You are Your Brand
July 12, 2018
Recently I attended a volunteering opportunity that was thrown to raise money to further assist impoverished children. While at the event a gentleman over the Organization that put the event together began to talk about how the money raised would better equip these young adults with entering into the work force. His organization provides young adults with tools, resources, and outlets to better prepare them for an adult life that provides them with more opportunity. The organization has a variety of different outlets for them to express themselves emotionally while also finding a way to express their interest in a variety of crafts. He spoke about how a lot of the inner-city kids that he works with knew nothing about things such as; Professional Tone, Professional Conversations, Professional Attire, Professional overall grooming, Professional Branding, and so on.
This conversation took me by surprise because I identified with the very children that he is currently helping. I entered the work force at the age of 14, as a matter of fact I started working the day before my 15th birthday. I walked into a beauty supply store that was close to my house and asked if they were hiring. I spoke well and I appeared older than I was so the owner hired me on the spot and I started the next day at 8 am. The only thing I knew that I needed to do was to talk in a respectful manner, to ensure that my tone never raised too high, and to smile. From what this man was saying at the event I knew absolutely nothing when I started the work force and to be frank I still don’t know much some odd ten years later.
After work tonight, I will be attending a networking event and so I felt it only fitting that we talk about branding today in the blog as it is something fresh on my mind and a topic that I have a lot to learn about. I’ve had a blog titled “Branding” sitting in my archives for a while now and I had every intention on releasing it to you all however this morning as I prepared for my day my thoughts traveled to writing a brand-new blog titled “You are Your Brand”. It’s quite ironic to me that this transpired and humorous also as Organic Encounters and my entire inspiration behind that title is to bring you guys fresh pieces that literally stem from Organic Encounters rather it be things that transpire in my life, things that I see, things that I feel, or things that occur to those around me.
As I rushed to prepare for my day this morning my mind traveled back to the conversation with the gentleman and I reflected on how although I came from different circumstances I too was a young girl that went into the work force under informed and ill prepared. Quite frankly I am sometimes still that girl simply because I just don’t know. Those things were never taught to me. They were never presented or displayed. Fortunately for me I have reached a point in my life of elevation.
Any area I see that lacks something of value is in the process of being adjusted and corrected so that I can be better in all aspects of life.
About a month after starting my current career I reached out to an amazing woman in hopes that she would be my mentor and assist me with growing into a more professional individual while ensuring that my brand was presented in the best ways possible. As I assumed she would, she happily obliged and reached out to set up lunch to provide me with a few tips to enhance the things that I already possess and today I would like to share 5 of those tips with you.
*SN I say a few because branding is such a broad topic that I am quite sure that I will write a few more pieces in the near future.
- First Impressions are lasting impressions and people always remember the worst first impression.
- Be sure that you are displaying the best version of you. Control your emotions, maintain a steady tone, and remember to smile.
- Dress for the job that you Want, NOT the job you Have!
- Appearance matters rather we want it to or not. Remain professional! No tights, no ripped jeans, no low blouses, or form fitting clothing. Remain classy ladies. Gentlemen, no sneakers, no ripped jeans, no work out shirts, and always maintain fresh hygiene.
- Community Involvement is important! It makes a statement for you which is good in this situation.
- Community involvement shows that you care about not only yourself but those around you.
- Speech, “It’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.”
- Try to speak Proper at all times rather in a professional setting or not. Really funny quick story: A few months back I sat on a lecture from a very prestigious woman. She happens to be a bit older than me and spoke about the difference with speech from her generation to the millennials. She asked that if you used the phrase “No Problem” to raise your hand. Seeing as I use the word I raised my hand and quickly realized it was a mistake. She despised the word however she made a clear point as to why it was not an acceptable phrase. Saying ”No Problem” implies that there was a problem or that there could have been a problem for the task that was requested of you. This was quite revealing to me as I hadn’t thought about it in that way however we are generations apart; so back to my point – Proper speech is the best speech. Learn it and Love it.
- Lastly, carry yourself like a walking billboard.
- I have this saying “You never know who is watching, and what they are watching for so be the best you, better than you’ve ever been before.
♥As my writing abilities grow the pieces will get longer, I hope you enjoy these reads and please feel free to leave comments below. I would love to hear any feedback you would like to provide.♥
-With Love, Sonneblom