Written by: Daniel Tetrick
When we think of a brand, we traditionally think about a business or product. Companies work very diligently to craft and protect their brands. After all, a strong brand ties together the perceived value and emotional satisfaction that a consumer receives from purchasing or using a product or service. The concept of a brand, however, also applies to individuals. A job applicant needs to convince hiring managers they will obtain value and achieve emotional satisfaction upon hiring the applicant.
Michael Seaver is an executive coach and leadership consultant. He is a Certified Professional 12 Driving Forces® Analyst, a Certified Professional Behavior Analyst, and a Thunderbird School of Global Management MBA. Michael sees personal branding as “connecting your life’s narrative into direction.” This entails a concept he calls storypathing, or integrating past experiences into your future. Lessons learned and knowledge gained from past experiences are the building blocks for building a personal brand for the future.
Employment does not have to mean working as an employee for a business, government, or non-profit entity. Employment can also mean entrepreneurship and contract work, and job seekers should consider seriously starting and running their own businesses. Many job seekers have skills and experience gained from their career paths that could be applied successfully to starting their own businesses. Why don’t more job seekers consider being an entrepreneur? A common reason is fear of failure. But as we shall see, failure should be embraced, not feared.
It sounds antithetical to how most of us feel after failure, but failing to achieve one’s intention should be celebrated and rewarded. There is no success without taking a risk. Inaction results in nothing. Everyone hopes to achieve success, but even if you fail after taking action you have gained valuable insight. And those lessons learned are the building blocks for developing your personal brand for the future. For example, while job hopping is not criticized as much as in the past, some hiring managers may question an applicant about recent short-term stops listed on his or her resume. In such a scenario, the applicant should convey the circumstances, acknowledge the mistake, and articulate the lessons learned. For additional information on overcoming mistakes Michael suggests Brene Brown’s book and TED Talk “Daring Greatly”.
Individuality is what makes each person’s brand unique, and that individuality is influenced by our various social groups. You are the average of the five people that you spend the most time with outside your family. Think of those five people. What are their characteristics? How are they different? That composite profile is likely a core component of your personal brand.
The Hero’s Journey
Superheroes in movies today follow a common a path:
Introduction of Characters > Bad Guy Wins > Superhero Works to Resolve > Superhero Wins
The journey a superhero takes to overcome failure is not unlike the journey everyday people take to overcome great challenges. And the lessons learned from failure and overcoming challenges are the basis for a personal brand of the future. Here is how to apply the Hero’s Journey to build a personal brand:
1) Take the DISC Assessment to identify behavioral traits, talents, and motivators
2) Past: analyze past experiences
3) Present: assess current interests and activities
4) Future: identify goals and desired outcomes
Completing the four steps will result in the discovery of patterns and themes. These can be used to build the guiding statements of a personal brand:
Using a Personal Brand
• Use branding statements on resumes and LinkedIn profiles
• Tailor communication to fit your personal brand
• Color can play a large role in branding. Blue conveys stability and trust. Red conveys excitement and boldness.
• Body language sends a nonverbal message about a personal brand
• Take a strategic approach to building an online personal brand
Living Your Brand
Need a jumpstart on creating a personal brand? Michael suggests sending an email to those who know you and your work well to ask for their input on your top three strengths and to provide an example when one was displayed. Look for commonalities in their responses. You may have found the start of your personal brand. Finally, remember that personal brands are largely derived from the lessons learned and knowledge gained from the journey taken to overcome obstacles and failures. These lessons often occur during times of great transition: around ages of late twenties and then again around age fifty. Wouldn’t it have been helpful to gain insight from someone who has been through the struggles? Be the person you needed when you were younger.
Adriana Martinez, Recruitment Manager
Varsity Tutors provides tutoring, test prep, and other educational services to students of all levels. Its vision is “to connect experts to learners in any subject, anywhere, any time.” With its headquarters in St. Louis, MO, and a local office in Scottsdale, Varsity Tutors provides its services either online or in-person on over 700 subjects. Technology is a priority for Varsity Tutors as it looks to expand its subject list and expand internationally. The typical office attire is casual: jeans and a t-shirt. Current open positions include Sales Representative, Sales Trainer, Sales Manager, Customer Care Specialist, Software Engineer, Tech Support Specialist, and Human Resources Director. Get further information and apply on Varsity Tutors’ website here. Interested in being a tutor? Click here.
Arizona Office Technologies
Octavio Duarte, Corporate Recruiter
Arizona Office Technologies (AOT), a wholly owned subsidiary of Xerox Corporation, is Arizona’s largest consulting firm specializing in workflow optimization. With its headquarters in Phoenix and offices in Tucson and Prescott, AOT provides services and technology related to print and document management. Benefits at AOT include: medical, 401k, PTO, life insurance, corporate discounts, and eligibility to qualify for the President’s Club trip. Job seekers looking for opportunities in sales, administrative, field technician, and warehouse operations can find open positions and apply on AOT’s website here.
Courtney Cassano, Recruiter
Modis is a subsidiary of The Adecco Group, the largest staffing agency in the world. Modis specializes in placing IT and engineering professionals in temporary, direct placement, and contract-to-hire positions. Benefits that Modis offers its contractors include: medical, dental, 401k, short-term disability, and term life insurance. Modis also provides its contractors with professional development resources and training from its SkillBuilder application. Modis is proud of its recognition and retention programs with its associates. Job seekers looking for positions in application development, project management, data management, web and content development, architecture, or IT infrastructure management can search jobs and submit a resume here.
Goodwill of Central AZ
Carter Ellis, Professional Career Advisor @GoodwillAZ
Goodwill works with all job seekers. Its services are free to both job seekers and companies. Goodwill maintains a job board with many internal leads from companies across the Valley. In addition, Goodwill provides resources to job seekers, such as career advice, resume preparation and mock interviews. Please reach out to Carter Ellis with any questions.
Jessica Pierce concluded the event with some final thoughts and reminders:
• Check out Career Connectors’ Career Advice Blog for insight and suggestions to empower and energize your career search
• Take a free DISC assessment courtesy of Career Connectors and Top Talent Consulting
• Utilize the available resources offered by Career Connectors at each event: resume review, career coaching, LinkedIn coaching, financial/insurance coaching, and business portraits
• The West Valley Healthcare Career Expo is April 19, 2017, from 10:00 am – 1:00 pm at The Colonnade at Peoria Sports Complex
Next event is Tuesday, April 25th, 9:00 am in Gilbert: “Start Strong, Finish Stronger: Your Best Self in Your Next Chapter”