We all agree that branding is important to businesses, companies lose money when bad press comes out. How they respond can say more than the mistake or bad press. The same is true for your personal brand. Your personal brand is important to how you are viewed by people and companies. Your brand is more than your resume or LinkedIn profile. It includes, your online presence such as blogging and tweeting, in addition to your interactions with others in your industry. Whether it is big or small, everyone has a personal brand.
When I started my first QA job, it was my third career. At that point I had been in IT (with a side of document control) and a help desk technician was my second career. Each position taught me something about myself and dealing with people. I learned how to deal with angry people by being calm, how large companies handle desktop machines, and what 24/7 up time means on your personal life.