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Defining Brand "You" with Andrea Clarke

Oct 21, 2020  ·  36 min read

Landing your dream gig or being your own boss is something we want for every Upsider.

As part of our UpSkill series, we're rapt to introduce you to a communications expert, Andrea Clarke, founder of Future Fit, who will help you to define brand ‘you’ and tell your story to those who matter most.

Andrea Clarke knows a thing or two about storytelling. She's a former Washington D.C. television news correspondent, Iraqi aid worker and the author of 'Future Fit: How to Stay Relevant & Competitive in the Future of Work', which won the Australian Business Book of 2019.

Andrea trains a thousand people a year on how to be future fit in the 2020s and now she wants to share a few tips with Upsiders so you can thrive in an increasingly competitive job market.

You will learn how to:

  • define your reputation capital
  • communicate your value with impact
  • understand how to establish and accelerate trust remotely
  • Who's it good for?

This recording is ideal for anyone who is applying for a job, starting a business, in a career transition or simply needing to be more connected to the value that you bring to your organisation. You'll walk away with a compelling pitch and even more confidence to land that new project, pay-rise or promotion.

Handy Resources


Transcript begins at 33 seconds.

Hi, Upsiders. And welcome to our Upskill session. I'm Rukmal. I help to manage partnership for Up. Today, though, my main job is to make sure I don't hit the big shiny red button in the bottom that says "End meeting for all." That'd be very really sad. If you've been on one of our previous Upskill, you know that they're all about upgrading and experts in their field and trying to convey practical skills that we think are just generally useful for your life. If you haven't seen them, we've run sessions before on mental and financial well-being which you can access on our YouTube page. This session, of course, is all about brand "you." And it's my absolute pleasure to introduce Andrea Clarke, CEO and founder of Future Fit. I was kind of sitting back trying to think about how to, like, intro Andrea to do her justice just in terms of, like, the amazing life experiences that she's had across industries whether it be as a journalist, breaking stories across the globe with some larger events across the 2000s, working in Iraq, part of the war for an aid organization, as an award-winning author and, of course, as the CEO of her company now. There's just so much there.

And out of everything that I saw, I thought the coolest thing by far is that she's actually an Upsider. She's one of us, which is awesome and has been for a long time. Got the card and everything. Amazing. Andrea had actually seen a previous Upskill session of ours and wrote in and said, "Hey, look, I help to train thousands of executives every year on how to communicate their value with impact. Do you think that that's something that the Up community would like to learn?" So, I took one quick look at that and I was like, "Yes, please." So, here we are at this session. The content that Andrea has for us tonight from is absolutely first-class that I think will be incredibly useful, whether you're just starting off in your career or whether you're well-progressed. And if nothing else, at the very least, I hope that the tools that she shares today will help you to craft an absolutely baller LinkedIn profile.

Sort of housekeeping before we start. We're gonna have a few polls throughout the session. If you're on the Zoom, feel free to participate and answer. If you're watching at YouTube, watching live on YouTube, feel free to sit back and relax. Also if you've any questions, feel free to put them in the chat and we will try to answer as many as possible towards the end. So, that means I'm gonna hand over to you, Andrea. But I think to kick it off, we're gonna ask one poll question, right?

Andrea: Yeah, let's do it.

Rukmal: Let's do it. I'm gonna use a Zoom webinar poll to see how this goes. Just because we have such a diverse array of people on the session, I thought it'd be cool to get a feel for what stage of your career at. So, maybe just give people 10 seconds to answer that one, 10, 15. Feel free to go for it. Wow. Look how it go. That's amazing. I love it.

Andrea: Which stage?

Rukmal: Yeah, right. Cool. So, I'm gonna end that and share the results for everyone. So, you should see that up on your screen. So, it's a fair mix, which is great because there's a bit in this for everyone. Sweet. Okay, Andrea. Over to you.

Andrea: Wow, that's incredible. Thank you so much, Rukmal. And welcome. A very warm welcome to all of the Upsiders joining us from Zoom and also watching via YouTube. I can still see that, Paul. Is it just on my screen or is it on a... Okay. All right. I've just got rid of that. Welcome to the Upskill series. This is all about you. How good is that? Welcome to Defining Brand "You." And as Rukmal said, my name is Andrea Clarke and I'm the author of "Future Fit," which is a book about how to stay relevant and competitive in the future of work. So, it's my job to train a couple of thousand people every year to be future fit in their careers. And I do that through writing, speaking and facilitating lots and lots of workshops including an abbreviated version that I'm gonna run you through tonight.

