Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Personal Branding and Gen X/Y

Sitting in a meeting last night after working at my computer all day, I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a gentleman and two women asssociates, whose average age might have been 29. Absolute energy! I felt lucky as I said to be there with them. And most of the topic of the evening, aside from best deals on apartments in NYC went to developing brand, personal and professional--marketing for a business and marketing themselvesl. Because these people are an age that I could have taught as middle schoolers in my former teaching life, I was struck by the type of skills they had and exhibit daily in their NYC jobs. Much of what they demonstrated went to communication. They all were well spoken, articulate and compelling. They all had different styles...brands, that they were advancing. And each of them, at very early ages, had held a number of serious jobs already, so flexibility was evident. They listened to each other. They offered connections, all social skills that they were exercizing as part of their personal band. All skills that had obviously taken them far in a short amount of time in NYC...and would propel them further.

I'd like to approach those skills with educators as absolute survival skills for the changing workplace in the new decade. I want to do this under the thinking of Branding because I think kids would listen to that and like it...and connect to what they are growing already on their social graphs that they are creating at home out of school. Looking at common standards and mining those skills of communication, forming experiences around them for students in school is of great importance. The ability to brand oneself at a young age as a valuable commodity in a time of amazing social change is the a premier skill, and every "soft" communication skill and hard core communication skill needs to be developed. The people I met with last night will be managing the 12 year olds in a new decade. Their leadership style will be different than ours, and the people they supervise different from them...but I think branding, relationships, trust building will help to smoothe the ever changing landscape of the workplace.

Class was in session last night in that meeting...and I was being taught by a new generation. I'd like to share that view with teachers of the 2010 middle school set.

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