Events Personal Branding in the Gig Economy

Time: Monday, April 8, 2019 19:00-20:30
Location: CFLD Hall, Schwarzman College, Tsinghua University
Speaker: Huang Zhengyu, Chairman and Founder of Yu Capital


The lecture introduced the gig economy and how it provides students and scholars with the opportunity to pursue a gig career across industries, whilst making it possible to follow multiple passions simultaneously or through different stages of one’s career. The nature of the gig economy has resulted in two prominent trends that have made creating a personal brand accessible to everyone; access to distribution is now free and leveraging expertise in social platforms can make an individual an expert in any field of their choosing.

Mr. Huang explained that a strong personal brand is important in the dynamic gig economy because it is the only thing that individuals can take with them between jobs. An individual can take control of and actively build their brand, so that even if they suffer setbacks in their career, their personal brand can survive. The four steps to establishing a personal brand are; know your niche and audience, know your social media platforms, know your end goals and do the hard work. Mr. Huang then engaged in an activity with the audience to discuss their potential vision in-line with these steps and encouraged participants to make a twelve-month action plan to create their own personal brand.

In answering to a closing question about how scholars should adapt to the gig economy, Mr. Huang explained that education is not just about learning knowledge but learning about the kind of people you want to become. Skills that institutions previously regarded as ‘soft skills’ are not soft anymore, leaders of tomorrow need to think critically and creatively to adapt to the evolving landscape. Investing time and effort to build a personal brand is a full-time job that will grow with and carry an individual through their life in the gig economy.

By Alice Emily Osborne