Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Personal Branding & Networking

We attended a panel discussion on personal branding and networking last night at NYU, hosted by Step Up Women's Network (full disclosure: we are both on the board of Step Up).  On the panel were a series of women who know a LOT about this topic: Carla Harris (Managing Director Morgan Stanley), Christine Beauchamp (President Ann Taylor), Hope Hughes (Director Deloitte Consulting), and Juliette Powell (Media Entrepreneur), and it was moderated by Beth Schoenfeldt (Co-Founder Collective-E).  Some key takeaways that are applicable to you, whether you're an Urban Intern or a small business/entrepreneur/busy professional:

1. Your personal brand should accurately reflect the way people perceive you.  In order to create a strong personal brand, think of 3 adjectives that you want people to describe about you when you are not in the room. (As Carla said, the most important decisions are made about you when you're not present: hiring, promotion, and new opportunities.)  And then make sure that everything you do reflects those words.

2. Tough times can create major opportunities.  If you've been laid off, use it as an opportunity to find a job that you absolutely love. And don't settle, because you can only excel at it if you're happy in the role.

3. Companies that are firing are also hiring right now. Think major retailers and even financial firms. They use times like this as an opportunity to "upgrade" their workforces.

4. Use your network - and do not be afraid to ASK for favors or introductions!  Magical things can happen with the power of personal connections.

5. Build your resume.  If your "dream" job isn't realizing itself, look for a similar position or function in a different industry.  When the market turns around, you'll be in a great position.

6. Consider part-time/freelance/internship work.  Lots of companies are using part-time help and freelancers to get work done without long-term financial commitments, but these roles very frequently turn into full-time jobs.

We are thrilled to be your go-to resource for part-time work solutions.  We continue to refine the product and have some exciting announcements coming up.  In the meantime, email us with questions and feedback!


Lauren & Cari

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