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How to make your mark at work through 5 simple steps

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All of us are looking to make a good impression when it comes to advancing our careers, and thanks to the digital age, there are all sorts of techniques to embrace if you’re looking to stand out from the crowd.

Yet, one of the fundamental attributes you should have at your disposal is knowing how to market yourself effectively.

“Your personal brand is your business armor — it’s how you get recognized and remembered. It is shorthand for everything you stand for,” writes Anna Jones, co-founder of networking club AllBright, in the recently-published book she co-wrote called “Believe. Build. Become.

AllBright co-founders: Debbie Wosskow OBE (L) and Anna Jones (R)

Photo credit: Taran Wilkhu | Courtesy of AllBright

Ultimately, this concise rundown of what you represent professionally allows you to showcase your personality, values and unique selling propositions (USPs).

In “Believe. Build. Become. “, AllBright co-founders Anna Jones and Debbie Wosskow, offer practical advice for those hoping to develop their skills and mentality, to thrive as leaders and entrepreneurs — including how to construct your own personal brand.

Crafting your personal brand

Perfecting your USPs and elevator pitch

Whether you’re selling a product or pitching an idea, having a unique selling point is paramount if you want to be memorable — and the same goes for creating a stellar personal brand.

Consider what makes you stand out — whether that’s certain skills, achievements or characteristics that make you who you are — and then refine it into a succinct summary.

For AllBright co-founder Debbie Wosskow, who launched three businesses prior to establishing the networking club for businesswomen, the serial entrepreneur has her own way of crafting an elevator pitch.

“For me, it’s always (about having) three key messages and practice this in front of the mirror. And I would really think about what that is,” Wosskow told CNBC over the phone.

She added that it’s important to play this pitch out with your support network and ask for feedback.

“It’s something Anna and I do a lot, asking ‘How did I come across?’ and ‘What do you think?’ And use that to define your USP and construct your personal brand,” Wosskow said, adding that jotting it all down is essential.

Power of communication

You may have an excellent personal summary, but if you cannot effectively communicate it, success may be a lot harder to obtain. As Jones notes, your communication style can illustrate a lot about who you are, and in the book, she recommends assertive communication, over passive or aggressive.

“You can be forthright without being a bully, but equally you need to be empathetic without being submissive,” Jones writes, adding that it’s important to gauge how others will respond.

Consider your body language and what signals it gives off to others. One way to go about this is power posing, which involves various parts of the body, like posture, maintaining eye contact and delivering confident handshakes. Meantime, listening to what others say and don’t say, can help boost relationships and potentially provide you with more insight into the other person’s intentions.

Another aspect to consider is how you communicate through what you write. As Jones states, “everything you write down should follow the same rules.” A CV for instance is the initial window into impressing a potential employer, so this professionalism and choice of language should be upheld throughout other work activities, whether that’s penning an email or report.

Finally, practice makes perfect. To refine your communication style, keep speaking up.

Be authentic

Being true to who you are and your values while owning your actions not only offers others an insight into what to expect from you, but also can establish trust.

In “Believe. Build. Become. “, Jones notes that while authenticity is essential, it should align with professionalism, meaning “acting in a way appropriate for the job.” One example Jones offers is being “a loud joker” — this behavior may help you bond with colleagues, but it’s unlikely that it’ll be appropriate for boardrooms.

Another key point: Don’t undersell yourself.

“What we can see with women and from what I’ve seen from being on the other side of the table as an investor, is women being apologetic or underselling themselves and their vision. A lot of this is around language and how they feel about themselves,” Wosskow tells CNBC, explaining the importance of having clear focus, while not being apologetic or unauthentic.

Appearance

In 2006, Princeton University researchers Alex Todorov and Janine Willis, conducted a study which suggested that our brains can decide whether a person is trustworthy or attractive within a tenth of a second.

So, if you’re trying to impress a future employer or investor, it’s important to consider dressing the part.

AzmanL | E+ | Getty Images

One key example is the job interview, and management expert Suzy Welch has several tips on dressing the part, including doing your homework beforehand, not fretting about being overdressed and wearing confidence-boosting clothes.

“During an interview, you should feel good about yourself,” Welch previously told CNBC. At the end of the day, it’s not only important to dress the part, but to feel comfortable — and let your confidence shine through.

