The world is changing at a galloping pace. Jocelyn K. Glei describes the 21st century career like a broad rock face that we are all free-climbing. There is no defined route, and we must find our own ingenuity and strengths to rise to the top. We must make our own luck!
Whereas a traditional career has been associated with a slow and steady rise within a single organization, we are now switching jobs more than ten times during our lifetime. The path to getting a job today is increasingly circumventing college credentials and long, rule-following careers. Technology, outsourcing, globalization, contract work and generational expectations have morphed jobs and careers into a variety of forms.
We are the CEOs of our own careers and must chart our own course. As we can no longer expect our managers to be responsible for our career development and groom us for greatness, we have developed alternative ways to succeed that suit our motivation and allow us to quickly respond to changes in the job marked.
Today job qualifications are no longer enough to sell. Storytelling and personal branding are the new marketing tools for job seekers and career professionals as we are all trying to suss each other out in the relationship economy. Prospective employers and business partners google us and quickly assess our talents based on our website, portfolio and social media profiles. Do they resonate with what you’re sharing? Do they identify with your story? Are you even giving them a story to wrap their head around? We all like to work with people we can relate to and identify with. Trust comes from personal disclosure.
Having a strong online presence is increasingly becoming an important component of both job search and career growth strategy. Whether you are actively job searching, changing careers, passively researching, or simply looking to build and maintain your network, cultivating an online presence will help you to increase your visibility while managing your personal brand and professional reputation.
Here are a few key places to build your personal brand and connections:
This is the network to be on if you want to show employers that you are serious about moving forward in your career. It is the go-to resource for hiring managers and recruiters to source candidates and post job opportunities. Because of the power and reach of LinkedIn’s network, your profile is also likely to be one of the first entries that shows up in a search engine inquire of your name. This means that you can control one of the top entries that appears, and take advantage of that visibility and impact.
Although less structured and informal than LinkedIn, facebook has created its own place in the portfolio of social media tools recruiters are using to find and engage with top talent, and for job seekers to connect with brands. Outside of your profile consider creating a Page for your name, and build even more professional connections from there. Connect with company pages and prospects with regular interactions and postings related to your area of expertise.
Twitter is all about sharing and influence, and because of the public nature of this social network it is very easy to connect with others of influence in your niche. Share information that others will find valuable such as educational articles related to your business or industry. Follow others whose reputation you respect, and that in turn could increase your followers. Genuine, professional communication and retweets help build authentic relationships that can carry over into other social networks.
Google+Google+ is like a cross between Facebook and Twitter, and enables easy segmenting of your posts to different “circles”. Even if your mainstream audience is not on Google+ they most likely will be eventually, because Google is the big gorilla of search. Much like LinkedIn, if you want to be found then you should have some presence on this platform.
Image credit: Austin Kleon