Author Mainak Dhar talks about the idea behind his book Brand New Start. “The title of this book builds off two things. Firstly, it is a book aimed primarily at young employees who are starting their careers or are new to the world of work, helping them understand how building a stronger personal brand can help them fast-start their careers. Secondly, the world ‘brand’ is of course a play on the concept of personal branding and thinking of yourself as a brand.
The author sensed the need to come up with the book in the pandemic when he saw people going deep into insecurities about their goals and career . Mr Dhar goes on and shares with us “When the COVID pandemic broke in early 2020 and the first national lockdown was announced, I observed that many people were seeing their careers impacted- losing jobs, feeling insecurity and sometimes, having offers rescinded. I decided to use my long leadership experience in the corporate sector to try and help, and put out an open offer on LinkedIn, offering to help. Within a couple of weeks, more than two dozen people had reached out, mostly young people early in their careers, without established networks or mentors. I began chatting with them, helping someone with their resume, helping someone else prepare for an interview, or helping someone choose between different career options. I found myself repeating common themes- the importance of doing something because it’s a good fit with who you are versus chasing someone else’s definition of success; learning how to differentiate yourself versus just depending on labels of degrees and designations; and how to be more intentional in showing up at key ‘moments of truth’. I began asking himself whether it would be more helpful to more people if I could pull these thoughts together in the form of a book, which helped people, especially those early in their careers, realise how important it was to be more intentional about building an authentic, differentiated and compelling personal brand as a cornerstone of their career success. At that time I had been working on a thriller, the next instalment in my Sniper’s Eye series, but I decided to put that aside for a few months, realising that helping young people navigate their careers, especially at a time of uncertainty, was more important. That’s how Brand New Start was born.”
Brand New Start talks about Personal branding and so is the author. Mr. Dhar states the importance of personal branding with us “The first thing people need to do is discard many myths about personal branding e.g. That it is all about networking, ‘selling’ yourself; or that it is purely a sum of your degrees and job designations. A strong brand is defined by its impact on its consumers or those it serves. So, a person with a strong personal brand is one who defines success as serving others (e.g. Teammates, family members, the broader community) and spends time to understand what these stakeholders need, and focuses on meeting their needs versus defining success in a purely selfish way. Secondly, strong brands are driven by a sense of purpose, so I encourage everyone trying to build a strong personal brand to be clear about ‘why’ they want to do certain things versus just following the bandwagon others are on. Thirdly, in Brand New Start, I spend a lot of time describing the importance of showing up in a differentiated and impactful way at key ‘moments of truth’ such as an interview, a big meeting, how you shape your social media presence. Being mindful of those can do or undo how your personal brand is expressed to others. Finally, strong brands are able to adapt with changing times, so adaptability and a humble mindset which embraces continuous learning and improvement is key to having a strong personal brand.”
More ever, the author goes ahead and talks about his career and how diverse his role has been besides being an author “ I’ve now spent twenty-five years in the corporate world, and have had the privilege of learning from some great mentors, coaches and bosses (and have also learned a lot from the few bosses who were not so great!). In addition, I learned a lot of what I did through the school of hard knocks- through the mistakes and missteps I made in my career. Most of what I have shared in Brand New Start is born of these practical experiences versus theory, and so can be both more relatable and more readily applicable in the day to day careers and lives of readers. I write not as someone who knows it all and has it all figured out but as someone who was once in the shoes of the readers and has been on the same journey of learning, growth and self-discovery.”
“The most important role I play in my life is to try and be the best possible husband and father I can be. Almost all the free time I get, I spend with my family. My next priority is to do the best I can for those who are counting on me at work. I’ve had a long corporate career, working with some great organisations, and that has played an important role in shaping me as a person and as a leader. Finally, I try and keep some time every day for my passions outside of family and work- staying healthy and fit, which I do by running and practicing karate, and writing, which has been a lifelong passion of mine.” He added.