Last week I had the privilege to spend two days outside the office attending events through work with Greater Cleveland Habitat Young Professionals. The fun thing was that the two days were totally different.
- On Friday October 20th, I attended Engage Cleveland’s 6th Annual Young Professional Organizations Workshop. There were about 50 attendees, the staff from Engage, and some impressive outside speakers and breakout sessions. The highlight was Keynote Amy Martin, Senior Principle and Marketing Director at Jumpstart, Inc. talking about Personal & Professional Branding. There is something electric and inspiring when you meet person who talks with the expertise, perspective, and swagger to instantly grab attention and curiosity of a room full of people, Amy is that type of person. Basically, think of your “Brand” as what people say about you when you are not in the room. Here are some of my key takeaways from her discussion.
- Your “Brand” must be honest. People have access to what you say, how you say it and what others say about you. What does your network & digital footprint say about you?
- Make your “Brand” strategic and holistic. What do you do for other people? Who do you want to associate with? Think long-term.
- Does your “Brand” give your target what they want?
- Distinction between “Personal Brand” vs. “Professional Brand”.
- As an employee, how does your brand align with your Company’s?
- As a business owner, the distinction can be faint. To excel and lead, business owners must embrace and enhance their brand.
- Your “Brand” should evolve. Self-assess but more importantly get feedback. Are you the same person with the same exact goals as you were 1, 2, or 5-years ago?
- On Saturday October 21st, I worked on a Habitat for Humanity housing project in Cleveland with about 12 other volunteers from Greater Cleveland Habitat Young Professionals and Baldwin-Wallace University. Also working along side of us were Sonia (new home owner), Charlie her 14 year old son and Sonia’s cousins and friends. We managed to clean the whole house, tape the beautiful original wood moldings, and get a coat of primer on every wall & ceiling of the entire 4 bedroom house. Sonia is the mother of 4 and works as a social worker in Cleveland, her family is planning to move into the house before Christmas. The on top of the work we got done, meeting the family and getting to witness them giving house tours to new neighbors, talking about the bedroom colors picked out for the twin 10-year old girls, and eating pizza and hearing how excited they were about the home was amazing!
In summary, it was a great way to spend two days and get energized, ignite some professional and personal motivation in the company of some fantastic people! I’ve included some pictures. The post-its include many of the attendees highlight that we shared with the group in a closing collaboration session at Engage as well as a few from the construction project. Let us know what you think or if you have any questions!