Highlights from Jackie Rafter’s Career Branding Workshop

On August 25th I had the pleasure of participating in a Calgary Marketing Association sponsored Career Branding Workshop with Jackie Rafter, President, Founder, and CEO of Higher Landing. This is an innovative career transformation company for individuals transitioning, transforming, or reinventing their careers.

The workshop, which lasted 4.5 hours, seemed like a huge commitment at first. With most of my life spent in front of a computer either typing, researching or in a “virtual meeting” I was a bit daunted by the time commitment, but my time flew by! In this hands on virtual workshop, I was joined by fellow marketers ranging  in experience from recent graduates like myself, to High Level Executives. However, each participant was equally curious and engaged and eager to discover more about their brand.

Jackie systemically led us through the impact of COVID-19 on job search, and how career management overall keeps changing in Alberta. She was brutally honest about the future of work in Alberta and impressed that being adaptable and self-aware is now essential in career management. Jackie emphasized the importance for job seekers to market their value rather than traditionally marketing their skills to a potential employer.

Have you ever heard of an IP?

“…IP are the two most important questions to ask your clients, boss, family, and/or friends.”

IP stands for:

I: What’s Important to you?

P: What are your Pain Points?

By asking these two questions every single day – to yourself and to others – it is possible to create value by becoming more engaged in the lives around you.

As the workshop continued, Jackie dove into Higher Landing’s Career Transformation Process, a three stage approach that gets you market ready. While everyone has their own key takeaways from this part of the workshop, let me share my top two:

“You are the product going to market.”

This hit the mark. In order to transform your career, you must think of yourself as a product going to market. To do so, Jackie put an emphasis on asking, “Who Are You?” By being able to identify your unique skills and passions, you can solidify the value you bring to an employer.

“Authenticity is key in establishing a successful and professional brand. Don’t be afraid to Own Your Weirdness!”

Your brand matters, which is why Jackie spoke about the value of discovering your WOW! Factors. These are the things that differentiate you from your peers, and being able to identify these unforgettable facts about yourself is what makes people remember you. The workshop included a workbook, and in this workbook were questions to unearth characteristics and abilities that make each of us stand.

The journey of this workshop leads to the discovery of your ‘North Star’, as Jackie calls it. This is your show stopping, make people stand up and take notice, compel people to ask more questions, elevator pitch! This is how you would either describe yourself or how you would want others to describe you to potential employers.

The Career Transformation Process 


Higher Landing has a unique approach to ensuring their clients are prepared to go to market. They offer an opportunity for clients to enter the Grizzly Den. Intrigued? You should be! This is a live panel of influential decision makers who decide on your market readiness, provide helpful advice, and ultimately could hire you.  Once the Grizzlies have determined your market readiness, you become Grizzly Certified.


As we continue moving towards digital transformation, Higher Landing provides innovative and revealing virtual workshops.

If you are eager to learn more about enhancing your brand or transforming your career, join Higher Landing for:

1. Emerging Sectors & Transferable Skills workshop (includes aptitude assessment) 

2. 10 Week Boot Camp

Take this leap and I know you will find your own Higher Landing!


About the Author


Kyla Mackie is a recent graduate from Mount Royal University, where she obtained a Bachelor of Business Administration, with a major in Marketing and minor in International Business and Economics. During her time at University, she was the Co-President of Enactus, a non-profit organization that helps create positive sustainable change through economic, social, and environmental projects. Now, she is currently working at the Calgary Marketing Association as the Communications Coordinator.


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