What Jarryd Hayne is teaching us about Careers and Branding

14 Oct What Jarryd Hayne is teaching us about Careers and Branding

OK, so let me just start off by saying. I don’t follow the NFL. I don’t follow the NRL. In fact, I don’t really follow sport.  Sorry, not sorry.

Despite my lack of interest in the game, it would appear (much to my own surprise), that I have boarded the ‘Hayne Plane’…..and I too am obsessed with Jarryd Hayne! (OMG so much)…but for a very different (un-sporty) reason…..

I am a career coach and personal brand strategist. There is one quote which I use on my business marketing, website and coaching sessions… and that is….

‘Whether you think you can, or think you can’t, you are right’ – Henry Ford

Jarryd is a living, walking, talking representation of this quote and my business values. He is an inspiring example of how to change careers, take risks, believe in yourself and rebrand yourself successfully in a competitive market.


Jarryd Who?


A few weeks ago I had no idea who he was. But as soon as Jarryd Hayne announced his decision to leave the NRL (Parramatta Eels) and try his luck at NFL (San Francisco 49ers), my ‘husband’, Jason, got all excited and puppy like, he asked me what I thought would happen…. (Because I am always right, probably)…. But I didn’t know who he was talking about, so I asked a couple of questions:

1. Who is he?
2. Why did he leave (the NRL)?
3. What makes him good?

Jason gave me the back story. He went on a bit, like an excited man with a serious man crush does…..I got all the details…..top of his game in the NRL, big money here….best player in the league, left to join the NFL in the US, less money, long shot, it was his dream since he was young….stats, bla, bla, more excitable noises….info….I slightly tune out as I do when he talks about sports…then he said:

“He truly believes he can make it into the NFL in his first year…, which is unheard of! He took a massive risk and has left everything here…. to go and give it everything he has over there!”

I got goosebumps….I stopped him, and said ‘Yes, he will make it!!!”

Why? Because he truly believes he can. He has a clear goal and self belief and he knows how to use that to make his dreams real. After all, he did it once before….

Anyway, it all had me very intrigued….

I asked the difference between the two games…..Jase told me….bla bla. All I ‘heard’ was “transferrable skills”. So now, we have deep belief, and transferrable skills. Then Jase told me about how he was at training, always the last one to leave the field at the 69’ers, focused, disciplined, head down, bum up, learning as much as he can… etc.

Ok, so add unwavering commitment to the Jarryd Hayne bag of tricks. Jason also said (OMG, so many things…but what I heard clearly was)… “Jarryd is really ‘pre-emptive and intuitive’ with the ball and the game. OK, you have got this Jarryd. Intuition makes good people awesome!

When you take risks, you must have faith! A risk is essentially a ‘leap of faith’….so my own research shows me you have the faith thing going on. Kudos. Amen.

Successful career change formula = Clear goal + self-belief + transferrable skills + commitment + faith!


The ‘story’ maketh the brand….


Everyone loves a good ‘underdog’ success story….”a man of Australian indigenous roots who carved out his success by working hard in the NRL to become one of the best rugby league players in the world. Humble Jarryd, with his solid personal values and beliefs tucked securely inside his identity, listened to his heart and followed his calling. He knew what he had to do….he put fear and ego aside to take a risk, a possibly very costly risk. Giving up a $1million dollar salary and status for a $100k one and obscurity. How many of us would consider doing that? That’s balls!”

His brand has been created from him being him. No wank, no manipulation, no sex tape, no fakery (aside from some dodgy American accents….). The best personal brands are the most honest and real ones – Oprah, Richard Branson, Tony Robbins etc. They all speak from the heart.

His brand is powerful because he knows what he is doing…. He even has his own logo. I loved that. He is being himself but he is aware that that IS his brand.

Jarryd’s #38 Jerseys are selling out (in the top 5 of all NFL players in USA!, which I would assume is being fuelled by the Australian market)….there are a gazillion articles about him every day…everyone is boarding the #HaynePlane….and getting behind the Aussie “underdog” story.

