Are you one of many professionals so busy working in your career that you do not have time to work on your career? How much time do you think you spend each day or week facilitating the right level of relationships and exposure to advance your career trajectory? If you are like many professionals, you simply run out of time each day and week.
The sad truth: Working hard and delivering on expected projects does not guarantee your next desired career step. Of course for some, miracle promotions and job offers appear; but for many, it takes more than just delivering great results to stand out and move forward.
The good news: With today’s access to information, people and groups, there are easy yet actionable strategies to elevate your professional brand for your next career leap. Even if you are not plotting for a promotion or career change today, it is still important to prioritize these activities so when you are ready, you have the foundation to propel forward.
For many, their professional brand often aligns to where they have been and often not where they want to go in their career. Think about your resume and online profiles. Do these overviews showcase where you have been in your career?
Take a weekly inventory
To brand yourself for the future, you must find time each week to integrate new information, new connections and new discussions related to where you want to go next. Think of yourself as a website for a moment; if people wanted to find you, what would they type in Google? Are these terms based on where you have been or where you want to go?
Here are a few suggestions to enhance your professional brand for your next career leap:
- Make sure your online profiles and resume are current and align to where you want to go since many refer to these websites before meeting you in person.
- Ask for online references to enhance your profile. This quickly notifies board members, recruiters and hiring managers how others perceive your work and impact.
- Join relevant online groups to stay abreast of current topics and key players in your desired industry. Participate in the conversation with relevant comments to help your online brand and relevant ranking on specific topics.
- Read current events within your desired field and share this information with groups, people and team members. Be selective and focused on your posts, as recruiters and hiring managers are looking for candidates with specific knowledge.
- Follow companies you are interested in working with/for on various social media platforms.
- Be open to new connections and groups, you never know which connection or group will catapult you forward.
Seek help if you need it
With the right amount of attention and focus, it is possible to enhance your professional brand. If you still have aspirations yet don’t know how you will find the time, this is not something you have to do alone. You can always get help or hire resources to get the process going.
After a short time, you should start to see indicators that your brand is evolving. Some clear indicators include these points: there will be an upswing in requests for your time, there will be a theme among new connections, there will be outreach from recruiters for new positions, or there will be people acknowledging or reposting your content.
It is your career — don’t leave your trajectory to chance!
JJ DiGeronimo is president of Purposeful Woman and Tech Savvy Women, author of “The Working Woman’s GPS” and “Before You Say YES.” For more information, visit www.purposefulwoman.com.