Career Journal

3 Keys To Professional Branding With Rob Lawrence

Every two months, UCLA Extension’s American Marketing Association Chapter invites a professional to share his or her insights on marketing and professional development with our students. The event is free, offers snacks, and is open to anyone attending UCLA Extension. Rob Lawrence, Strategic Relationship Manager of eSage Group and Past President of the American Marketing Association (LA Chapter) was kind enough to spend his Friday evening with us for our chapter’s second event.

Rob offered us three insights that I wish to share.

1. When building a “professional brand,” remember to separate your work life from your private life.

Rob and I have spoken before out Gen-Y’s challenge to separate personal from private, due to social media tools and instant messaging devices.

Early career professionals grew up in a world with poorly defined boundaries. In Los Angeles especially, we are encouraged to share private thoughts on Twitter, as well as pictures of friends and family. Moreover, “influencers” are rewarded with applause for bearing the most intimate details of their lives, including their bodies (touched up of course lol).

The clash between the private and the public “persona” places a lot of pressure on young people. It will be amazing to see how Gen-i/Gen-Z manages this challenge.

Ultimately though, the tenet will always remain: Be proud of how you present yourself at work, and leave your best things, most intimate things, for your at-home life.

2. Networking is the cornerstone of a strong career in marketing.

Every aspect of one’s career path is impacted by one’s ability to manage relationships with people. Networking is essentially the process of building a collection of meaningful relationships that you may (or may not) draw upon in the future. I find networking to generally be quite fun.

The UCLA Extension’s AMA Chapter strives to communicate the importance of “networking” to our predominately international student body. Some international students don’t realize that networking is actually really fun. In my opinion, it adds conviviality to a standard workday.

Work is surprisingly relationship driven. Going above and beyond to say thanks to people makes you stand out. Regarding quitting a job: never burn a bridge, always make it amicable, people have a really funny way of resurfacing, so expect it.

3. Have a strong work ethic at every stage of your career.

Rob reminded us that early in our careers, we will likely get the hard, tough jobs. This principle applies for people who are switching careers or moving to a new country. You have to work your way from the bottom to the top.

For me personally, I worked in Beauty PR as an intern for a few agencies in New York and Los Angeles, and indeed, I did the grunt work. At Bollare, I was regularly assigned the responsibility of organizing shelves, putting together parcels, getting supplies and magazines, and writing 40 or more thank you notes to editors.

I’m very thankful for those (sometimes grueling) experiences, because it impacted how I approach beauty marketing. I pay much greater attention to detail and I have a stronger understanding of managing client/customer relations through personalization.

Rob Lawrence’s discussion was very informative for our chapter at UCLA Extension. You can learn more about Rob at his LinkedIn Page.

Featured image source: WeHeartIt

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