I am also a recovering television news reporter. And as Rukmal said, I spent almost 10 years of my career based in Washington, D.C. covering major breaking stories for Thomson Reuters, Al Jazeera English, and the Pentagon channel. And I think what I loved most about my reporting days was like all of you getting to talk and meet with so many people who you may not necessarily come across in any other line of work. So, I loved sharing their backstory and I loved meeting people. And what was really important to me as a reporter was making sure that the talent who I was interviewing was having impact with the audience. So, I always saw myself as a conduit to that story being told and that talent owning their story. So, that feeds into what we're doing tonight, owning your story and telling that in a clear and compelling way. So, we've got two really simple objectives, which I really hope to meet. Tell me if I don't. They are quite simply defining our brand and communicating our value.

A bit of a preamble. I believe firmly that the future of work is about talent and not necessarily technology as much as I do love the technology. I wrote "Future Fit." I wrote eight... I wrote about eight human skills, power skills, real skills, whatever you wanna call them. They're definitely not soft skills because they're really hard things to master. But I wrote about the eight human skills that I believe we need to upgrade because these are all going to look different in a different environment. And I wasn't writing for a pandemic, but, of course, I was writing for major disruption across the workforce and here we all are. And we're talking tonight about the top two topics because I believe that these are core competencies for leadership regardless of where you see it in your career.

So, I wanna ask. Who can remember the day that this arrived? Who can remember the day this arrived? I mean, jump into the chat box if you want to. Yes or no. I know this was a strong memory for me. And when I think about why it had such impact, I think that we've all gravitated to this brand because we share the values that the business walks the walk on. Thank you, Leanne. Thank you, everyone who's responding. Those values like innovation, life disruption, like, being an original, being the market leader, fun, you know, and a sense of community and having impact. And I think that we all share, everyone on this call shares those values. You connect with those values, otherwise, you wouldn't be part of this community.

And so I want you to think about through this session, I want you to think about how those Up brand business values, how they translate, and how you can apply those values to your own personal brand because I know that we all can identify with being innovators and with being original and creative and fun. And you wanna have the impact and you wanna be able to connect with your community. And so that's what this is really all about tonight. So, talking about impact, I'm really keen to ask you. And if I can queue the poll, Rukmal, that would be super. I'm keen to ask everyone who's on the call if you feel like you have enough impact in your job, in your business, or in your industry. We do love a good poll. Wow. That's really interesting. That's... So, we're airing... Well, that's almost 50-50.

Rukmal: Yeah, cool.

Andrea: Okay. That's interesting. Thank you, everyone.

Rukmal: I was gonna say, Andrea, just before we go on, I forgot to mention with the chat function, if you wanna run anything a lot of people are, which is great, feel free to select panelists and attendees so that I can see it and [inaudible 00:09:20] the conversation if you like. Yeah.

Andrea: Cool. So, am I clicked on the right thing? Yeah. I've got panelists and attendees. So, yeah.

Rukmal: You definitely got it.

Andrea: Okay, great. Awesome. Well, that's a line ball. Fifty-one to 49%. Forty-nine percent say no. So, it's good to get a sense of where everyone's at because I don't think there's a better time to be really thinking about the impact that we're having and the conversations that we wanna start through the 2020s. What about if you're excited about work? Are you excited about the future of work? A really simple yes or no. Quietly terrified. I should definitely not be terrified. I love that. I love that. Okay. That's significant. All right. We're looking at 70% excited about the future of work and only minimal for... Oh, 30%, quite little. Okay, we're here to help out, aren't we, Rukmal?

Rukmal: Sure.

Andrea: I think there's so many reasons to be excited about the future of work. I do wanna run through a couple of stats so we can get a broad brush view on what's happening a bit of a window into the workforce. So, I don't want this to scare you. But according to ING, job security is at an all-time low. We already know that because we watch the news. And 3.3 million Aussies want a career change. Interestingly, to me, only 23% of people who were surveyed in this report believe that they have the right future skills. So, here's how we're responding to COVID. This is an Atlassian research paper that was extremely comprehensive only down a couple of months ago. And this is interesting.

So, what it's revealing is that 44% of us are spending less time on our favorite things, on our hobbies. Almost or half of us, finally, have more difficult to maintain boundaries. No surprises there because we're working from home. But this to me is the real headline that half of us believe that being remote is going to impact our visibility and our career opportunities. So, this is where this session comes in. There are obviously new ground rules emerging in our workplaces and across the workforce. And I believe well before COVID that we were heading into a less structured, looser workplace, we were already seen, I think, in micro windows in a workplace going back a couple of years because, you know, we just simply work in such a dynamic environment.

And what's coming up is many more decisions are going to be made about us when we are not in the room. And so that's where the opportunity comes in. I think it's extraordinary, the opportunity that sits in front of all of us. For anyone who is quietly terrified, I really want you to pay attention to these three points. So, we now have this opportunity that we've never had before to align by their online and offline profile in a way that's never been kind of matched before. And we all need to recognize that purpose will be the most powerful differentiator for all of us through the 2020s. So, defining our purpose and getting our head around that has never been more important. What that means is that we need to be far more intentional about our work identity through the 2020s.

