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As many of you know, I’m a single guy and have been for a few years. I’ve been doing a lot of personal development work recently, and really feel pretty good about myself and what I’ve got to offer. That said, I’ve been more strongly putting myself out there in the dating world. As you can imagine, the world is quite different for a middle-aged gay man than it was in the late 1980’s when I was first looking for love. Now, everything is online and you are presenting yourself and your features and benefits for all to see. You can be screened out or screened in depending on how you present yourself.
One thing I feel pretty strongly about is presenting myself as closely as possible to who I am right now. I post my current age (if you aren’t interested in maturity and experience, fine), my physical size (this is what I’ve got; take it or leave it), and my current interests and how my personality comes through. Also, I want people to think that I look really good for my age, not that I look really old for 10 years younger than myself.
I am surprised that not everyone feels the same way. When I’ve met guys, sometimes I’m surprised that what I’m presented with doesn’t match the information I was giving.
- One guy posted that he was 53, but stated that he was actually 59 when we got together for dinner.
- Another stated that he was 5’9″, but when I met him he was shorter than me (and I’m 5’7.5″!)
- A third was very chatty in our messages going back and forth and showed a lot of enthusiasm in meeting, but when we did meet, I had to practically drag a conversation out of him.
I’m of the point that I feel good about myself and I’m looking for the right fit: a mature, intelligent, communicative, adventurous man who can be my partner in crime. I know the criteria I’m looking for, and I’m willing to wait, but also willing to give a guy a chance if he doesn’t initially seem to have all the qualifications but looks promising.
As I’ve mentioned before, a job search is like dating. You both are looking for the right one and everyone is awkward. You want to present the best you have as truthfully as possible. If you’ve got little lies here and there, they will be found out, and your reputation will take a nose dive. If you’re willing to play fast and loose with your own information, they might not trust you with their business. If what you present (resume, cover letter, stories about yourself) don’t match what I get when I meet you, I will feel like it’s a waste of my time. (That’s one reason I like to chat with guys a bit before agreeing to meet. If you can’t hold up your end of a conversation virtually, you certainly can’t do it in person, and I hate wandering into that trap!)
The key here is that there is someone for everyone in the dating world and the job search. It’s not automatic and people won’t fall out of the sky into your lap, so you have to be proactive to find a mate and find a job. As I say, figure out where the people are that you want to be with, and go to those places and say you want to be there (and figure out what they want and if you have it or need to acquire it!)
So, are you presenting yourself truthfully, and do you know what others are looking for?