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Focusing on your personal brand. - Say What? #26

Hello everyone! Hope everyone's doing great and that you're on track to achieving whatever goals you
November 16 · Issue #26 · View online
Say What?
Hello everyone!
Hope everyone’s doing great and that you’re on track to achieving whatever goals you have for the year before it ends.
This issue is going to talk a little bit about your personal brand, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it! :)

Big news first -
Alhamdulillah, I’ve officially (and finally!) graduated with my MA Education (Youth & Community) this past Wednesday. It’s been a surreal one year, I’ve struggled a lot with impostor syndrome and had multiple instances in which I felt like I made the wrong decision to pursue graduate school.
But, here I am, with another degree to my name. I’m officially two degrees hotter, Alhamdulillah.
I shared some of the lessons I’ve learnt throughout my Master’s degree on the blog last month, which you can read here. I’m in the process of working on a vlog of my graduation day (I honestly have no idea how that’d turn out, we’ll see how it goes). Hopefully I’ll have it done by the next issue!
Moving on to other things.
Two weeks ago, I asked you about what are some of the non-negotiables in your life. Knowing the things that are important and valuable in your life can help you to focus on the things that matters to you, both in your personal and professional lives.
For instance, one of the non-negotiables in my life would be that I want (& need) to work with students. This helps me to narrow down and focus on the job opportunities that allow me to do so. I mainly search for opportunities in universities, colleges and schools, but also looking at education/career consulting firms, student advising companies and others. But the main thing I’m looking for is the opportunity to work with students.
I don’t stress myself out with thinking of applying to all the big management training programs or compare myself to my friends who are working in big firms, because I knew that those jobs would not work for me.
I like working with students and youth, it’s a part of who I am as a person, and is one of the reasons I decided to change my career from Actuarial Science to Education.
It may be unconventional to some people, it may seem like a second-rate option for others. But for me, it’s an important and valuable factor of my life and is a big part of my personal brand.
I mean, really, I can’t imagine myself not working with students, can you?
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It might mean that I’m passing out quite a lot of opportunities here (i.e. not applying to banks and financial institutions, even though my Actuarial Science background would allow me to do so). Some people may think that it’s a waste, and, honestly, I’ve had that thought before as well. But I realized that it was all for the best.
Focusing on what is important to me helps me in the sense that when I’m interviewing for jobs that are related to students (i.e. university jobs, education consulting, etc), I can better prepare myself and show how my skills and experiences match the job requirements.
I didn’t have to fumble around looking for answers to “Why did you apply for this job?”, because my answer will be the same - I want to work with students and help support them to their goals (or in other similar terms lol).
And it’s helpful for me that a lot of the things I do online (the blog, my social media presence, etc) and offline (work and volunteer experiences, etc) all reflect this. I wouldn’t need to be afraid of people calling me out because I know what I want, and my personal brand represents what I believe in and live for.
Signing off this week’s issue with yet another question for you to think about. Feel free to reply to this email with your answers, I’d love to hear from you!
If you could tell your 13-year old self something, what would you tell him/her?
(p/s I say 13-year old because that’s when most people get into high school in Malaysia. Feel free to change it up a little to suit you).
Until I see you again in two weeks’ time, have a good weekend! Stay awesome and take care!
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