So, there are genuine opportunities here for all of us, especially those who are doubtful about the next few years and are quietly terrified. Please don't be. And that brings me to personal brand. So, I wanna make a distinction about the terminology here because it's really important and it is changing. So, when I think of personal brand and when you think of personal brand, I kind of cringe just a little bit. A part of me dies a little bit because this is such a cliché term. I don't like it at all. And when I think about personal brand, I think about shoulder pads because that's where this terminology really belongs, back in the 1980s. And when we think about personal brand, I associate that with a traditional workplace. But we're not in a traditional workplace. We're in a digital workplace, which is completely three-dimensional. So, I wanna explain that shift in terminology between personal brand and reputation capital because it's really important.

So, brand is more one-dimensional, in my view, and reputation goes in all directions because we're in this digital environment. And so if anyone works or has worked or is working for any of these brands, you will know that your livelihood and your ability to make money depends 100% on your reviews and recommendations that are left for you. So, our reputations are, in some ways, already leaving a trail. Now, this is absolutely going to apply to our professional identities. It already does because we're already endorsed on LinkedIn. And I've got no doubt that in the next couple of years those algorithms will be used in more specific ways.

So, someone might write you on your creativity and someone might write you on your ability to collaborate. So, there's a lot of detail there that is yet to be realized on LinkedIn. But I think this is part of our reputation trail and the fact that it already exists. So, Rachel Botsman, who is a brilliant mind and an Oxford scholar who wrote a book called "Who Can You Trust?" has redefined trust and basically calls it reputation capital. So, she says that reputation is the measurement of how much a community trusts you. And it's the sum total of our online and offline behavior. So, reputation capital is a new measure of trust. And I love that because personal brand is so one-dimensional. When we showed up for a job interview with our resume, brand was really the way we presented ourselves, but reputation capital it carries so much more weight with it as it should because we're seeing across all kinds of platforms, and now when we show up for a job, we can really assume that we've been comprehensively stalked up across our LinkedIn platform and other platforms that any HR person has access to.

And so they already have a sense of whether or not we're a trusted member of our community. And when people say to me... And it occasionally comes out, people say, "Look, I'm not really sure I want to cultivate a brand or I'm not... I'm humble. I don't wanna work on my personal brand." And I say, "But I bet you care about your reputation." And I'm sure and I'm confident that everyone on this call cares a lot about whether or not we're trusted across our own marketplace. So, can everyone see the relevance in that shift of terminology? It's really important because it sets us up for a whole new arena.

And I want to give you, like, this snapshot into trust because this gives us a much greater sense of the context that we're now working in. So, when it comes to the science of trust, there's actually a couple of questions that people ask themselves when they're deciding whether or not to trust us. So, there's actually a DNA that goes into this decision-making and there are three questions and the first question is around character. And that question is, does this person have my best interests at heart? It's that simple. Second question is around competency. Does this person have the skills and the knowledge and the know-how to actually deliver what they say they're going to deliver? And the third one is consistency. And I think we can all relate to this. This is a consistency of behavior over time.

So, we all may have recall at some point in our career, you know, someone in the team coming to work and being totally amazing on a Monday, and then on a Tuesday, they show up and they are a completely different person. As Rachel Botsman says, that is not good for trust. And I'm sure that all of us have had that experience to some degree. So, that consistency of behavior is a really critical piece of building trust and accelerating trust with people around us. So, quite simply the worth of our reputation, our intentions, our capabilities, and values across communities and marketplaces. That is your reputation capital. Is that making sense to everyone so far?

In semi-academic, but what it really means is this. It's what people are saying about you when you are not in the room. And there are so many more conversations these days going on about us when we are not in the room. And this is why we have to take advantage of this opportunity. So, I'm keen to know before I get into the mechanics of this. Who's previously tried to define their reputation capital? Anyone on the call? So, we might go to that poll. Thank you, Rukmal. I'm not looking forward to that poll. This is great. I love it.

Rukmal: I might have stuck in some other ones.

Andrea: I know. I love it. It's really fun. This is foundational stuff. This is so important to everyone. It doesn't matter where you're at in your career, it's really critical because this is a constant work in progress. Things change, our careers change, so we've got to constantly look at it. So, we've got 54%, wow, saying no. Righty-o. Okay. That's so interesting to know. Thank you, everyone, for that. It's awesome. Okay. Yeah. It's so critical. I think the only stable part of leadership is being anchored in our values and being anchored in knowing ourselves. So, that is why what we're about to do is so important.

So, I want you to think about, you know, five words to describe yourself. I know that everyone had access to a worksheet. If you've got the worksheet, please jot it down on that, otherwise, just use a notebook or anything. Think about five words that you would use to describe yourself and think about whether those words could be used about you in a conversation today. So, I know this seems really straightforward and commerce 101, but people need to be facilitated through this, because we're so great at advocating and sponsoring other people, but we're not that great at it when it comes to ourselves. So, I want you to think about why you truly stand out and why and how you're different to other people. Why do people come to you for advice and for expertise? And most importantly, how can you prove that?

