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Your personal brand: Happy

The recent popularity of the song from Despicable Me II, “Happy” by Pharrell Williams demonstrates that a catchy tune and some cheerful lyrics can capture our imagination. But it goes further than that, people all over the world are making cover videos with the song and dancing around their cities merrily: Amsterdam, Cairo, Sydney, Budapest, Malta, Sofia, New York, and Dubai. Talk about exporting American culture, it’s a phenomena.

Pharrell Williams at an awards show
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

Digging deeper into the trend, let’s think about what exactly it is that Mr. Williams is showing us. His actual video runs 24 hours, and at each hour after his short performance of the song in the video, there are other lip-syncing individuals dancing around each interpreting the lyrics in their own unique way. They are not all professional dancers or actors, or if they are, they are portraying an average person who seems to just be enjoying life, being “happy”.

And what does all this mean for your personal brand? Well, think about what attracts you to the jaunty song, the perky lyrics – they make you feel better and speak to you about not letting anything get you down. So it is with your personal brand, you want to convey an image that is happy, upbeat, and unflappable by bad news or anything negative. Portraying this on an interview is paramount, because it’s confidence that you show in your ability to get the job done. You can be efficient, competent, but most of all selfless and able to withstand whatever challenges come your way. The hiring manager should feel that you’re going to be able to take all the problems away, solve all the issues and follow up on everything. Your brand should make them feel “happy” because you will be solving a dilemma and taking care of business.

Interviews present difficult, insurmountable obstacles. Going on interviews while searching for a job can be disheartening, the close personal focus during that time is uncomfortable, no matter how confident you are about your skills. The way to combat this is to take on an attitude of lightheartedness, of someone who has the world on a string. This is exactly the attitude we see portrayed in these videos, people doing natural normal things like walking around their town while injecting liveliness into their actions, an innate sense of joy in life and living. Projecting that during an interview is very powerful. It allows the interviewer to see the competent, skillful you who is able to get the job done and encourages the employer to take a chance and give you an opportunity to show them what you can do. So keep “Happy” in mind as you head out to that meeting and make it a core element of your personal brand.

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