A recent Harvard Business Review blog post suggested job search candidates should be weird today in order to stand out from the competition. Maybe it’s a Harvard thing to be weird, or perhaps just a college thing. Come to think of it, I remember being very weird in college. But I digress.
At the CFO level, though, I suggest candidates choose to be purple instead of weird.
Your unique shade of purple is an analogy for branding. And not “just” branding, but well-branded positioning to stand out from the competition -and- be valuable to a specific target market. Purple represents the power of branding; weirdness is just … strange.
Taking a bold, branded stand takes courage. If standing out from the competition got you a better position with more money in the right-fitting company, would you be courageous enough to step away from the crowd and be yourself … even if that meant being different? Even if that meant deciding to choose to fully embrace your unique shade of purple rather than blending into the black, white, or grey positioning most of your competition chooses?
Even though it is not always completely understood by today’s Chief Financial Officers, branding is often the most asked-for, and frequently the first asked-for request, when a prospect calls me. They’ve heard the “branding” word. They intuitively understand it is important. And what you might be noticing if you are getting calls from recruiters, is the same thing they are noticing … a strong brand can answer the culture fit question before you are ever interviewed.
And the “will you fit within our culture” IS the key question today. A strong visible brand provides the clear answer.
Your blend of skills, interests, passions, and successes make you unique and different. And differentiation is the goal! Flash purple … rather than weird … to stand out from, and perhaps even stand in front of, your competition.