So, think about a couple of words. And I don't want you to use words that are generic because I think that when we say we're honest and we're trustworthy and we're hard workers, I feel like that would apply to every single person on this call. So, I want you to think about... I just want you to play big, bigger words, you know, more detailed words. So, again, this is why it's so important. When decisions are being made about us when we're not in the room, then we need to be really clear and we need to take responsibility for how we communicate our value. So, anyone who's in the room when we're not is sponsoring us into new projects and pay rises, hopefully, and promotions. I do not believe that your next job is going to come from a LinkedIn ad. I believe that your next job is going to come from your existing network who you have or you already have strong ties with. And so this is why getting it right in your own mind is important because when you're asking someone to sponsor, you want them to use that great terminology.

And let me walk you through a real-life example. I got an email from someone from a serious player, a serious leader across the business community. And she sent this email to five people who were in her inner circle. And literally, it was this shortened job. "Just had a resignation from a mission-critical person. Need super-smart business development manager who can negotiate. Do you know anyone? Paying 300K." I thought, "Wow, I could probably negotiate pretty well for 300K." Though that was... I didn't know that kind of money was being thrown around these days.

Rukmal: Yeah, me too. [inaudible 00:22:25]

Andrea: Yeah. What a bonus. And so when this email came through, I thought this just says to me...this is another piece of evidence that says those gold opportunities are gonna come from the people who know you and who know you can deliver. So, within five minutes, I responded, and this is what I said, "I have your person. She is the most commercially savvy female in this market." And I knew that she generated $32 million for her business in a previous financial year. And it also happened that she was a National Young Business Award winner for 2015. So, I went straight back with this email and I put the metric in there because that's the proof. How are you going to prove that you deliver? So, I included that 32 million. Now, this person that I suggested ended up getting the job and absolutely has delivered. So, that's reflected well on me and it's a lovely match for this business. So, that to me was just one of those moments where I thought, "Here is another piece of evidence about how we're going to be hired through the next couple of years and beyond and why it's so important that people really know what you stand for and why you're so great."

So, what do you think about? How would you wanna be described? If someone was pitching you in for your dream gig, how would you want that to sound? What would you want that person to... What would you want that email to say about you if it was just three bullet points? Because we've got to be real about the Fast and Furious environment that we work in. So, a couple of bullet points. What would that sound like if it was you? Are you forensic with the detail? Are you OCD about the content? And I mean that in a really positive way. Are you a measured thinker? What's different about you? So, I'd love to get a sense of what you're thinking. And if you want to drop anything in the chatbox, please go right ahead because this can be a really challenging exercise. And I like to, if I can, you know, contribute any thoughts I have to what people are thinking, but this is important, how we think about ourselves and how we talk about ourselves. And I'm not suggesting that we all walk around, you know, talking ourselves up. That's not the point. No one wants to be that person. This is simply about defining an accurate sense of your value in the marketplace.

So, thank you. So and so self-motivated critical thinker. Digitally minded, terrific. Enjoys complexity. I think that there's something really important about that person who welcomes complexity and embraces complexity. So, I think that, you know, you'll always...the demand for that, especially problem solving when we look at the skills that are in most demand across businesses now, you know, it's all of those... Its complexity, it's problem-solving, it's critical thinking. We're in a new market. We've got new problems and we need new minds to take those problems on. So, that's exactly what I'm talking about. Thank you very much for contributing. So, this is something as well that you can do an audit with. I suggest use me as an excuse. Over the next week or so, tap your network and people that you trust and ask them, what's been said about you when you are not in the room, because what you really want is for what they're saying to match up with what you believe. And if it doesn't match up, if it's misaligned, then there's a little bit of work to do in, you know, kind of bringing that up or changing the words or the description that you want us to about yourself, if that makes sense.

And so how do we communicate that? How do we build interest instead of lose it? Has anyone been at a networking event, you know, when we were networking, and been asked, "What do you do?" And you've asked someone, "What do you do for work?" And it's not necessarily that interesting. Does that ring a bell to anyone? Anyone being that person? I think we all know. I think we all know what I'm talking about. When you have a micro-window, you wanna connect, you wanna build interest. The last thing you want to do is lose it. And so I'm gonna walk you through. You forget the answer straight away. Thank you, Sal [SP].

So, this is important. Communication is a core leadership skill. A core competency is absolutely a connection between our ability to communicate successfully and our ability to lead successfully. When you think about role models and you think about the way they communicate, I bet they're clear and compelling and authentic. So, a clear communication, this is so simple. It is absolutely critical to exercising authority as leaders and responding to change. So, comms is something that I think we need to work on in general, but it absolutely starts with how we connect with someone in a candid and conversational way. So, if you get stuck in a lift when you get back in a lift or if you're on a Zoom call and you're introducing yourself, what's your autopilot pitch? Our self-awareness and our self-talk is really important. So, even just saying this to yourself is a critical piece of your own leadership style.

