Author: Catherine Kaputa

What’s Your Brand About?

Posted April 5, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Start with a self-brand audit.

Marketers do research such as small focus groups to gauge what’s special or problematic about the brand. You already have a lot of focus group information at your disposal too if you start observing.

What do people compliment you for? Criticize you for? What do you love to do? What do your clients or bosses say about you?

What are the themes in your yearly performance review? What are your strengths? What are the vulnerable areas? What new directions are your interests taking you?

How do you succeed in the Hollywood model for work?

Posted April 3, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

The Hollywood model can work surprisingly well for people with

in-demand skills and expertise, and a knack for marketing themselves and networking.

The Hollywood model favors the adaptable employee who continually takes the pulse of the marketplace and keeps track of the new industry players.

It favors those who are good at networking and building mutually beneficial relationships.

Above all, the Hollywood model favors those who are good at creating and communicating their value in person in their elevator pitch, through marketing materials li

In short, the new world of work favors those who are good at personal


We’re all going to work in Hollywood some day say career experts

Posted April 1, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Prominent career experts believe that the corporate world is beginning a dramatic shift to the “Hollywood model,” a short-term, project-based business structure that is very flexible and adaptable.

To get an idea of the future of work, simply look at the business of how films are made. A team is assembled, works together as long as needed to complete the task, and then disbands. All the various people involved are free agents.

Contrast that with the traditional corporate model and its long-term

business structure and permanent employees in open-ended jobs.

We’re already seeing many design firms and technical companies employ the

Hollywood model by putting together short-term teams of various experts

to develop new products or work on big projects.

Other companies have adopted the model by hiring more contract or temporary workers for jobs that used to be performed by long-term employees.

You can see the advantages for management and business owners.

It’s much less costly: they just hire the people they need when they need

them. Then, you’re on your own until you find the next gig.

This model shifts the burdens of health insurance, retirement income, and job security to workers, diminishing the risk to employers. And it’s very targeted

to each business situation because the best team can be selected for each

particular job.

What is personal branding?

Posted March 31, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Branding for people is above all about authenticity. It’s about finding your “brand idea,” the special sauce that sets you apart from others.

It is also about “packaging” your personal brand and

using strategies and principles from the commercial world to enhance your

identity. as the storyteller of your own life, you must create compelling

narratives to empower your success.

Branding also means developing a marketing plan and determining the tactics needed to get from A to B (and through all the other letters of the alphabet, depending on your goals).

Most important, personal branding means engaging your target audience without eeming self-promotional or obnoxious.

Perceiving yourself as a brand has enormous advantages. Being good,

by itself, doesn’t guarantee success.

We all know talented people who are underemployed, underpaid, or even unemployed.

Here’s the key difference:


Job Candidate: A person with a skill set that is interchangeable

with the skill sets of other people
Brand You: Standing for something that offers a special promise

Make It STEAM Not STEM (the A Is for Arts)

Posted March 29, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

In future workplaces, a balance of math and social skills will be increasingly


One study that analyzed government data on career incomes

of more than a thousand people found that those with balanced strengths

earn about 10 percent more than those who are strong in only one area.

Even math whizzes did no better than communicators who are poor with


Even having a STEM degree is no guarantee that you’ll be career ready

or even have a STEM career.

While STEM graduates have relatively low

unemployment, a large percentage—74 percent—are not employed in STEM

jobs, according to the US Census Bureau.

In addition, men continue to be overrepresented in STEM, especially in computer and engineering occupations. About 86 percent of engineers and 74 percent of computer

professionals are men.

But you will have an easy ride on the career express if you’re a strong in

technology and savvy about personal branding.

The Revenge of the Liberal Arts Major

Posted March 27, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

We’ve all been programmed to think that a tech education is the key to

success. You’ll be a dinosaur in the near future if you don’t learn to code,

is how the thinking goes. Certainly, learning to code can be a route to success,

as the coding boot camp phenomenon shows.

