories, the shuffling of feet on a scorching sidewalk to and from work sites. It’s good. I need to remember those times for your sake. I know that many current readers and new readers alike (welcome!) are dealing with their own growing pains as they aspire to do the work they long to do.

I’m not going to dictate you what you should and shouldn’t do as you brand yourself , but what I will share should ideally help you discover it on your own. As usual, I will share my story in hopes that you gain some insight about the chips that need to be in place before you go out and assign to yourself a working title.

It occurred to me recently that we humans spend 1/3 of our precious lives sleeping, and about another 1/3 or more working on something. Tally it all up and that’s more than half of our lives chewed away before we can even factor in eating, self-care, and general callings of everyday life.

When I put it in that perspective, hopefully your heart will soften an pinch more when I say how imperative it is to pursue work that suits you and the world around you.

What are you really put on this earth to do? What is your true calling? 

That very same question I had to ask myself. I had to make tough decisions, and it wasn’t easy to filter past all the junk of life’s obligations and an energy vampire of a job at the time. Fortunately, every job, every assignment, every successful and failed project that I undertook all fed back into me and my clarity about what I do best; and what I do best reflects what matters most.

One of the primary things I value is community. By definition, that would make me a social entrepreneur, but I have been operating as a Writer, Strategist, Artist, Brand Ambassador, and Ecopreneur (aka environmentalist + social entrepreneur). Why don’t I just call myself one thing that encompasses everything? I’ll get to that in just a second.

{Recommended Reading: What I Discovered When I Quit My Day Job}

Back in July of 2013, I was passing flyers around my neighborhood (even at that god-forsaken job I hated) to promote a networking meetup I had organized for creative professionals. I was just doing what I felt led to do and no money was involved in this. Little did I know that I was already embodying that social enterprise that I wanted to be at the core of the vision for my company, ILMC Online Consulting.

On top of that, I had a lot of expertise with social media, internet marketing, writing, blogging, and a surfeit of other things related to digital media. I am literate in HTML, CSS, and know how to use Adobe CS for crissakes. I had to find somewhere on god’s green earth the connection between all those things. What the heck…

I’m still all over the place, folks, but you know what? In a way, that’s kind of what my brand is about too. I am building a company with a hybrid crowdsourcing and social enterprise model, I have a talent network that grew out of that July 2013 meetup, I manage several blogs, and I still take on writing jobs to put food on the table. Every other skill I couldn’t market just went into my toolbox. That’s why I have been so fortunate for never having needed to work with a web developer or designer to date because I know enough and I have a strong aesthetic to take care of my own visual branding.

Yet I balance myself and I choose the best skills when I’m promoting myself. I’m not afraid of looking a little like a sore thumb and I’m open to being unique, to being myself and to letting my creativity speak for itself and to the right people.

What are your strong suits? Do you have an idea of how you can tie them into your own working title and your branding as a creative professional? If you have already done that work, do you think your title reflects your values and what you’re all about? Tell me in the comments!

***

Wishing you inspiration and much success,

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6 thoughts on “Choosing Your Professional or Job Title

  1. What are your strong suits?
    I’m good at writing, studying classic literature, and creating doll clothes.

    Do you have an idea of how you can tie them into your own working title and your branding as a creative professional?
    This summer I plan to drive traffic toward my blog by designing a YouTube video of Romeo and Juliet with dolls dressed in medieval clothes designed by me. Whoever visits my website can enter the contest to win ALL of the doll clothes. That uses each of my talents!

    If you have already done that work, do you think your title reflects your values and what you’re all about?
    I suppose so. But I still have a lot to learn. I need to figure out how to make money from my blogs by using ads, and the same for my YouTube videos. I’m still honing my branding as a creative professional.

  2. What a helpful and great article, thank you for sharing this, Sandra. As it happens, I’m coming up on a year for my blog and it has transformed quite a bit. I feel I need to take some time to get re-aligned and set intentions for the next year.

    It took me this past year to find my voice and it’s still a bit of an exploration, though I suppose that will always be true! I am working my writing as a ‘beloved vocation’ while still struggling to be able to let go of the ‘day job’ which pays the bills. Someday 🙂

    Thank you again, I’m so very happy to have found your blog.

    Wishing you peace,

    Allison

    • Finding voice is such a rewarding and fulfilling experience, Allison. That’s amazing that you can vouch for this. No matter how well branded someone is, there’s always a learning curve, always some room for improvement, always a little self-discovery left.

      So glad you resonated here.

  3. I think my brand or what is developing into my brand evolves as I do. And I find that simplicity is at the core of it. Thank you for another great article that speaks to my inner dialogue. I like that I can think of something and soon enough you will write about it having fully fleshed out my ideas. This is why you rock!

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