Why we need to teach personal branding in our schools.

29 Jun Why we need to teach personal branding in our schools.

We need and MUST teach personal branding and relevant career education in our high schools. Seriously. It’s a massive issue that this is so lacking in our school systems. These ‘kids’ (Year 10-12, senior high school) get it. They have grown up with social media, presenting themselves in a way that they want to be perceived, through the right ‘selfie’, the information they share with their networks. They GET personal branding more than any other generation before them.


The problem is the generation/s before them don’t really ‘get’ personal branding…..so they can’t teach it. It’s not their fault. The systems are letting them down. Teaching our kids how to build a traditional resume is not enough to help them in the future labour market (resume’s as we know them, will not exist in the future they will be a part of – everything will be online, linked and verifiable).


Recently, I have embarked on a mission to lead a much needed Career revolution in our schools. This is my passion and my purpose.


I delivered my first keynote to a group of 100 Year 10 students at a private school last week. It was followed by 6 workshops in smaller groups. I have more lined up….We are covering…..:


  • The future of work and the changing labour market – the stats and the facts.
  • How it will affect them (ie, they will always be marketing themselves in the new ‘gig’ based workforce, where permanent work will cease to exist as a norm).
  • Social media and their digital footprint – how bosses will google them, and how social media impacts employability and their personal brand.
  • Making conscious career choices….when applying for jobs, seek part time work which enhances their brand and builds relevant industry experience for their career choices (ie, you want to be a personal trainer / nutritionist? Working at fast food places whilst a student, will compromise your values and personal brand, working casually at a health store, gym etc will help build your brand and employability).
  • Their career story, and how it all starts now…..they are writing the first chapter and they will choose their own adventures, and write their own stories.
  • How to build an effective resYOUme and online profile. Identifying your skills and strengths. Get used to selling yourself and knowing your points of difference.
  • Choosing the right career – change the conversation from ‘what do you want to BE? To what problems do you want to solve, and research how will technology possibly impact on your chosen ‘profession’?
  • Empower them to listen to your heart, not your head….follow your passion, your purpose and you will always get it right).
  • What success really looks like……it is is not a straight line.


I am meeting with more schools over the next few weeks. They are excited by what I am saying and how I am saying it – the feedback has been a 100% ‘yes….that this kind of education and awareness is exactly what they and the students need! The doors are flying open to meet me, so I know I am onto something big.


I know what the problems are…..and I know how I can help to solve it. We all need to work in partnership. Speaking to high school students is a new market for me, and I need the guidance and support from the careers advisors and teachers to relate to the students and fill in the gaps. With experience, I am changing my approach….and the schools need to also change theirs.


The careers advisors in our schools are reporting they do not have the right training, resources, tools, knowledge about the new labour market themselves to effectively educate our next generations. None of the Career Counsellors in schools I have contacted so far even have a LinkedIn profile – so finding the right people to speak to is a challenge, back to using old school practices! They know what I am saying is important, especially around personal branding, social media use and conscious careers….they want to help, but they just need someone with expertise in this area.


I am so PASSIONATE about changing this situation. It’s a system failure on massive proportions….and the effects will be felt for many years to come if we don’t start fixing this now. Preparing the next gen for a future we have not ever encountered ourselves is a challenge and it requires changes in thought, approach and thinking.




The labour market is changing so fast……


90% of employers now google candidates before hiring them. Social Media awareness and privacy is critical to building a clean personal brand and getting a job. Currently our kids are aught about cyber safety, cyber bullying from primary school. But they are not taught about ‘cyber employability’ and how social media affects their personal brand.


By 2020, it is predicted that 40% of the labour force will be made up of contingent workers (casual, temporary, consultants, freelancers etc)


50% of jobs that these kids will be doing, have not even been invented yet. Technology is fast changing the traditional career paths that have previously existed.


By age 38, Gen z will have had an average of 15 jobs. Marketing yourself will be the new norm. They will be managing a small business of one, constantly hustling. Employers will be their clients.