Which is interesting…because when he first announced his decision to leave NRL in favour of the US NFL– he was a ‘Tall Poppy’ in many people’s eyes – people were disappointed he was leaving his position in the NRL to pursue a long-shot, elusive dream in the NFL. So there was a bit of ‘tall poppy’ shooting initially (not that anyone will admit that now…)

The tables have turned…..he jumped in the deep end…..and he swum like an Olympian….he showed us what he is made of…. Australia has a new ‘hero’…..but he is not there  yet. We expect much more of our “Tall Poppy Underdogs!”

The coaches have sidelined him. Australians are getting ‘Hayne Pain’ just waiting for his chance.

We want to scream “Give the guy the f*ing ball!!! He’s got this, let him show you what he can do!

Some things come to test us. The important thing is, that we keep going….and stay cool. Jarryd is being patient and humble …. his time is coming, the suspense will make it even more awesome when he ‘Hayne Plane’s the place down after his first touch down.


Branding yourself….


You already have a personal brand, whether you like it or not. Everyone does. Its your reputation, what your known for, what others think you do . You just need to take ownership of it!

To brand yourself effectively you must first know what you want. When you know what you want, you know who your audience is, who you are pitching to and who you want to appeal to. When you know your target market, you can create a brand that shows you know your stuff and have the right stuff to succeed.

When thinking about your own brand, the key is to Keep it real.

  • What do you want to do? Who do you want to be?
  • Whats your story? – the short succinct version?
  • What are your biggest achievements (relevant to what you want to do)?
  • Why are you awesome? What makes you great?
  • What do you represent? What do you stand for?
  • If you were a company, what would your motto / slogan or one liner be.
  • What’s your strategy?


If you create a strong brand, opportunities seek you…..If you are a weak, obscure brand, you have to work hard to secure opportunities. There are many ways you can build your brand, from starting a blog about the topics related to what you want to be known for, or just sharing articles and blogs of others with your  opinion to your audience and followers on social media platforms, like LinkedIn, twitter etc. Or just being the ‘go to’ person on  a specific thing.  Get on committees, online forums, teams, or any platform where you can showcase what you know and while you are there, see if you can identify the people who can help you to get where you want to be.


Career lessons from Jarryd Hayne….


His career story is inspiring! We are watching and googling his name for new articles every day (or is that just me? Lol), we are learning some important lessons from him…..some of them include:

  1. Follow your dreams – never be scared by how big your goals are!
  2. Have unwavering self-belief –don’t doubt yourself! Not even for a second. If you do, others will.
  3. Leverage your transferrable skills – think about what you are best at and to whom are those skills most valuable?
  4. Work hard – Give 110% and then go deeper and give some more.
  5. Have faith – you need to believe in your ability to create your own destiny. Pray.
  6. Keep your head in the game – even when you fail.
  7. Be patient – change takes time. Making a difference takes longer.
  8. Be prepared to start at the bottom – put the ego aside and earn your way to the top.
  9. Know who you are – be clear on what you are doing and why.
  10. Listen to your heart – keep the head out of it when making decisions to change careers
  11. Don’t listen to the haters – they have no idea about what you’re doing and why.
  12. Do your best – Head down, bum up, nose to the grindstone.
  13. Learn, absorb, watch, listen, focus – be a sponge. Acknowledge that you have work to do!



What an inspiring list of lessons we have heeded in a short time. I could go on…but that list is what has everyone hooked, watching and waiting.

We want to believe that he can do it. We are waiting for the touchdown! Because if Jarryd can do it….maybe we can just do it too.


Heed Haynes lessons…..and take a leap of faith.


Inspired to take a risk and make a move?

Need help with developing your brand and realigning your career?

Want to see what you can do when you set your intentions?

Contact me and let’s strategise your next move (better than Tomsula does!) 


Wow – I have now surpassed my husband’s ridiculous Jarryd Hayne obsession! 


To your success,

Seona Craig – Director, Personal Brand Strategist and Career Coach
YOU Unlimited
0423 171 234