These are three guides I want you to answer them. But I want you to only use them in the context that's right for you, because when we get put on the spot, I think that we can all relate to that feeling of meeting someone who we really like who's really important to us and they ask us what we do, and we totally bomb and we walk away thinking, "Oh gosh, I just could have done so much better." And you kick yourself and torture yourself unnecessarily for a couple of days. I mean, we've all been there. And so it's really important that we're all on autopilot with at least one top-line about what we do for a living. So, whatever you're already doing, I want you to throw this into the mix. And I'm really just gonna concentrate on the top line, because this is the most important. So, I want you to think about what you would say. And I think it's a simple courtesy when we're on Zoom these days or teams, whatever on. If you're on a call and you introduce yourself, that then sets you up in a context where everything else you say in the meeting makes more sense to everyone listening. So, I think it's just a courtesy. But I want you to think about what's your job without giving me your job title.

So, this person who I worked with at the Bank of the Barrier Reef. Do you like that? That was my original bank. So, I work with this really incredibly talented young lady. And her job on her business card was Business Strategic Development Manager something, blah, blah, blah. I lost interest straightaway. It was so dry and boring. And actually, it bore no resemblance whatsoever to what she actually delivers and the value that she brings to work. And so this is what we came up with. It's so simple. "My job is to run the team that process $600 million worth of timelines for the Bank of the Barrier Reef." It's that simple. That has impact. Does it not? She got into a lift with the chairman of her bank the following week. And he literally asked her this question. And so this is what she responded with. And what I love about that micro-moment is that she built. She made a connection. She built trust because she was just being direct and warm and keeping our language really simple. And she pitched an idea in that micro-moments, which, of course, led to her having meetings with people who she would otherwise never get access to.

So, that's kind of the gateway. When you're able to connect and be convincing and compelling in those moments, it's so simple. It's like the gateway to ideas and campaigns and reforms and anything you want because we don't want to do business with people who confuse us or leave us in any doubt whatsoever. Does that make sense to everyone? This is really important. How we talk about ourselves and introduce ourselves. I know this looks so simple, but how many times have you been in the moment and you haven't made that connection that you really wanted to have?

So, if it's one thing you take away from this session, please let it be, how are you explaining yourself when you are meeting people for the first time or you're pitching an idea or something that's really important to you and the business? I also want you to think about what colleagues say about you and what the highlight of your career is, because when we're given a free kick, when we're giving that moment where people really do wanna know more about us, it's great to give them some insight and some backstory. And the highlight of your career, it may not necessarily be where you are right now. You might have been working on a completely different project on a different scale that proves and reinforces the value that you're able to bring in your competency. So, think about what the highlight of your career has been, and maybe throw that into the mix.

As I said earlier, this is highly contextual. You have to make the best judgment about where your autopilot pitch comes in. But all I want is for you to deliver something that's clear and compelling and that makes a connection. Anything to add to that, Rukmal?

Rukmal: [inaudible 00:32:17]

Andrea: Okay. I wanna just throw this out there as a kind of a poll or question. So, if you're an HR manager and you're looking at 200 CVs coming across your desk, tell me which person you would get in for an interview? Would it be candidate one or candidate two? Candidate one says, "I'm a flexible, patient and supportive customer service professional working for the Department of Transport. I'm experienced in supporting customers in both admin and retail environments, and good at communication." And compare that... I think this is one of the best examples I've ever seen. Compare that to candidate two. "I'm a natural-born leader, the oldest of 7 children who fled Sudan during a violent Civil War by the age of 10. I've navigated large scale refugee camps and negotiated the safe asylum of my siblings to Australia. I'm comfortable leading small teams by clearly defining admission and determining measures of success. I value integrity, trust, and respect. And I'm inspired to learn from those around me." Who would you want to interview out of candidate one and candidate two? Put it in the chatbox whatever you think. One or two? Candidate one or candidate two? Isn't that interesting?

So, let me reveal that this is the same person. So, this is someone I was working with. And when I read her initial... Thank you so much, everyone, for entering. Candidate two. Doesn't that just blow your mind? Don't you read that and want to know more about this journey and certainly believe that this is a person who is absolutely has leadership in her DNA. So, I met this young lady, extraordinary young voice and leader. And I asked her a couple of questions. And we literally went from the top version to the second version in about 10 minutes. And this is why it's so important to work on your own story because that first version, there's no connection and there's no interest that's built in that. And so I want you to think about when you're...certainly with a written word, say, for example, in a LinkedIn summary. I want to think about what your driver is and what motivates you and what your values and behaviors are and how that is all intertwined with your upbringing and with events that have brought you to the job that you're in today.