60% of Gen Z students report they want to be taught about Entrepreneurism. They want more freedom over their lives. This shows us that they don’t want to fit into the old broken systems….they are looking for control over their lives and they want to be who they know they can be.


So what is the solution?


The rise of the CareerPreneur! I am the self-appointed leader of the movement….to show kids that they can manage their career as a small business of one…..and do it in an empowered and considered way.


The most important thing we can teach them is to market themselves, build a brand and learn new innovative ways to stand out and align their goals with the people and employers that can help them get there.




As the leader of the CareerPreneur revolution, I can help the kids….but this change needs to be driven from the systems – the government, families, society and the school leaders. We need to challenge the way things have been done…..and look at what is changing….what has changed and how we can work together to change it.


We need to change the way that we measure ‘success’ of our school leavers. Too much emphasis is placed on schools, especially private schools, for the number of students who go on to secure university placements. This is not the only path to a successful future.


The reality is that most of the kids currently in school will be working in jobs that aren’t even invented yet, they will be using technology that doesn’t exist yet……They are entering an unknown future and we need to prepare them for this.


I want to change the conversation from ‘what will you be when you grow up?’ to ‘What problems will you solve?” Who will you help? What will you create? What difference will you make?


Then they are not choosing a ‘label’ for what they will do. They are choosing a service/solution they will provide. That service can adapt with technology and the future. They are focusing on the reason they are here. They start to tap into their purpose. They focus on what areas they want to make a difference in…..and the actual ‘job title’ doesn’t matter. The focus becomes on the result – the impact they will make, then we can work back from their to develop their career plans.


That is empowering for anyone!


We cannot try and fit them into neat little boxes that have been built by past generations. Change starts now, and change starts in our schools. Let’s not let these kids down. We have a social responsibility to them.


I am a box breaker. I am an advocate of our youth. I am on a mission to lead a revolution! Some may call that being a ‘disruptor’….and if that is true….I am more than happy with that ‘label’. But I am many ‘labels’. In this modern world of work, we are in a ‘slash’ dominant branding market. Ie. CEO/Personal Brand Strategist/Employer Brand Consultant/Leader of the CareerPreneur revolution/Speaker/Writer/Disruptor.  But my purpose is simple – to advocate change in how we all manage our careers.


I am passionate about empowering the next generation with relevant advice, information and education as it relates to their future success. I believe they are unlimited.  That’s why I called my business YOU UNLIMITED – because I believe everyone is unlimited.


Our kids deserve this! Its not just strategy, its mindset, self belief and tools, resources and more to drive change from all levels.


Do you know anyone in one of our schools (Australia) that I can speak to about this? I would love to hear from you. If you have any ideas of how we can work together…or if you know people I can and should be speaking to you, introduce me and pave the way. Once I am speaking to the right people….I know the rest will be easy.


This article doesn’t even touch the surface of my views, passion and ideas on this subject.


My passion and energy helps to break down the barriers. My knowledge, experience and success cuts through resistance.


I am developing a 6 week program – CareerPreneurs training for gen Z, which will focus on all of the above, and help prepare them with real skills, real knowledge and real tools to succeed in the future of work they will be a part of.  I am attending a School Careers Expo on the 20th July, and I will be promoting this to the parents and children in attendance.


I am UNLIMITED in the powerful and positive difference I can make to the next generation.


They need me – and they need you! Let’s not let them down. Let’s reach out to each other any way we can.


To your UNLIMITED success,


Seona Craig

I am the CEO / Founder of YOU Unlimited and the Leader of the CareerPreneur Revolution. Change is happening. Disruption is needed. It starts with awareness, it ends with empowerment. I am developing a series of ‘CareerPreneurs – Launch Yourself’ programs specific to the different generations. Change starts here. I believe “If its meant to be, it is up to me”. Please help me if you can – networking, introductions to decision makers, funding, advice, mentoring – whatever it is to ensure our kids are armed, informed and ready to face the future and launch conscious careers – they have a purpose and they are going to change the world for the better if we give them the tools, training, support and freedom to do it.


0423 171 234