Standing out online

How you present yourself online is important now, more than ever. Whether it’s your professional LinkedIn page or personal networking accounts, your online profile is “a very clear, very instant representation of your personal brand,” Jones writes.

If you’re looking to win over a prospective employer or a future work contact, keep your online profile updated and professional. According to a 2018 survey by CareerBuilder, 70 percent of employers polled admitted to using social networking sites to research candidates who applied for a role.

In addition, half or more of those bosses were checking to see the candidate’s qualifications matched their resume or if they had professional online persona.

After you’ve created an online profile that reflects you, make sure it sells you in the best light. Think of it this way: you are the best person who can pitch yourself to others. For Wosskow, the most crucial tool to have in your personal brand toolkit is “being memorable.”

As Jones notes, everybody can be searched for online, so make sure that “your digital footprint is one that you are happy with. If it’s not, change it, now.”

Thomas Barwick | DigitalVision | Getty Images

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Disney has made more than $18 billion from Marvel films since 2012

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Chris Hemsworth and director Taika Waititi of Marvel Studios’ ‘Thor: Love and Thunder’ at the San Diego Comic-Con International 2019 Marvel Studios Panel in Hall H on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California.

Alberto E. Rodriguez | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

A decade ago, moviegoers were introduced to Tony Stark.

He was a fast-talking genius, playboy, billionaire, soon-to-be philanthropist played by the comeback kid himself Robert Downey Jr.

Marvel’s “Iron Man” arrived in theaters in 2008 just as rival DC’s gritty Dark Knight trilogy, directed by Christopher Nolan, was making its bow. It was a near polar opposite to the dark, gloomy story of billionaire Bruce Wayne, aka the masked vigilante Batman.

In its opening weekend, “Iron Man” snared nearly $100 million at the box office, before going on to garner just under $600 million worldwide. At the time, opening weekend ticket sales of “Iron Man” were just short of the first-weekend sales for “Spider-Man,” the 2002 blockbuster that held the record for the top non-sequel superhero movie opening.

A year later, Disney made its move. While Marvel had already contracted several films with Paramount and Universal as part of its Marvel Cinematic Universe, CEO Bob Iger closed on a deal to purchase the comic book company for around $4 billion.

“This is perfect from a strategic perspective,” Iger said at the time. “This treasure trove of over 5,000 characters offers Disney the ability to do what we do best.”

It seems he was right.

Since releasing its first Disney produced Marvel movie in 2012, the company has earned more than $18.2 billion at the global box office. And it’s already on its way to make billions more.

At San Diego Comic-Con on Saturday, Marvel announced its upcoming slate of films and TV shows that expand on the 23 movies already in the MCU.

Disney has produced 16 of those films. Paramount distributed “Iron Man,” “Captain America: The First Avenger,” “Thor” and “Iron Man 2”; and Universal distributed “The Incredible Hulk” as part of deals that predated Disney’s acquisition of Marvel.

More recently, Sony has produced two Spider-Man films — “Homecoming” and “Far From Home” — in partnership with Disney, allowing the character to appear in the MCU.

In total, all of the movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe have made more than $22 billion at the global box office.

To be sure, these box office numbers do not include the cost of production or marketing costs. They also don’t count the billions in merchandising that Disney has made over the last decade.

Box office glory

When the trailer for “Avengers: Endgame” first came out, there was little doubt that it was going to be a big movie at the box office.

“Infinity War” had left the fate of most of the cast of superheroes uncertain. Theories about what happened to those that were dusted in the final moments of the film circulated on message boards, forums and social media. How was Marvel going to bring them back?

Certainly, the studio would have to. After all, Spider-Man had his own standalone feature coming out just a few months after “Endgame” was set to be released, and Marvel had green lit sequels for Black Panther and Doctor Strange, among others.

Early estimates had the film making just over $2 billion, a sizable feat for a superhero movie. But, could it take on the top box office spots? Perhaps not.

And then on opening weekend, “Endgame” did the impossible. It hauled in $357 million in the U.S. and $1.2 billion at the global box office — and people began to reassess what was possible.

Within 87 days in theaters, “Endgame” became the highest grossing film of all time. The film had earned $2.79 billion, topping “Avatar’s” record of $2.7897 billion.

What comes next

With “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” Phase 3 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe came to a close. On Saturday in Hall H at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel’s president, Kevin Feige, unveiled Phase 4.

