Hey Grads: Tips to Build Your Brand
During our Razor Branding™ Podcast live interview videos, I’ve made it a standard question to ask each person what advice they have to give to this year’s graduates. Building brands is all about building emotional connections. These pearls of wisdom will help grads build their brands. Their responses run the gamut from the witty and empathetic to the valuable and practical.
My advice to them is, it’s a hard thing, and everyone’s going through it so suck it up, grieve, be sad about it, then move on. Remember the good things. Find ways to connect with your people on your own terms. When this is over, find ways to reunite and have your own experiences. At the end of the day, bury it, and use it as an experience to keep moving forward.
It’s okay to grieve, be disappointed. It is what it is. But I would say look for the good, celebrate yourselves because we all are trying to as best as we can too. You’ll be on the other side of this at some point, graduating from college and looking back and going “dang can you believe that was my senior year” so be compassionate to yourself and give yourself time to grieve and celebrate yourself.
If you got through this, you can get through anything.
I would tell them to back up their hard drive. Network, label all of your cords, remind them they don’t need that last drink.
First, jump. Don’t be afraid to jump. Don’t worry about how you’re going to get to the other side. If you happen to fall, get back up, climb up again and still jump because your jump is going to be different than the first time. Don’t hesitate, don’t wait for the right time, don’t wait for the right amount of money, don’t wait just do it. Whether it’s in your personal life, you want to travel, want to learn a new skill, setting out on your career path, don’t let fear hold you back. Do it while you’re young, life changes when you get older and your responsibilities change, and you can’t jump. You have to really think about it because your life affects so many people. So just do it, jump and if you fall, falling is not a failure. Falling is a lesson and the next time you stand up and you get ready to make that leap again, you will be wiser in how you leap and how you get to the other side. Just do it.
I would just say, take a step, don’t hesitate, don’t let the situation paralyze you. You’re not going to get it right, whatever field you go into in college or work, you’re likely going to change It several times through the course of your lifetime. Just take the next step, it doesn’t matter, just move forward.
Along the lines of suffering, what a blessing. What a blessing that you have succeeded and have gotten to this point and the family and the people who are closest to you get to celebrate in such a private way. This is life, and it’s bigger than us and what we plan for. God brings us to different situations to grow, and don’t waste this opportunity to really take in what this means for you and all the blessings that have come of it even without the pomp and circumstance of graduation. Even without all of the social media telling you how great you are and all the pictures that are flawless and all of the airbrushed stuff. This is reality and it’s hard, but you are going to be better because you’re going to get through it and you’re either going to start college, secondary school, start your job, whatever you’re doing. Seek your passion and this will only be one teeny window in a whole lifetime of experiences. Take this in as a great opportunity to learn about what you value, what’s important, look at the people around you that are trying to make up for the loss and suffering and just appreciate them and take them in. Don’t let this hold you down too long, it’s okay to grieve, but only grieve for a short while because you have your whole life ahead of you to do amazingly great things and experience joy and it’s right around the corner.
In an effort to get even more great advice, I also posted the question on Facebook and received an even wider array to insights.
Don’t overlook a career in the trades where you can be self-employed and control your own destiny.
Be flexible. Look for pandemic-proof career paths.
Edward N. Leger
Stay in school!!
Chad T Brossette
Never vote democrat lol
Amanda Bolton Chenevert
Kindness pays off dividends later. True kindness, empathy, and understanding won’t get you to the top the fastest, but it will bring you true, lasting, respected success. People can always smell a rat. I learned this early – I had a couple of junior competitors rise quickly through bullying and aggression, but fall just as quickly.
Pick up litter. Put away your cart. Give grace generously. Those things build your character and your reputation. That’s what builds your future.
“Don’t stop…get it, get it!”
Desiree Medeiros Dartez
Don’t settle. Other people’s opinions of you are none of your business.
Don’t focus on how long it will take you to finish college, grad school, or PhD …time is going to pass anyway, so keep going!!
Carmen Bastanzuri Cetnar
Continue to live like a broke college student for a little while longer. Don’t try to “keep up with the joneses”. Then pay off student loans and all debt as quickly as possible. It will change your entire life.
Allow yourself time to explore and have fun before you grow up. You won’t accomplish everything in your 20’s, and it’s a destructive lie to believe you should. When you turn 30, you’ll feel like a totally different person and will either look back on your 20’s as the years that built you positively or as the years that taught you what not to do for the rest of your life. Work hard to let it be years you can look at fondly. Then when you turn 40 you will have built a life you love.
Pick a career that you will love that promises the best return on your investment of time, money and satisfaction.
Non illigitimus carborumdum!
Don’t allow yourself to get caught up with the past. Always always always have a goal for the next 6 months, 18 months and 5 years. Modify your plan as needed to deal with changes in the landscape.
Oh and start saving money NOW! Even if it’s just a few bucks a week. Save it and don’t touch it.
