Personal Brand and the Baby Boom Generation

Personal BrandPersonal Brand?

Personal Brand? Many Baby Boomers struggle with this new term. I have to admit I did not understand it for a long time. In the olden days this was your reputation.

When I graduated from an engineering school in the late 1970′s, I went to work for IBM as a computer programmer developing word processors. (This was before the IBM PC existed!) A small number of us on the project were fresh out of college. We soon learned who was in charge, who knew what they were talking about, and who to avoid. All of these people had reputations both good and bad. This was the beginning of understanding the concept of a personal brand.

You might think of this as a meritocracy.

You were known for your accomplishments as well as the way you treated other people. It was crucial that others noticed your good work. If you sat in the corner, did a good job, and kept your nose clean, you still might remain invisible to the organization. Only if you worked on a critical piece of the project would anyone outside of your immediate team knew what you did.

Your reputation was known mostly within your group, team or project. If you moved from project to project, often your reputation followed you.

Let’s fast forward to the 21st century. With the rise of the Internet and Social Media came the rise of the concept of Personal Brand. I have worked on projects in the last dozen years with people from around the world. Your ability to promote your reputation uh… I mean your personal brand has expanded greatly.

Think about it. How many of your LinkedIn connections are from outside the city where you live? Outside the state where you live? Outside the country where you live?

Have you developed a reputation uh… I mean a personal brand from a blog, your comments on social media, or a personal website?

Many of you may be saying I do not have time for this!

Many of you may also be saying this is self promotion or even bragging about yourself. Growing up, many of us were taught that it was improper to promote ourselves. We were assured that only our hard work was necessary to be recognized and that any effort to attract attention to ourselves beyond that was immodest.

The world has changed. The people you work with can be just about anywhere. Your reputation uh… your personal brand can  reach the span of the world. Just like when I was working for IBM, if you sit in the corner, do a good job and keep your nose clean, your good work may never get noticed.

What if you do not want to create a personal brand? Whether you like it or not you have one. Whether you like it or not you need to manage it!

How can you do this? This post is part of a new regular series on the Personal Branding Blog and I am going to be writing on your reputation uh… your personal brand from a Baby Boomer perspective once a week.

What have you done to promote your reputation uh… personal brand in the last week?

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.


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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist


  1. Well-done, Marc! Thanks for calling more attention to how important a personal brand (and PR!) truly are to every business person (and people in general!) So many people don’t realize how valuable and effective managing (and being aware of this) can be! Thank you!

  2. Dean Goranson says:


    Thanks for the definition and clarity on this label. Since I’m spending more time in the network marketing field at this
    point is the other thing I notice is the younger generation is spending most of their broadcast time tooting their own
    horn another term from our era. Something they probably wouldn’t understand. What I’m hearing in these promotions
    is 75 85 or a hundred percent fluff and bluff with no content and they pat each other on the back saying Good Job
    Good Job.

    • Dean,
      That is why this was my opening post on the Personal Branding Blog. Most of us Boomers do not get it. It is a foreign concept from how we were raised.

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