Graduating? Don’t Look For a Job. Look for a Brand!

It’s almost that time of year again. Who will get a good offer and who will not? Who will just settle for any offer and who will go for their dream job? Who will struggle and who will transition seamlessly into the workforce? Who will go above and beyond and who will do the bare minimum? Who will be a long-term hire and who won’t last through the first month? Who will fit into the culture and who won’t?

As many graduates look to join the workforce, they think about what they want to do.  They  look at their experience, knowledge from the courses they took and any skills they can utilize on the job. They think about a career and the best way to get started within a certain trade or profession.

I challenge this way of entering the workforce. Why not think about your absolute favorite brands? The ones you know and use the most. Think about where you spend your time or where you want to spend your time. This can and should help steer your job hunt. It will make you more competitive than other candidates. And it will help you build your personal, authentic brand.

For example, before I graduated college, I had a summer job, but it wasn’t just any summer job I could find. I actually didn’t even search the posted or available jobs. The tactic I took was to think about what I loved to do. At the time, it was travel and tourism, so I thought about a potential job that would give me access to these activities. What came to mind was possibly a concierge or tour guide at the fanciest hotel in town. (I lived in Ottawa, Canada’s capital.) I decided to reach out and contact the human resources department at the top hotels to see what might be available. This approach put me in the driver’s seat, in terms of what I wanted, that matched my personality, interest and skills. I ended up (not sure if it was luck or the approach) with the perfect job at a great hotel downtown, as a concierge/tour guide.

Now my career has taken many turns and twists since then, but I have managed to focus first and foremost on what organization best matches my passions and personal brand – everything that defines me as a person. The specific job has usually fallen into place with this as my focus.

Give it a try and let me know how it goes.

(If this is your first time reading my blog, please read more about The Brandful Workforce – a workforce that genuinely promotes the brand of the organization. Also check back as I will be making a youtube graduation speech for Class of 2013! Contact me at if you would like a preview.)