So, you can see that there's such a strong distinction here. And I wasn't surprised at everyone's answer because that second version is real. It has real depth. And that's a story that you wanna know more about. And when we think about brand values and our individual values and our reputation and how that's translated into the written word, this is an example of that. And it does take a little bit of work. And it does take a few drops, takes a few versions. And of course, the written word is so different from verbal delivery. So, when you're having a conversation with someone that is gonna sound quite different to what it looks like written down. But these are a couple of examples of just how much impact you can have in, you know, brief moments where people are judging you and people are making a decision about whether or not they want you on the team.

I've got a couple of, well, at least one, example of a great LinkedIn profile. I think it's really worthwhile taking a look around LinkedIn, taking a look at your favorite people, the people who inspire you and people who are role models to you. One of those people who inspires both Rukmal and myself is Dom Price at Atlassian, a work futurist. He's a gifted speaker and a very funny guy. So, he's got a great headshot and a great graphic behind him that's great to look at, and a really simple, straightforward summary about himself and where he says, among other things, that he is an around the world traveler, book writer and more formally, around the world traveler, book writer and take risk management consultant. Now I know the Dom is a lot funnier than what this looks like, but at least it gives you a sense of a simple, powerful summary.

And I always use this litmus test when I'm talking about LinkedIn because we have to face facts that thousands of people will look at our LinkedIn profile, thousands more than what we'll meet in person face to face through the course of a year. And that's certainly gonna be the case in the next few years. And so, you know, that visibility is really important. So, does your LinkedIn profile really align with who you are in person? And if the CEO of your business was going to look at your profile at 10:00 tomorrow morning, would you make any changes? And normally, when I ask people that the answer is yes. And that's really important. It's good to know that, that your LinkedIn profile, if it needs an upgrade, then put in the time because this is gonna be such a key part of our professional development, professional network, and opportunities.

And it's also gonna be where we can start accelerating trust with people who we wanna be involved with in terms of business. And so I have... I know you're gonna thank me for this. This is a bit of homework. Should you choose to accept it? So, I kind of consider reputation, capital 1.0. Those are the words about yourselves. So, if you can do a brand audit on that to ask some people who you really trust in your circle in your network, second exercise is really talking about your job. And that involves talking out loud, you know, walking around in the car, in the shower, and then walk wherever talking about, you know, what sounds natural, what sounds effortless when you're introducing yourself, and what has impact in that moment.

Should you want to build on what we've talked through tonight in a very abbreviated way, I wanted to leave this with you. So, this is a very straightforward and effective five-point strategy to build and accelerate trust with people around you. And so when you think about your purpose and you think about your mission, I then want you to think about, what is the conversation that you want to start in your career, like, over the next 10 years? What is it that you really want to do? Do you want reform? Do you want to start a campaign? Do you... What is it that you feel really strongly about? And I think for me that almost defines where people should be going. What's... In a sense, what's that mini-legacy you wanna leave through the 2020s? So, what's the position? What's the conversation that you wanna start? And then who are you talking to? I think that this is really helpful when we are contributing to LinkedIn because it helps really kind of narrow down what we're doing, how frequently we're doing it, and what we're using in terms of content and assets.

So, what's your position on a conversation you wanna start? Who's your audience? What is your activity? On what platforms? Where do you wanna say it? How often? With what images? What's your broadcast plan? And then how are you going to assess that? What's your review process of that? So, this may look simple, but this is a high impact way to really be more intentional about building credible reputation capital across your industry and your business and your department. So, I urge you, if you're really serious about collecting your identity and in a meaningful way that stays absolutely true to who you are, then I urge you to use this as a guide, as a rough guide to give you a sense of direction as you go through and use social over the coming months and the coming year.

So, I really hope all of that makes sense. In a nutshell, trust is the sum total of how you define and establish and accelerate your reputation capital and how you communicate that to everyone who's in your sphere of influence. I truly think there's no greater opportunity than now to look at all of this really closely. And I would suggest that we're also busy doing work for other people that we rarely stop and really think about these issues that are so important to where we are going personally. So, it's all about trust. Trust is gonna be a huge, huge issue in the next couple of years. I think leadership comes down to this. Who would you rather be stuck in an elevator with? And I couldn't help but share it because do you want to be stuck in an elevator with someone who's gonna confidently walk you out or someone who's gonna tell you for 15 minutes how they are going to walk you out of that elevator? What kind of leader do you wanna be? What kind of leader are you putting yourself around at the moment? So, who are your role models? What is something that you can take from your role models and apply it to your own life and, of course, the work of the team in the business that you're already in? So, that's my abbreviated version of defining brand "you" Up, yeah. Up, yeah, people.

Rukmal: Amazing.

Andrea: Yeah. I really... I mean, I'm not sure how much time we have Rukmal, but I welcome any questions. And I really hope that makes sense. It's sort of quite a... It's semi-academic, but also quite tactical way to look at this topic, which is critical to our leadership confidence and competence.

