Pop Quiz, Monday with Mark Puncher, Founder and Chief Energy Officer at Employer Branding Australia

The Pop Quiz, Monday is a fun little exam that we love to give to savvy business owners. The examination is not a surprise after all since the interviewee already knew about the questions in advance. However, we can always pretend and have fun with the scenario of a young entrepreneur sitting in class nervously biting on their pencil. They are ready to take a pop quiz on a chapter that they were supposed to read the night before. Instead, they played Metroid all night on their SNES (Oops, this was me in high school). The real purpose of the pop quiz is that this is a fun way to introduce business tips from real-world experiences that you can not learn in a classroom. We want to thank our entrepreneur for being a good sport and volunteering their time to answer a few questions to help our community grow from their knowledge.

I want to introduce you to our guest today who will be taking our Pop Quiz Monday.

Can you please tell everyone your name?

Mark Puncher

What is your job role?

Founder and Chief Energy Officer at Employer Branding Australia

Tell us about your company?

Employer Branding Australia helps fantastic, and imperfect employers attract fantastic, imperfect people… and keep them engaged. We offer a range of services around talent marketing messaging, strategy and storytelling. We help you understand and articulate why you’re an excellent choice for the right people (and why you’re the wrong choice for the wrong ones). Then we help you bring it to life, take it to market and turn it into better applications and hires, and a more engaged workforce.

What do you love most about your job?

I genuinely love what I do, and the impact my team and I have every day. I get huge fulfillment from helping positive people achieve powerful things, so it’s fantastic to help positive organisations become brave, creative and authentic about connecting with their current and future people. That word — ‘authenticity’ — is probably the key. I feel I can be 100% myself in my role, and I encourage my clients to do the same. What’s more important in this crazy society than honesty, openness, and sincerity?

What motivates you to get up every day and go to work?

Two things!

1. When you love what you do, and you get to shape how you do it, work rarely feels like work. I love my team and my clients, and so I look forward to and get value from, every conversation and every project service we provide.

2. My kids — 5 am is a lie-in!

How do your co-workers inspire you?

We’re a small team so working with the right people is particularly critical. So I have selected them very carefully and am inspired by them every day. My team is quite a bit younger than me, and I love their energy and desire to take ownership and do a great job. And I’m continually impressed by their integrity — this is no one on my candidate requirements list. Here’s a post I shared on one of them recently: https://www.linkedin.com/feed/update/urn:li:activity:6455180366759153664

How do you have fun at work (team building, pranks, etc..)?

We’re usually working remotely (flexibility and ‘work where you want’ is a key part of our talent offer, and we think it helps get the best out of our people) but we still feel very connected to each other. The ‘fun’ is rarely organised — it just happens in our interactions with each other, whether face to face, on video or phone calls, or on chat. When you know each other well, and there are good trust and openness, that wonderful humour and sense of fun happen.

What are some of the challenges of your job?

I run my own business so where do I start?! I think the most significant operational challenge is that the core task of building stable, recurring revenue streams. Beyond that, it’s managing yourself — I’m very invested in what I do and if I was left to my own devices, and it’d be easy to work 24/7 and get too caught up. I’ve found it’s essential to create space to reflect… and more space to get away entirely from time to time!

What are some lessons learned from a past project that you can share with us?

I think one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over the years is always to challenge your clients, whatever the cost. This is so important that we’ve built it into our client charter. When a client is pushing to take a particular direction, and you believe it’s wrong, it might sometimes seem more comfortable (and more astute) to keep your head down and your mouth shut. IT NEVER IS. We always tell our clients what we think, whatever the consequences for us, and they respect us for our integrity and the strength of our convictions. They also trust us, which is vital if you want to do great work.

What advice would you give to someone who is starting in your industry?

Whatever the industry, choose your employer very carefully! Beware over-hyped, gimmicky culture. Work out what matters most to you, and what you need to thrive, and try to find a place where you’ll get as much of that as possible!

Thank you for taking our pop quiz today. You get an A+ for effort. You can learn more about our interviewee and their business by visiting them on the web:

Website: https://www.employerbrandingaustralia.com

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/employerbrandingaustralia/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/EmployerBrandingAustralia/

Author: Ricky Singh, MBA

Editor of The Startup Growth.

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