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Brand and Character: Why Taking Either at Face Value Doesn't Work

We all know the classic expression, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’. And yet inevitably, we do. We are drawn to those that stand out most on the shelf or perhaps use a font or colour that we like. Sometimes we may pick a book just because it’s made it onto a best sellers list or a friend has recommended it.

We make perceptions based on visuals or hearsay rather than really knowing if it’s the right book for us.

The same can be said for the companies we choose to work for. Often we hear people talking about a company’s brand and the cool things that company has done. It doesn’t necessarily mean they know too much about the company as a place to work. Obviously finding a job criteria that speaks to you and excites you is a must, but the same level of importance should be put on the workplace itself if we hope to find a lasting fit.

We need to find a company that has a working culture for us, the individual.

Companies are discussed as brands. Individuals are discussed as characters. What is the link between the two? The individual needs to understand the branding, needs to understand what kind of a workplace they will be going into and whether it is right for them.

Just because you like Adidas shoes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you will like working for Adidas. The branding of a company is important for its business, but the workplace culture it provides is much more important for the individuals. Richard Branson said,

“Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don't want to”.

This is the idea that treating your employees well will incur longer lasting relationships between companies and their employees. In a society of rapid overturn and an unsettled job market, the difference between retaining employees and losing them will be found in the workplace culture a company can create, rather than just in the branding.

In the same way that individuals need to understand the job and company they will be working for, a company needs to be understanding of the characteristics of its employees.

A company might provide a modern office with all of the latest gadgets and bean bag chairs for its meetings, but then ask its employees to work sixty hour weeks. The company needs to understand the needs of its employees and be sure to provide a working environment that suits each individual.

Maybe the interview process needs an overhaul. Rather than just sitting in a meeting room and discussing the job role and credentials, the prospective candidate should have a chance to explore their prospective workplace. An interview is a chance for both parties to see if there’s a fit and yet the candidate does not seem to have the same scope for scrutinizing their potential employer. Too often businesses are losing employees after a short period resulting in a huge financial loss. If the interview process gave the individual the chance to gauge whether this job and workplace was really for them, maybe then the company’s retention rates would increase.

Branding and characteristics are two identifying terms that often depict a surface level analysis. To create a workplace where companies hire the correct people for the job and employees are happy and invest in a long term future, it is important for both parties to delve a little deeper.

Customers buy into the brand, employees should buy into a great workplace where they can be valued as an individual.

Check out @termuende on twitter and like Eric Termuende for videos and updates.

With help from Cecilia Ryan.

Stop Trying to Find Our One Passion

Too often we hear the seemingly invaluable line ‘find your passion’.

On the surface, it sounds right, but if we spend our lives searching for that one thing, the chances of us finding it are slim to none. Instead, imagine we looked for the things that made us feel passionate. Imagine that we chased a feeling, and not a thing and realized that it could come from almost anywhere.

So often, students will graduate from whatever level of school they are in and look for the one thing that they hope to be their passion. But when we realize that we aren’t all going to leave school or transition jobs and save the world, the idea of a ‘dream job’ fades and we get stuck in whatever reality is in front of us.

I would challenge this and suggest that we should be looking for a feeling, one that could be derived from any number of actions. As a speaker, I can travel, learn, discover, and be challenged with my work- these are the things I value. With these values, though, I could be a musician, a photographer, a journalist, or any number of things that would make me feel the same things I do while being a speaker.

As an analyst, I could be working at any number of positions and regardless of who it was for, what I feel while doing it is going to be much more important.

Take an athlete for example— most athletes retire at a relatively young age but very few disappear completely when they are finished.

Why?

Because to feel the same sense of mastery, growth, and development they did from the field, ice, court, and so on, they have to be doing things that they can still get this passionate feeling satisfaction from.

I would suggest that the things we do in our everyday work lives (talking on the phone, writing emails, or in meetings, etc.) aren’t what matter in our pursuit of finding things that make us feel passionate. Unless we are connected to why, how, and who we do our work with, then we’ll never find our passion. That said, though, if the things we do make us feel passionate, then we can be doing any number of things.

Wherever we are in our career, it is important to know that finding our passion isn’t necessarily the best move we can make. Finding the things that make us feel passionate and going after them to the best of our ability is going to be a much more advisable route to take on the pursuit of happiness.

Passion isn’t necessarily derived from just one action; it can be derived from many.

Follow Eric on Twitter: @termuende

Generations Aren't Real

What if we didn't talk about generations? What if they were a false construct?


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