Rukmal: Awesome. Thanks so much, Andrea. If you have any questions, feel free to pop them in the chatbox. I have one to get us off with. You talked, just very briefly and started a lot more towards the end, about purpose and really trying to find I guess your purpose in life. And it's just a huge one because I remember when I was like 10 years old, I was... My dad... And the doctor kind of turned to me and said, "Do you know in life you're gonna figure out your goals and your objectives and your purpose?" I remember I was in a car on the way home as a 10-year-old. My dad then turned to me, like, "Yeah, you gotta find your purpose in life." And I can remember sitting there at that time thinking, "How do you do that? Where is it? Is it like under the bed? Where do you find your purpose?" And honestly, I would say, it took a couple of decades for me to really drill down into what that meant and how to kind of find it. I just wonder if you want to share with people how you maybe found your purpose and other tips you might have for finding purpose as well.

Andrea: That's such a great question. I saw a quote which I'm trying to recall the other day. And that was about, basically, you know, purposes to find is your... I'm getting this wrong, but it's your, everyday you're actively moving towards that thing that's most important to you. And I think it's... I feel like I've had so many kind of moments in my life, but I knew I wanted to tell stories from a very young age. I was a middle child and so I obviously struggled to be heard. Just all middle children we will relate to.

Rukmal: Me too, by the way.

Andrea: All right, okay. And when I grew up I was thrown in the deep end from a very young age and I was one of three girls. Dad was expecting three boys. But we got treated equally. We went fishing with Dad, you know, we rode motorbikes. We did all that kind of stuff, you know, which we absolutely love. But I feel like I knew from a very young age that I wanted to tell stories and I wanted to communicate because... And I wanted to be a journalist because I always wanted the truth. And I wanted the truth because, probably, you know, because I saw so many children in family situations where they weren't being told the truth. They were being lied to. Their parents were lying to one another. This is getting a bit deep. But I just always wanted the truth from everyone around me and was always a seeker of the truth in my own way. And so I wanted to find the truth and tell stories.

So, for me, it made total sense to go into journalism, which has been the most unbelievably rewarding career. I mean, I've been in a room with the Dalai Lama, with Oprah Winfrey, with Bill Clinton, with the most extraordinary people who I would never have had the opportunity otherwise to meet. So, yeah, I think it's really that simple. And I don't know if... I think our jobs change. I'm not sure that our purpose does because I know I can track my purpose back and I've kind of walk the walk on that purpose regardless of what job I've had whether I've been a media trainer to CEOs, whether I've, you know, run professional development, been a TV reporter. It's all about telling stories and getting people to have impact on their own audiences. So, I think your purpose is... I think that there's a common thread that when you look really closely, when you forensically examine your career moves, you can probably see a common thread that links everything that you've done.

I can see a couple of questions here. I'm just gonna go to Jimmy, former Journaux, workplace coach and Clairvoyant. How funny. How did you know? This pep talk is exactly what I need right now in my career. Thank you. Jimmy, what a pleasure. Absolute pleasure. Please don't hesitate to connect with me on LinkedIn. I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions beyond this. Helen is asking, "I've been bouncing between the first job offered in a few years and I'm trying to be more purposeful in my search at this time, including volunteering for causes I'm passionate about." Oh, great. Thanks, Helen. I think volunteering is the most...not just heavily rewarding in so many ways, but when we're making decisions about jobs, I think it's so great to experiment, to try to spend time doing something around that sector or around that industry before you commit to it full-time, and then you'll know whether you're doing the right thing. I do think that, you know, we can all take those jobs for the easy money, but ultimately, we all wanna do meaningful work. We wanna have the impact and do work that matters. And I think that it eats away. Certainly, everyone on this call I know is driven by and grounded and anchored in very strong values. So, this is a purpose-driven cohort. And it would eat away if you're doing something that you don't enjoy.

We've got one question here. Do you think there's a limit as you put on to your personal reputation capital? Can you overdo it? It depends in what sense you mean. I'll just give you a really small example of my own experience because I really struggled with... When I came out of reporting, I was used to having...I was used to being a broadcast reporter on behalf of a network. But I had to make a decision about taking a position on being future fit. And I had this option. I feel really strongly about how to help people protect their careers and protect their jobs through the 2020s. So, did I want that to be a series of LinkedIn posts, or if I wanted to go big and feel and put myself out there was I willing to write a book? And the thing about reputation capital is that if you've got something to say, if you wanna start a conversation, and it's important, I think that that kind of outweighs all the concerns you might have about putting yourself out there. So, I really had to work hard to get out of my own road and write a book and go public with that because, ultimately, you know, the purpose of the conversation far outweighed my, you know, insecurities and vulnerability about sort of being sane. And ultimately, I do think it's had a really good impact. So, hopefully, that helps. Do we have time for one more question, Rukmal? What do you think?

Rukmal: I think we do. There was a couple of questions just in terms like a theme that people were touching on also in the Q&A. The question is around, if your reputation capital isn't quite way of think it is, which you feel like you've lost your reputation capital, what sorts of activities can you kind of undertake on that?