The 10 films and TV projects will all be released in the next two years, some theatrically and the rest on Disney’s upcoming streaming service Disney+.

Films include “Black Widow,” “Eternals,” “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings,” “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” and “Thor: Love and Thunder.”

Taika Waititi and Natalie Portman speak at the Marvel Studios Panel during 2019 Comic-Con International at San Diego Convention Center on July 20, 2019 in San Diego, California.

Kevin Winter | Getty Images Entertainment | Getty Images

The Disney+ productions are “The Falcon and the Winter Soldier,” “WandaVision,” “Loki,” “Hawkeye,” and an animated series called “What If?.”

“We didn’t even mention that we’re making ‘Black Panther 2,'” Feige said at the end of the panel. “We didn’t even talk about thatGuardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3′ is coming. We didn’t have time to talk about ‘Captain Marvel 2.’ “

“I didn’t even have time to talk about the Fantastic Four,” he added, the crowd roaring with excitement. “And there’s no time left to talk about mutants and how mutants come into the MCU.”

Many of these teased films would not have been possible before Disney acquired a number of Fox properties earlier this year. Feige also revealed that a “Blade” movie would be going into production.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

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Shanghai’s STAR market, oil, currencies in focus

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Stocks in Asia traded lower on Monday morning, as investors await the start of a Nasdaq-style technology board on the Shanghai Stock Exchange.

The Nikkei 225 in Japan declined 0.51% in early trade, with shares of convenience store chain Familymart dropping more than 2%. The Topix index also fell 0.4%.

South Korea’s Kospi slipped 0.11% as shares of LG Chem dropped 1.24%. Over in Australia, the S&P/ASX 200 shed 0.22%.

The STAR market will start trading in Shanghai on Monday, when the first batch of 25 companies make their public debut later today. The IPOs were 1,695 times oversubscribed among retail investors, Reuters reported last Wednesday, setting the stage for a scramble in the secondary market when trading begins.

Asia-Pacific Market Indexes Chart

In market action stateside, stocks saw their worst performance since late May last week. The S&P 500 and Nasdaq Composite fell more than 1% each, notching their biggest weekly loss since late May, while the Dow Jones Industrial Average declined 0.6%.

Those moves came amid the ongoing earnings season, with more than 15% of S&P 500 companies having reported earnings so far. Of those firms, 79% have posted a better-than-expected profit, according to FactSet data.

Meanwhile, tensions remained high in the Middle East. Iran said it seized a British-flagged oil tanker in the Strait of Hormuz last Friday, claiming that the vessel was “violating international regulations.”

Oil prices, however, moved with less velocity than might have been seen during other periods of tension.

In the morning of Asian trading hours on Monday, crude prices advanced. International benchmark Brent crude futures added 1.15% to $63.19 per barrel, while U.S. crude futures gained 0.83% to $56.09 per barrel.

“Tensions between Iran and the West continue to escalate with the tit for tat increasing in magnitude and thus increasing the risk of someone making an overstep leading to a military conflict, notwithstanding the fact that Iran, the US and its allies continue to say that they do not want a conflict,” Rodrigo Catril, senior foreign exchange strategist at National Australia Bank, wrote in a note.

The U.S. dollar index, which tracks the greenback against a basket of its peers, was at 97.153 after touching levels below 96.9 last week.

The Japanese yen traded at 107.72 against the dollar after seeing levels above 108.0 in the previous trading week. The Australian dollar changed hands at $0.7044 after touching lows below $0.702 last week.

Here’s a look at some of the data set to be released later today:

  • Hong Kong: Consumer Price Index for June at 4:30 p.m. HK/SIN
  • South Korea earnings: Samsung SDS, Samsung Biologics, Samsung Heavy, Hyundai Motor, Hyundai Heavy

— Reuters and CNBC’s Fred Imbert contributed to this report.

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Britain weighs response to Iran Gulf crisis with few good options

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A picture taken on July 21, 2019, shows Iranian Revolutionary Guards patrolling around the British-flagged tanker Stena Impero as it’s anchored off the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas.

Hasan Shirvani | AFP | Getty Images

Britain was weighing its next moves in the Gulf tanker crisis on Sunday, with few good options apparent as a recording emerged showing that the Iranian military defied a British warship when it boarded and seized a ship three days ago.

