I am asked on a fairly regular basis, “What can I do to help my career and ensure I stay relevant in the marketplace.” After writing several emails to people with my recommendations, I decided to jot down a generic version of the advice I usually provide. Here are some things that I recommend people do from a career standpoint, whether or not they are looking for a new position.
Make Your LinkedIn profile a Value Proposition
Use your LinkedIn profile summary to answer the question,
What is it about me and my recent accomplishments that make me indispensable to any organization?
People have lots of things that make them valuable to a team, but those traits rarely appear in a list of job titles. Bottom line, no one really cares about your job title, they just want to hire someone who has lots of energy and who can contribute immediately.
Get Active on Social Media
Social media is not just for funny cat videos or for pictures of your latest culinary creation. To expand your career Find people interested in topics in your area of expertise. (LinkedIn, Twitter, Mashable, etc.) Follow them, comment on their work, and expand your network.
- Get active on LinkedIn, especially in professional interest groups. Find thought leaders in your areas of interest, read and comment on their work or their posts.
- Twitter: follow some heavy hitters, but seek out up and comers across the spectrum. Twitter is a great place to things that provide a unique point of view.
- Facebook: I almost hesitate to put FB on this list, but despite its ability to deliver time-wasting content to us on multiple platforms, Facebook is a great way to reconnect with people you may have lost over the years. That being said, it is not a great place to look for a job.
Create Something Interesting
Learn how to communicate for the new digital age. There are lots of opinions on how to write content people will want to read. Do some research. Find stuff that catches your eye and learn to use the “Add to Reading List” command in your browser. Go through stuff you’ve saved and note things you enjoyed reading. Comment on things and start posting content. Remember that brevity is key. Using images is also a plus. Many times you will find great content buried under obscure titles. Use content that is already out there as a springboard for your opinion.
Enjoy the Process
One of my favorite non-fiction authors is Gretchen Rubin. One of her Secrets of Adulthood is,
What you do everyday matters more than what you do once in a while.
Love this concept, especially as it related to how we engage the world. Being a lifelong learner doesn’t have to be a chore. Exploring new concepts and finding new ways to look at old things keeps us young.
So what do you think? I hope this kicks off a discussion on ways to stay relevant. I know I’ll keep working on this issue, and I look forward to your feedback!