Andrea: Okay. I want everyone who's having that issue, I want you... This is what you do. It's so simple. I want you to get a piece of paper and I want you to draw three columns. This is so easy. The first column is where we are now. So, we're in 2020. We're in October 2020. On the far right column, I want you to put October 2021. Right? And in the middle, I want you to write, what is it? What do you want people saying about you... What do you want people saying about you this time next year? Okay? And I want you to think about at least five things, five activities, five initiatives, five conversations. What are five things you can do to shift your reputation capital from where it is now to where it should be this time next year? So, for example, if you're looking to go from me to senior leadership, okay, that's a bit of a jump.

So, what are five things that you need to do. You need to start, probably, identifying a piece of continuous learning, like, let me just throw it out there and say, you know, an executive education program through Harvard or MIT. That's the first thing. Continuous learning, really, really important. Think about what initiatives you can take at work. Start organizing events in the workplace and around an issue that's really important to you and an issue that's important to the workplace. So, it might be... It could be anything, but make sure that that is aligned with the workplace. So, think about continuous learning, think about a workplace initiative, think about tidying your LinkedIn profile or write up and getting recommendations that are current. So, if you don't have any recommendations from 2020, make sure you source a few, so your LinkedIn profile is looking sharp.

And then think about other things that you can do, contacts you can make, ask and be clear to people who are sponsoring you in the workplace. Be clear about how you wanna be seen. So, you can start building mentors, sponsors, and advisors to give you all of that really nuanced advice about a business to move and to shift. And I promise you in 12 months' time if you do the work, you will have people saying different things about you than what they're saying now. Does that make sense? I'm super tactical about it. It's a shift and the shift is real, but you've got to be in control of it. And you've got to know what you want people saying. And so that's something that you've got to define and share with people.

Rukmal: Maybe just one more that's kind of come up a few times in the chat as well. And you touched on in the session, networking. [inaudible 00:52:32] kind of like our own company and my experiences, Dominic Pym, one of the cofounders of Up. I can remember him telling me years and years back that for him personally, he really doesn't like to bring on people that either he personally doesn't learn or someone in the team that he trusts, someone doesn't know. And so I kind of thought about that in the context of networking and just how important that will be for everyone going forward. Tips or insights on how people can do better network, I guess.

Andrea: Yeah. So, networking... Recognizing the value of your network is... I can't overstate this enough. This is everything. It is absolutely everything in the next five years. We should all have a network that goes three dimensional. So, we should all have a network where we are cultivating contacts and also reaching back out to those contacts that we have from university or school and those contacts that we might have lost touch with because what's so interesting about how they can accelerate you is that you're already a trusted source within their network. So, I'll give you an example. I went to an event. It was about five years ago. I ran into someone who I went to school with. And she ended up... She was working in Telstra supply chain.

And this was a business that I had absolutely no exposure to whatsoever. And so because I was a trusted person in her network, I was able to literally step into an opportunity there that I would have otherwise never had and it would have never come across my desk. So, never underestimate the dormant ties. The dormant ties in your network is where the real power is. And also I will say, as a footnote, be very careful about how you handle your network. None of us like to be used. None of us like transactions. Relationships are a long game. Business is a long game. And so be very careful and mindful about how you reach out to people, what you're offering them, and then, you know, be mindful about how you're asking for things because those relationships, you know, can be sunk with a bad experience. So, it's something we've all got to be really mindful of.

Rukmal: Such awesome, awesome insights.

Andrea: And I'll just add one more thing to that. And this is something that Dom Price said the other day, which I love. Pick up the phone. Get on the phone. You know what you find rings you like, "Who he is ringing me? My phone never rings." We're all zoomed out. We're on teams. Give someone a call. Give someone a call and talk like a normal person like we used to. I think that there's nothing better than just having a chat to someone that doesn't feel like you've got to be on a Zoom. It's like there's less energy that's expended when you're on a phone call compared to a Zoom chat. So, don't hesitate to reach out with people and offer something of value. If you want to expand your network, offer something of value. Offer someone a connection with someone else that might bring value to them, but always be giving and giving and giving because that is going to have compound interest over time. And when you need to hit people up for a favor, it will be there. Trust me.

Rukmal: So cool. I think we'll wrap it up. Hey, Andrea.

Andrea: Cool. Thank you.

Rukmal: Thank you so much for all the insights. Just incredibly valuable. I hope that everyone got something out of it. And of course, thank you, Upsiders, for being here. Similar to what we do on the product sides listening to you and what you guys want is what we're all about, to be honest. So, if you have any ideas with other topics that you have, Upskill or speakers that you think are just as good as Andrea's probably not better, but just as good as Andrea, feel free to let us know and we'll definitely look for you. But yeah. It's been an absolute pleasure to host you and see you next time.

Andrea: Thanks so much, everyone.

Rukmal: See you.

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