To do the thing you are passionate about.. become the best at it and it will create revenue that will build a healthy sustainable life..
life Is of 3 moments..
the last just ended and can never be changed… the next has yet to begin…
we can only change the moment we are in… a good decision in “the” moment will perpetuate good moments to come…
2020 – the year Corona Virus forced the world to learn how to do things differently. This is the perfect time for you to go out into the world and shake things up! We need your intelligence, your attitude and your spirit to help us do it right! Go forth, dear graduate! Congrats!
Jillian Dickerson Landry
Give yourself and others grace as you move into a new life situation.
There is something to learn from everyone. Look at what you enjoyed as a child, it could be a guide to your passions. Job shadow people who are in the career you’re interested in! Find a mentor. Don’t wait for ‘when the time is right’ it may never come.
Don’t just hear people, LISTEN to people. Give grace to yourself and extend it to others. Don’t ever think you know everything about anything and remember the little that you do know about anything is only a small part of the whole. There is always more to learn.
Tell everyone hello, good morning and good evening.. meet as many people as you can and listen to their tales. You never know what you can learn and who you can save by a simple hello.
Deborah Terribile Stewart
Someone else’s ‘best’ may not be your best …. but it’s the best they could do. Appreciate and be thankful
Suzanne Hudson Hebert
The only thing that is constant in life is CHANGE so be able to shift on a dime, change agile. Remember that you don’t have all of the answers in life, others may have a better answer than you at times and that’s ok so listen up! Give your best ALWAYS! Nobody cares how much you know until they know how much you care…
Tricia Meche Menefee
But life insurance outside of your job. But it now to lock in a very inexpensive price bc of your age.
Janice Comeaux LeBlanc
In a new job, LISTEN and OBSERVE. Soak it all in. Don’t be in a hurry to implement your new ideas until you understand where this company has been and where it could go. You never know whose toes you’ll step on if you try to change things right out of the starting gate.
Don’t buy a home for ten years. It’s an anchor.
Don’t let anyone tell you who you are.
Change your mind with new information.
Over time, being kind and curious about other people will win you more influence and real power than the short victories that posturing delivers.
Jamie Owen Parkerson
Be true to yourself. Help others and be kind.
Go with gusto in everything you try. Don’t take no for an answer. Keep going after what you want to succeed.
Be that person who saves, is smart about debt and keeps their fiscal house in order.
Louise Dupre Logan
Be kind to everyone! Pay attention to people’s names. Knowing the receptionist’s name could get you in to see the boss. Don’t be afraid of hard work and long hours. Go the extra mile. Never refuse to do something that’s “not your job”. EARN IT!!! Don’t expect anyone besides your mother to do something that benefits only you. Buy life insurance when you are young and it’s inexpensive. Buy a starter house when you are young and turn it into a rental when you buy the next one. Keep on doing that and eventually you will own a lot of investment properties. Find out what it takes to have really good credit. Ask successful people for advice, then follow it.
Janice Comeaux LeBlanc
so right! Never refuse to do something that’s “not your job!” Truth!
Nancy Pontiff Marcotte
Smile and be nice!
Cheryl Walker Fruge
There’s so much to offer. A big one-LISTEN to your heart in matters of the . Deep down you know. Never settle.
Your class may be the luckiest yet. With the disappointment that you have experienced this year with graduation being cancelled , you will learn at a very early stage in you life that life serves up disappointments. It is how you handle it that matters. Learn from this. Grow from this. Enjoy life.
great advice! Resilience matters
Be genuinely interested in other people. Don’t get more credit than you need to get a good credit score. Find something you love to do and figure out how to get paid to do it.
Diana Rivera Richard
Always give more than you receive. The return comes in unexpected ways and will bless you in more than you think.
Another simple one:
Faith over Fear!
Taryn S. Fabacher
There is no “normal” right now, so stand out any way you can!
Jeanne Chassaignac Neusetzer
Don’t. Skip. Class…. ever. No one who goes to class everyday will fail said class.
God I wish someone had told me this (which assumes 17 year old me would have listened).
Jeanne Chassaignac Neusetzer
this and maybe not schedule any 8 am classes!
My god, that is gold. Better your odds of success, kids! My first year of law school I was living in Abbeville and commuting to LSU Law School. You don’t get to choose your schedule and I had an 8AM contracts class with this really funny, really dry, really insane teacher who wore pirate shirts. I’d regularly get stuck on the Basin even though I left Lafayette at 6:15AM. Dude would call me out in front of an auditorium classroom of over 300 people. Every time.
Carla Lahaye Duhon
Relationships are more important than accomplishments.
Fran Gossen O’Neal
Travel as much as you can while you are still in school
Mimi Fuselier Godwin
Travel! See the world and make lasting friendships!
Amanda LeRoy Self
Always trust your gut. Head and heart lead you astray. The gut always knows the way.
