When I wrote BYOB Revolt, it was meant to be an exposé of my strange documentation method for career advancement. I tied each part of the documentation process to the societal “why” that forces me in this direction. It was and still is truly my love letter to my professional self about the power that comes with self awareness, self acceptance and self accountability. When we center our career around value driven decision and hold ourself accountable to those actions, we create a level of power that a standard performance metric could never achieve. In writing the book, I felt it would be relatable to people who had experienced the professional world in the way that I did. And I know better than to think that the true impact of a carefully crafted strategy is only relatable to its creator. The truth is, our target audience is identified by the tangible we set to impress upon those who engaged. Our target market is rarely the person staring back in the mirror.
While I wrote the book in a conversational tone amongst friends, the documentation exposé, which formulated this methodology can reach far more than the 27-34 year old female I expected to connect with. I’ve told so many clients and coworkers over the years in my 9-5, “you don’t have to be your target market” and I retreated to the same mindset. Why? Because it seemed less risky, it seemed more comfortable. People who are in my age bracket, better yet, people who are like me will be the ones to relate to this.
But something happened:
The book was read by people of all ages and as the book tour began, I noticed that the ages tended to skew much younger than expected. As I began working on taking the book and turning it into an online classroom for professionals, a strategic pivot took me by surprise. We were approached to take the methodology (and its certification course) and create it for college students. We were given the chance to not only make this methodology relatable to those who have struggled with professional development, but actually an opportunity to avoid it completely!
What if a student learns about value driven career metrics before their first role? What if writing their persona was a common practice that enforces individuality over commonality in the workplace? What would 22 year old Jennifer have been able to achieve if BYOB Revolt was made available to her instead of having to live the madness of my 20s to get to this place?
So I’m so fucking proud we decided to take on this challenge. In the last year since the book’s release, we’ve created several mini-programs, an online community with a proprietary app, professional certification and now an IACET Accredited course specific to college students. This week marks the first in-classroom use for the Higher Ed Program of BYOB Revolt. 32 Colleges and Universities have adopted our online classroom for students in the Fall 2020 semester all with a minimum two year contact, some up to five! That’s right, we’re in this for the long haul. Schools who are using the platform in the classroom range from classes of Organizational Behavior, Personal Selling, and Brand Strategy (among others). It serves as an in-course session that acts as supplemental reading and learning to the overall course objectives and textbooks. Other institutions are offering BYOB Revolt to students for campus wide access as a means of work preparedness and personal development. We have worked tirelessly on BYOB Revolt (through the book, the programs, podcasts, etc.) to create tools that benefits professionals on their career journey, but now we have an opportunity to change the mindset for students prior to creating their full-time career. With the help of these incredible institutions, students and administrators, we are taking the next step in our mission to create a value driven career advancement view on a larger scale.
This is another gentle reminder that our experiences, our passions, and our gifts are relatable and promising to more than just ourselves. While I’m always talking from my micro 27-34 perspective, it transcends direct relation and can change career advancement on a macro level. Outside of the boxes we are so forcefully placed in, the world is craving for disruption and new voices and ideas to emerge. As the Revolt embarks on its newest journey, I hope that it impacts career advancement in a different way than we had originally expected, but also invites you to create new visions for your existing ideas. Let’s eliminate the mindset that we must be our own target market and spread our message for universal awareness.