When an expert actor plays the role of a villain, she appears to be the epitome of evil. The degree to which the audience hates her is a measure of her mastery. Yet, she isn’t necessarily a villain in real life – it is merely a portrayal to achieve a particular end. When the show is over, the actor is liberated to be her own true self once again.
Our professional brand is not different from the make-up, the costume and the mask we put on to perform on stage. We manicure our resumes, dress up for interviews and put on a great show. Every profession is a transaction – that is why we sign employment contracts. And every job is a performance – that is why they have performance reviews.
The term ‘branding’ comes from farmers burning their animals with a branding iron. Separating your self from your professional brand saves you from its burn and liberates you to perform to the best of your capabilities.