By G. Michael Dobbs
SPRINGFIELD – Do you know what your true strengths are when it comes to your career? Laura Garnett wants to help you find them.
Garnett, a nationally known business consultant, will be appearing at Western New England University (WNE) on March 19 in a two-hour presentation sponsored by the Lioness Group entitled "Unleashing Your Powerful Personal Brand."
Speaking to Reminder Publications, Garnett said that she works with people to identify what she calls their "zone of genius" and to develop a personal brand. She explained that understanding one's personal brand "is a more powerful way of differentiating yourself."
Her workshop at WNE will include presentations on the need for personal branding, what makes a person unique, how to stand out, what elements builds a person's confidence, and what makes a good brand.
Garnett has had a wide range of experience in business. She worked for Capital One, helped launched Amex Blue in South Africa and spent three years working at Google before starting her own business.
Garnett said she believes there have been fundamental shifts in how people develop a career. She explained that for baby boomers and their parents' generation, there were "less choices to be made" when it came to careers.
"Today there are more possibilities and more diversity," she said. "Much of that is due to the differences the ever-changing technology has made."
She sees another evolution from her own generation, Generation X. Garnett said the current college generation wants to achieve greater fulfillment through their jobs and careers.
Advice about career choices isn't coming from their parents, though. Garnett contended that because of the speed that technology changes, parents of the current college generation can only offer moral support rather than specific advice.
At the same time, businesses have made many significant changes, she noted.
"Companies are not hiring people forever," Garnett said, adding that many are simply seeking part-timers or consultants.
With changing employment parameters, Garnett said, "You have to sell yourself more frequently. You have to know yourself well."
Garnett said people must accept their strengths in how they accomplish a task as well as their talents and passion.
"Everyone has a unique approach to the work they do – the process," she said.
One of her goals is to help people "fine tune the process so they can bring their best to a job."
Garnett used as an example Olympic athletes who go on to successful careers outside of sports. She said the key is "they apply the same approach to what they do."
She added that people should also understand their career isn't necessarily a straight line.
"It's not necessarily finding the job for forever. It's the right match for now," Garnett explained.
She said the step in her own career would be working with children on their "zone of genius."
"There are a lot of psychological barriers that are formulated in childhood," she said.
She believes a child reveals more of his or herself in the years of birth to age 5 than they do from ages 5 to 10.
"I get very clear signs and clues from that early childhood stage" Garnett said.
When working with a child, she believes "the sooner the better."
To learn more about Garnett, visit www.lauragarnett.com
To purchase tickets for her presentation, go to http://thelionessgroup.com/events