Well, I have good news for you if you’re not technically inclined to take

up coding. Times are changing, and that way of thinking isn’t necessarily so.

You don’t have to throw your liberal arts diploma in the rubbish bin after all.

A reversal of fortune is taking place as tech companies, particularly

fast-growth tech start-ups, are realizing that it’s not enough to be technically

brilliant: you need brilliant business processes, too.

Some things can’t be programmed.

Creativity can’t be programmed.

Client relationships can’t be programmed.

Business-to-business sales can’t be programmed.

Tech leaders are realizing that real value will come more

and more from people who can sell and humanize technology, not the hardcore


That’s why tech companies are zooming in on liberal arts

majors, people who use and embrace technology but aren’t technical.

They are looking for employees with the business skills that technical people lack.

We Need to Change the Jobs and Skills Mismatch

Posted March 25, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

There’s a widening gap between grads who struggle and those who succeed.

Some economists believe that this is the new normal, not just a temporary

bump. They propose that the gap will widen between new grads who possess

in-demand majors and skills and those who don’t.

Indeed, many unemployed or underemployed new graduates are enrolling

in coding boot camps so they can compete for the abundant jobs in the

technology industry or in technology-related careers in just about every


Unlike academe, in the coding boot camps, the emphasis is on crash

courses tailored to the specific skills industry is looking for and rapidly

training students for a well-paying job. The number of computer science

graduates from the coding schools is estimated to be about one-third of

the total number of computer science graduates from American universities

in 2015.

The code schools get it. They know what skills are in demand and teach

them so the boot camp grads are highly employable. Unlike academia,

where the model in most universities is to educate and drop, many code

camps have corporate relationships so they can train and place students in

high-paying jobs.

The job placement rate at Galvanize, one of the largest

coding camps, is 98 percent. To quote its CEO, Jim Deters,

“Graduation here is you get a job”

Fancy Degree. But Can You Get a Job?

Posted March 23, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

A generation ago, a university degree was a ticket to the upper middle class

and secured the holder a better job.

Today, a diploma doesn’t guarantee

quality of employment—the main reason degrees are supposed to be valuable.

In a land where everyone is encouraged to get a sheepskin, it doesn’t

brand its owner as highly employable the way it used to.

The growth of skilled jobs has lagged behind the rapid increase of graduates in the US, UK, and many other parts of the world. That’s why so many new graduates

are working in jobs that don’t even require a college degree.

There’s an expression for new grads who have a job

that doesn’t require a college degree—underemployed.

In recent years, over 40 percent of new grads in the US

and over 58 percent in the UK were underemployed.

How to avoid underemployment is the key reason I wrote my new book, , “Graduate to a Great Career.” (


Good Job Market? Bad Job Market?

Posted March 22, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

It seems to change on a daily basis.

Just after we’ve been told that it’s the best job market for new grads since the Great Recession beginning in 2008, a very dismal job report came out.

The reality is it will still be a competitive market with more qualified job seekers than entry-level jobs.Many new grads will come equipped with college debt — the typical grad carries $30,000 in college loans. It’s not surprising that a record number of young adults — as many as 1 in 3 — are living at home despite an improved job market according to a Pew Research Center study of Millennials ages 18–34.

To become economically independent, you need to market yourself better than your competitors.

The job market is improving,

Posted March 21, 2017 by Catherine Kaputa in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Unemployment has dropped to under 5%. But what is still truly different today is the quality of the competition and the sheer volume of it.

The fact is the economy in most countries is changing so much with increased automation. Everyone has to worry about robots taking over.

Even Millennials, young adults now in their twenties, who are the best-educated generation, make up a large percent of the unemployed in the US.

Often when they find a job, the picture isn’t always pretty with many doing part-time or contract work.

This dilemma is why I wrote my new book, Graduate to a Great Career ( It doesn’t take just hard work to be successful today; you have to be good at branding yourself. This book will show you how.