Little clue has been given by Britain on how it plans to respond after Iranian Revolutionary Guards rappelled from helicopters and seized the Stena Impero in the Strait of Hormuz on Friday in apparent retaliation for the British capture of an Iranian tanker two weeks earlier.

Footage obtained by Reuters from an Iranian news agency on Sunday showed the tanker docked in an Iranian port — with Iran’s flag now hoisted atop.

The British government is expected to announce its next steps in a speech to parliament on Monday. But experts on the region say there are few obvious steps London can take at a time when the United States has already imposed the maximum possible economic sanctions, banning all Iranian oil exports worldwide.

“We rant and rave and we shout at the ambassador and we hope it all goes away,” said Tim Ripley, a British defense expert who writes about the Gulf for Jane’s Defence Weekly.

“I don’t see at this point in time us being able to offer a concession that can resolve the crisis. Providing security and escort for future ships is a different matter.”

A day after calling the Iranian action a “hostile act”, top British officials kept comparatively quiet on Sunday, making clear that they had yet to settle on a response.

“We are going to be looking at a series of options,” junior defense minister Tobias Ellwood told Sky News. “We will be speaking with our colleagues, our international allies, to see what can actually be done.

“Our first and most important responsibility is to make sure we get a solution to the issue to do with the current ship, make sure other British-flagged ships are safe to operate in these waters and then look at the wider picture.”

Months of confrontation

The Iranian capture of the ship in the global oil trade’s most important waterway was the latest escalation in three months of spiraling confrontation with the West that began when new, tighter U.S. sanctions took effect at the start of May.

Washington imposed the sanctions after President Donald Trump pulled out of a deal signed by his predecessor Barack Obama, which had provided Iran access to world trade in return for curbs on its nuclear program.

European countries including Britain have been caught in the middle. They disagreed with the U.S. decision to quit the nuclear deal but have so far failed to offer Iran another way to receive the deal’s promised economic benefits.

Britain was thrust more directly into the confrontation on July 4, when its Royal Marines seized an Iranian tanker off the coast of Gibraltar. Britain accused it of violating sanctions on Syria, prompting repeated Iranian threats of retaliation.

While Iran’s official line is that its capture of the Stena Impero was because of safety issues, it has done little to hide that the move was retaliatory. The tactics it used — with masked troops rappelling from helicopters — matched those the British had used two weeks before.

Parliament speaker Ali Larijani spelled it out more clearly on Sunday, telling a parliament session: “The Revolutionary Guards responded to Britain’s hijacking of the Iranian tanker.”

Iran’s Foreign Minister, Mohammad Javad Zarif, blamed Washington and Trump’s hawkish national security adviser John Bolton for luring Britain into conflict.

“Having failed to lure @realDonaldTrump into War of the Century … @AmbJohnBolton is turning his venom against the UK in hopes of dragging it into a quagmire,” Zarif wrote on Twitter. “Only prudence and foresight can thwart such ploys.”

Radio messages

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, Britain said the Stena Impero was approached by Iranian forces in Omani territorial waters, where it was exercising its lawful right of passage, and that the action “constitutes illegal interference”.

Britain’s warship in the Gulf, the HMS Montrose, contacted an Iranian patrol vessel in an effort to ward off a boarding of the Stena Impero, according to radio messages provided to Reuters by maritime security firm Dryad Global.

“Please confirm that you are not intending to violate international law by unlawfully attempting to board,” the Montrose said in the radio message.

The Iranian patrol boat is heard instructing the Stena Impero to alter course. Responding to the Montrose, it says it intends to “inspect the ship for security purposes”.

Defence expert Ripley noted that Iran’s choice of target appeared to have been calibrated to test Britain’s response without provoking a bigger crisis.

Unlike the Iranian tanker seized a fortnight earlier, which was carrying a valuable cargo of 2 million barrels of oil, the Stena Impero was on its way to the Gulf and empty at the time it was seized. The 23 crew are mainly Indians and include no British citizens, the presence of which might have led to calls in London to take more drastic action, Ripley said.

He added that Iran is likely to view any British response through the wider prism of its conflict with the United States.

“If the Americans are going to continue to enforce this embargo, there’s no incentive for the Iranians not to take more tankers. What have they got to lose?” said Ripley.

An Iranian official who asked not to be identified made a similar point.

“Iran is displaying its power without entering a military confrontation,” the official said. “This is the result of America’s mounting pressure on Iran.”

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