Young Professionals explore branding and career development during SkillShare session
“Branding” derives from the practice of cattle ranchers distinctively marking their animals with a red-hot iron poker to identify them – literally making them stand out in a field of other cows. Today, having a brand that makes you distinctive in the workplace is a lot less painful, but just as important, Courtney Seeber told her audience.
Seeber, a BJC Institute for Learning and Development (BILD) consultant, led a discussion at the BJC Young Professionals Connection SkillShare event, Oct. 17 at the BJC Learning Institute.
The event offered members short sessions in creating and communicating a professional brand, creating an effective resume and tips on navigating the BJC hiring and transfer process. Russell Hoffmann, BJC BILD vice president, and Jada Reese, BJC Behavioral Health, BJC Corporate Health and BJC Home Care human resources director, started each session with their own insights on career building.
Hoffman told the group that a personal brand isn’t necessarily a fixed thing. For instance, as a child he envisioned that what he’d eventually be known for – his personal brand – would be as a dolphin trainer. But as he realized his goal wasn’t realistic and that he actually loves and is good at helping people become their best selves, he revised his brand.
He advised the group to be intentional about cultivating their personal brand, thinking about what it is they love to do and how they express it. He also advised find others who would help them live into their brand and who wouldn’t be afraid to deliver difficult truths.
Reese shared that she had started her career as an engineer, knowing that she wouldn’t stay in the field.
“Where you start isn’t where you have to finish,” she said. She urged the group not to let fear hold them back from taking advantage of opportunities.
“If someone offers an opportunity, take it – jump in!” Reese said. “It’s okay to be afraid.”
And BJC offers a wealth of opportunities for personal and career growth, she noted.
Seeber’s session was an abbreviated version of the personal branding classes she teaches through BILD.
A person’s brand is just another way of referring to their reputation, and it can be a powerful tool in their professional development, communicating their interests, skills and unique value, she said.
She offered tips and ran through an exercise in developing a brand statement. Employees should also revisit their brand statement periodically, Seeber said, calling branding “an iterative process.”
Jessica Lansing, BJC talent acquisition specialist at Missouri Baptist Medical Center, led discussion of topics ranging from job-searches to resume writing to interviewing tips.
For instance, Lansing told attendees to be specific when applying and interviewing for jobs. Rather than simply listing jobs they’ve held, applicants should list skills they’ve acquired and how those would be useful in the job they desire.
BJC Connections groups are also a good example of an item to list on an employee’s resume, Lansing said. Belonging to a group, such as the Young Professionals Connection, signals that the employee is invested in the organization and their co-workers, as well as their own career.
The BJC Young Professionals Connection group includes BJC team members in the early stages of their careers who, as future leaders, seek to network with peers and management, develop their careers and give back to the communities we serve. All team members, from all skill sets, are welcome – including those who consider themselves to be “young at heart” and more experienced professionals. For more information, contact co-leads Michael Berg, Barnes-Jewish Hospital language services project coordinator, and Jessica Campbell, BJC supply chain data analytics senior analyst, at YPConnectionGroup@bjc.org.