Picking one thing to be good at

A blog is supposed to be an extension of a personal brand, an outlet where people can see the “real you” and connect.  At least, that’s what all the career services and career advice people are trying to tell me.  At the same time, all this advice tells me to “edit myself” to a 30-second snippet that has the most important essence about me that will draw people in.  This is one thing I am NOT good at – I can’t even commit to a focus for this blog. 🙂

When I was in high school, I taught myself to play the flute, trombone and french horn.  I also played in city & school orchestras (violin), city & school choirs, concert band, piano lessons, and participating in the school newspaper and the yearbook.  My mom rolled her eyes every time I asked to do something new, saying, “why don’t you just pick one thing and be good at it?”  She was right about one thing – I wasn’t ever really notably great at any of those activities, but I was in it for the knowledge, not the distinction.

This “problem” has grown with time and disposable income.  I get into things for knowledge, I get out of them without much distinction.  I gain a lot of marketable skill in ways that dots can’t sensibly connect.

This has made personal branding excessively difficult – how do i start to tell a recruiter why I spent 6.5 years studying engineering to go into 10 years in education, culminating in a technology position that I am not interested in furthering because I went to business school?  Oh, and I also knit funny hats for fun.  (See picture above: Roscoe is a funny-hat model.)

The only one-phrase tie I can commandeer to describe myself is that I can “make it work”.  Like my hero, style maven Tim Gunn.  I can do enough of everything to fix anything.  I am not lacking in talent or ambition, usually sufficient motivation all I need to get me going.  (Motivation, ah, the fodder for another future musing.)

Is THIS my personal brand?  Making it work?  Other than the fact that it’s someone else’s signature phrase, of course.  I’m going to change my blog title and let that percolate for a bit.

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