The result? Well, hopefully, a job. Learning about and demonstrating your branding abilities is good, too. But with the obsession with personal branding often comes a distortion of reality and a breeding ground for feelings of entitlement. After spending so much time proving to the world that you are the smartest, savviest and perfect candidate able to do anything you want, the worst starts to happen: You start to believe it yourself.
Maybe this is why our generation is entering the workforce thinking that they deserve to start at top and don't understand what it means to pay their dues. As we increasingly obsess over ourselves, it seems easy to think that we are the smartest people in the world and we owe it to everyone to succeed and change things, fast.
Reality check: There are tons of people in the world smarter than you. Sure, personal branding is a wise and necessary act. Sure, you probably are pretty smart and have a lot to offer a potential employer. But it's time to start selling some humility, too. Nobody is perfect, everyone makes mistakes, and there is infinite room to grow and improve.
We should be entering the workforce as sponges -- soaking up everything that there is to learn. If we believe that we are entering instead as masters or experts, then we will be shut off to learning. And an employee shut off to learning is the worst kind of employee, no matter how entitled you are.
But I digress; maybe a potential employer will read this. And maybe, just maybe, it will help grow my own personal brand.