This week I took part in a training course about Personal Branding. The course’s objective is to improve youth employment. In order to help young people across Europe to have access to more resources needed to enter the labor market. The course revolved around the development of one’s Personal Brand, our way of presenting ourselves to the world. It was an intensive course in which we learned techniques and tools related to self-knowledge, coaching, human resources, etc. and that will be very useful in our lives and in our work with young people.
The course took place in the city of Cluj- Napoca in Transylvania (Romania), this year’s European Youth Capital. It is a city with a youthful atmosphere, full of university students. During the week we conducted activities, discussions, workshops, and we were visited by experts in various fields. It was a very interesting way to share experiences, each of us speaking about our different areas of work, in a relaxed atmosphere, based on non-formal education in which we also had the opportunity to create and perform our own workshop methods.
In my case, I provided with my colleague Ruben, a workshop on Emotional Intelligence, which lasted around one hour . It was a unique opportunity to test our ability as “trainers”, by presenting and managing a workshop for young people. I feel really proud about our work, both in the preparation and in the workshop. I received very positive feedback from our colleagues who attended the workshop. But nevertheless we will continue practicing and improving!
On a personal level, it has been a busy week. Lots of emotions, thoughts, introspection, and openness. Connecting with newly made acquaintances. Meeting very similar souls who are searching to know themselves. Discovering new paths, exchanging stories. Sharing, learning, and growing.
I met wonderful people. I enjoyed the madness of human emotions and connection with other people at the time. I have learned from all the people with whom I shared exercises, moments of rest, meals, trips with my fellow participants to the most absurdly beautiful places. Places where if you let yourself, you get lost, not know how to come back. Back to reality.
I am writing this with a bittersweet feeling. Because it was so good. Because it was so short. I take with me, as a souvenir, memories of incredible people making the best of themselves and others. People who work to make the world a better place. Returning home wiser, stronger, more prepared to help move society, who are committed, who work for the future. I am very grateful for this experience and I am proud to have been part of this project.
Thanks to the Catalunya Voluntary Foundation for this opportunity, a hug for you all!
The empowering days
The fifth day of our training course started with some good food. Why am I mentioning the food? Because it was the best one anyone could get, that is food for thought.
Please, do not hesitate to take as much as you want of it. Anytime, anywhere. It never ends and if you want it badly you can always have it. All you have to do is keep your eyes and ears open. You can ask questions, you can be the one being asked questions- does not matter. Just like we did on the day I am going to tell you about as well as on any other day during our stay in the beautiful Romania.
As usual, after breakfast the first thing all of us had to do was a brief summary of what we have experienced the previous day. That managed to open not only our sleepy eyes but also our consciousness of what exactly has happened and how have we perceived it.
After we have made sure we were aware of what we are doing and what we are about to do, we moved on to the next task which was to get well acquainted with a model of how to do our personal branding. It followed five concrete steps and included:
- Personal objectives
- Best self
- Personal Branding
To elaborate further on the matter, several participants were given the floor to give their own definitions for some of the concepts, such as “Audience: refers to people we present ourselves to.” and “Best self: We are the best at something. Use the skills you have.”
With this kind of new knowledge and know-how, we were all invited to continue with our schedule. This time we had to work in groups and identify the activities we did in the training course to achieve some goals presented in the personal branding pyramid model. By working together, we managed to list a good deal of exercises which have helped us in one way or another.
This being finished, we moved on to identifying our own personal goals in groups of two people. When we knew what we were aiming for, we were supposed to keep an eye on our partner and help them realize one of their goals until the end of the training. Once again we were there for each other, for empowering and achieving results by cooperation.
When this exercise was over came the time to relax during the coffee break, absolutely not expecting the surprise that was about to come next. We had a guest speaker. A real HR expert, just waiting to lead us in the world of people’s development. She started her speech with the quote: “Companies are like dreamers”. And why is that so? Because they have very high expectations of the employees they hire, of course. So, we were there to figure out how to be able to reach the image companies are looking for in a person without forgetting who we are. In order to do so we did some brainstorming on what we should do and how we should act:
- Before the interview
- During the interview
- After the interview
Having figured it out, we felt more confident to continue our journey further into the depths of personal branding.
Considering the fact that we have done a lot of work, we got some strength during lunch break and jumped into the workshops of the afternoon with enthusiasm and some expectations. Luckily, during and after the workshops we felt full of energy and positive vibes. We participated actively because our friends have made sure to include each one of us into thinking, doing and achieving. Hence, what we experienced through their creativity put into action was no less than wonderful!
Did I mention that part of the reason why we felt so refreshed was due to the fact that the activities were held in an ancient castle in the center of Cluj-Napoca? There you have it: a group of people engaging in non-formal education and bonding while they are at it, plus the atmosphere preserved in this magical place- what more could you possibly ask for?
You could ask for anything. Absolutely anything, without exaggeration. Dare to dream, dare to be yourself and pursue your dreams while using all the tools you have because you are lucky-lucky to have them, lucky to be unique. All you have to do now is to show it to the world. So go, go and brand yourself in the best way you possibly can and good luck!
by Petya Natcheva (Bulgaria)
TC “Personal Branding” in Cluj-Napoca, Romania (5th to 13th of October)
Finantat de Comisia Europeana