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Mrs Bradshaws’s Blog

“Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty pay check against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

This Tweet from her personal Twitter account saved Ms Riley the trouble of making her big decision. Shortly after posting, there was a reply from Cisco…

“Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”

In the world of the internet and social media thinking carefully about how you are perceived on-line as well as offline has never been more important. And it is never too early to think about this. Today I delivered an assembly about personal brand.

(PwC) defines personal branding as: “what you’re known for and how people experience you.

It’s about bringing who you are to what you do and how you do it.”

Jeff Bezos puts it in more stark terms: “Personal branding is what people say about you when you leave the room”

In my assembly I made it clear that what we were NOT talking about here is the pervasive ‘likes culture’ where teenagers and millennials are in danger of falling into the trap of believing their own self-worth is measured by the good opinion of others – often accompanied by the courting of that good opinion with selfies, filters and potentially damaging rate me posts.

Instead we spoke about how to let the real and authentic you shine through – how you live by your values, how you treat others and how you strive for success. And we talked about not letting yourself become stuck with a personal brand you do not want. Madonna may have turned 60 before Year 7 started Senior School but she is still one of the best examples of reinvention, not to mention a personal idol of my childhood self!

The most obvious moment where we see girls redefine who they are is when they enter our Sixth Form. Something about the freedom of studying your chosen subjects, of not wearing a uniform and of being treated as an adult, a role model and a leader seems to prompt each and every girl to become a new version of herself. But I encouraged pupils lower down the school not to wait for Sixth Form to re-brand. Each new term, each new topic, even each new lesson is an opportunity to let the person you want people to see shine through.

So maybe this weekend, you might encourage your daughters to check how private their social media accounts are. And then maybe check your own – especially if you are applying for a job with Cisco!

Mrs Sophie Bradshaw

Deputy Head (Sixth Form and Operations)

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