At the recent Mass Technology Leadership Council event, “Shining Bright in Your Organization,” Melissa Egdorf (Verizon), Samantha Mackowitz (Flywire), Michelle Monti (CarGurus), and Hoai Quach (Hack.Diversity) shared invaluable insights for young professionals. Moderated by MTLC’s Chris Hughes, the panel discussed everything from personal branding to networking, and adapting to hybrid work dynamics. Here’s an overview of our key learnings:
Growth in the hybrid landscape
In the era of widespread remote work, the digital landscape has opened new avenues for meaningful connections. This new acceptance of virtual interactions has given rise to unique networking opportunities. With virtual work becoming the standard, leveraging your social and professional networks is key to personal and professional growth. Actively engaging with individuals through virtual channels can lead to unexpected outcomes, such as securing a mentorship, finding a peer to collaborate with, or stumbling upon valuable work prospects. Initiating connections in the virtual sphere not only enhances your networking skills but also contributes positively to your professional identity.
However, as the trend of remote work continues, some companies are steering their workforce back to the office. This transition can be unsettling for those who have grown accustomed to the flexibility of remote work. For individuals finding themselves back in the office, it’s important to make the experience meaningful. Take advantage of the opportunity to connect with your colleagues face-to-face and establish genuine relationships.
The shift back to in-person work has seen the rise of new techniques like informal interviews to familiarize yourself with coworkers. Planning, identifying who will be in the office, and proactively arranging meetings can be instrumental. By posing thoughtful questions about their backgrounds, work experiences, and roles, you not only expand your professional network but also position yourself for mentorship opportunities, ultimately elevating your standing within the organization. This active approach to in-person engagement can significantly boost your confidence and reinforce your professional brand at the same time.
Fine-tuning your personal brand
Crafting your personal brand is an essential part of professional development, as is the need for individuals to be aware of how they are perceived by others. The real value of authenticity, coupled with problem-solving skills, forms the foundation of a strong personal brand. It’s imperative to articulate this brand through creative communication strategies and active community engagement.
For those who have a clear understanding of their personal brand or the brand they hope to cultivate, a strategic starting point involves aligning their social media presence with the impression they aim to leave on people. By leveraging social platforms, professionals can effectively tell their story and ensure that their online persona aligns seamlessly with the intended brand image. This alignment serves as a powerful tool in shaping how others perceive them.
In cases where individuals are unsure about their personal brand, seeking external perspectives is a valuable exercise. This process is facilitated by initiating conversations with people who are relatively new to one’s life or circle. A direct approach, such as asking for their initial impressions or requesting candid feedback on the perceived personal brand—covering both positive and constructive aspects—can provide invaluable insights. This external feedback serves as a mirror, reflecting how one is currently perceived.
Armed with this information, individuals can embark on a journey to refine and nurture their personal brand, aligning it more closely with their goals. This approach to understanding and shaping one’s brand not only fosters self-awareness but also empowers individuals to actively influence how they are perceived, ultimately contributing to their professional growth and success.
Tech Runs Boston
“Shining Bright in Your Organization” delved into personal branding, networking, and hybrid work dynamics. As we reflect on these insights, keep an eye out for our next Tech Runs Boston event. We’re committed to providing valuable insights and guiding you through the dynamic tech landscape. Stay tuned.