If you found me searching for the lyrics to the children's song, you can find them here.
I am a researcher in bionanotechnology currently living and working in Tokyo. I moved out here nearly three years ago, against my better judgement but in search of adventure. It has certainly been an adventure and not one I would have missed for the world.
I am trying to retrain as a designer and you may see the odd example of my work appear here as I progress.
I also indulge in opinionated rambling.
All the artwork by Nell on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
As promised, my thoughts on personal branding 2.0:
Personal branding has been around for a decade now. Briefly, it is the idea that you are your own brand and, if you pay attention to the impression you are giving at all times your career will progress further and faster. It was all a bit woolly until web 2.0*, when social networking gave it form and purpose. It is now relevant to everyone, from the lowliest call centre operative to the most successful CEO, because increasingly, if you don’t have a visible web presence you are going to fall behind someone who does.
The employment market is a market like any other and it runs on information; just as I can check a company’s website to target my interview research to them, so they can Google my name to find out more about me. They can find the negative as well as the positive and, if we don’t take responsibility for the front we present, we run the risk of the “Google background check” working against us.
Bret Simmons has blogged extensively on personal branding and I agree with a lot that he has to say, however, there are some places I very much disagree. I don’t want to rehash Bret’s excellent coverage of this so, if you are interested, I suggest you pop over and have a read of what he has to say – the link is in the list to the right. The major points I agree with are the value of an internet presence as a shop window and the risk of believing the illusion of privacy that sites such as Facebook give you when they limit access to your profile to your “friends”. However, Bret believes that we should aim for brand consistency across all sites (i.e. you should have the same profile everywhere complete with professional picture and goals) and that you should constantly stay on message, for example, he uses his blog to back up various projects happening in his professional life. While I can see the value of these tools for these professional applications I believe that he is editing out perhaps the most valuable aspect of personal branding 2.0: its ability to give others a view of you as a complete person. I find an overly professional personal brand a turn-off; I wouldn’t want to work for someone who would rather I didn’t have a personal life and I wouldn’t choose to employ someone like that either. It may not be the truth about that person, but it is the impression given by limiting an online presence to work matters.
I agree that we need to keep in mind that nothing is private and that most people publish far too much information and I believe that we should try to only publish things that we are prepared to stand by later. As a result, I have ceased to post anywhere anonymously and I find it makes me a lot more considerate about what I have to say. Online, as in the wider world, however, we make mistakes, and it is impossible to be a fully functioning human being and keep an entirely positive online image. Employers need to understand that this is a side of their employees lives that will be increasingly visible, especially while we come to terms with the fact that everything we do now runs the risk of being photographed and tagged. I very strongly believe, that there is a place for my Facebook fancy-dress profile picture and blog entries about lovely holidays in my personal brand. This may not be the side of me an employer would like to see in the office but it gives valuable information on the added value I am likely to bring to a team and I would hope my brand also shows my ability to be professional when required.
*for the uninitiated, this it the nickname given to the current iteration of the internet in all its interactive, collaborative glory. It is used to differentiate between now and the past, when web pages were just for reading. Arguably, we needed web 2.0 for the real information revolution to get fully under way.