Know that most of the people you meet are doing the very best they can — just assume that, at any rate, and be nice. They aren’t out to get you. They aren’t talking about you. To be honest, they really don’t care that much about you. Be nice anyway. And, some of them will come to care about you. Relationships don’t have to be hard. Nurture the ones with the people who care about you.
Kiki Carr Frayard
Get a job. Any job. And make up your bed!
Make yourself indispensable!
You deserve what you tolerate.
Breathe. Try not to throw up. You will find a job that you don’t like so much – and eventually it will lead you to something you do like. Try not to lose yourself in the process.
Be authentic. It is ok to say, “I don’t know!” Of course you don’t as you are only 18 years old. When you land a job be the first one there and ready to work. School is a job for many. Work hard, but have fun and get involved in clubs or sports. Never should you be late for a meeting and always arrive 15 minutes early. Work on your health and your wealth in that order. If you are passionate about a career or job you will excel. Do something nice for somebody else because it is the right thing to do. If you make a mistake acknowledge it, learn, correct, and move forward. Don’t be selfish as this is a terrible attribute. Give of your time and your resources and help those around you.
It’s not original, or easy, but “Never criticize, condemn, or complain.”
Liz Surratt Boyd
Don’t force it but you can’t be a slacker either. Get out of her if at least for the summer. Also, don’t be scared to change your major as many times as you need. 20s are the time for exploring. If in 30s and still lost and no direction ..maybe be worried then but it’s okay to keep experimenting career and location wise until!
Continue your education! Education is the one thing no one can ever take away from you. Knowledge is power!
Heather Albritton DeValcourt
Live within your means and save first (pay yourself first) before you spend all of your paycheck. Don’t live on credit cards. Use punctuation. Be respectful and kind. Put your best foot forward (manners). Explore the world. Know that there are many people different than you, love your fellow humans and stand up for what is right instead of just following along. Trust your gut. Don’t drink and drive. Spend time with your family. When in doubt, get out (of bad friendships, relationships, jobs).
Alexa Corman John
You know when you are doing your best.
Everyone else does also.
You don’t have to be perfect but do your best.
Enjoy every day. Every day you wake up on this side of the dirt is a good day.
Staci Faia Lanza
Have fun and enjoy college…of course grades come first!! This is the least amount of responsibility that you will ever have. Be a kid. Don’t rush becoming an adult!
Be the best you can be . Be kind along the way. Always enjoy the season you are in. Be true to yourself. Always be willing to learn something new. Never give up!
Yvonne Benitez Bell
Gratitude is the best attitude.
Don’t get caught up in wanting and spending you hard earned money (or graduation money) on material things. In the end one of 3 things happens 1)you lose it 2) you break it. 3) You eventually don’t like it anymore and lose interest in it. Rather spend your money on life experiences. See something that takes your breath away. Do something that makes your heart and mind race with wonder and awe. Visit a place you’ve never seen and meet people you’ve never known. Learn everything about something that you never knew existed. Make extraordinary memories in even the most ordinary places. Bottom line is spend your money on creating experiences that will help you write the story of you. This you will have forever. It will never go out of style. It will never get lost or broken or stolen. And as the years go on, the memories will become infinitely more valuable.
Try not to skip class, keep yourself busy, academic planners, academic helpful apps (Socratic, quizlet, course hero); lots of rest, take advantage and bug the hell out of your professor during their office hours for advice and help in the class and they will remember you, study groups, make lots of friends to keep you at your best mentality, use the ragin’ cajun work job closet in the office of student jobs on Rex, keep in touch with your advisor, don’t get behind, use lee y’all, and COFFEE!!
College can be one of the best times in your life…..join clubs & activities, reach out to make new friends & for goodness sake… Call your Mom!!
Make relationships with your professors. In high school it’s easier because it’s smaller, but I’ve met some of the greatest teachers in my life during college just by thanking them every day after class and forming a relationship with them!
When the world pauses for a moment, and we have moments lost in time and it seems as though nothing is happening, remember that even the caterpillar has its darkest moments before becoming a butterfly. You will have your ups and downs, struggles and triumphs, wins and losses, but keep pressing forward and trust that you have what it takes to achieve your goals.
Give yourself permission to lead a big life.
Remember always that millions of people in the world would love to have your problems. Their problems are often no safe place to live, a lack of food and clean water, and little, if any, education. Ask yourself how your education can help you serve the least among us.
Write your goals down in a place you will see them. Use good grammar. Write thank you notes. Learn conversation skills. Text less. Be kind and use good manners with others and especially with yourself. Have fun and always look for the positive side in any situation-even if it is the realization you don’t want to be in that situation again!
RUSSO is a strategic branding agency that uses consumer insight to change the conversation; forming emotional connections with the target audience. To learn more, click HERE to learn more about our process, RAZOR BRANDING.