We’ve all heard the age-old complaint of anyone looking for a new line of work: you can’t find a job without experience, but you can’t get experience without landing that first big break (even a small break helps…). Whether you’re fresh out of school, or simply trying to shake up what has become a mundane professional path, the main issue for most is simple—how can you get yourself ahead of the pack?
Some of the scariest times of your life are when the proverbial “light at the end of the tunnel” seems to be approaching faster than you’ve prepared for—those transition times when you’re about to move on from school or a job, without a clear picture of what’s next. The idea of having to scramble to get your career started, or re-started in a different field, can be a terrifying and frustrating proposition.
Have faith: aside from giving you the opportunity to spend countless hours breezing through YouTube channels, the Internet has opened up a new world of career-building tools and programs specifically designed to help you get where you want to go.
Social media, for one, has been around for years, but now more than ever it has become a beacon of branding and self promotion—so why not use it for all it’s worth? The building blocks of social media were a chance for people, promoters and businesses to get their point across in a lighter and flashier way (MySpace is a good example here). However, the new generation of social media are better suited for a more subtle and professional approach to personal brand building. Here are a couple of no-brainers for when you decide to beef up and expand your current profile.
Getting yourself followed and re-tweeted is simple fun for some, but having the ability to connect to people who would never have a chance to chat up in person makes Twitter an invaluable resource. Connect to as many people in your field as possible—while keeping yourself fresh and up-to-date with any trend, big or small—and you will soon be recognized for more than just a funny-looking display picture.
If you ever have worries about how you can extend your reach to potential employers, Klout tells you exactly where and how you’ve made your online presence felt, and how you can improve on that. The most influential Twitter users find a particular niche, overload on information, and share the most up-to-date and earth-shaking links, news and information to their followers. In turn, they receive countless re-tweets, replies and follows, which builds them up to even greater heights.
A website primarily used to post your resumé and other credentials online, with the added ability to connect to people who CAN hire you? Bingo! Yahtzee! Eureka… you get the point. Premium accounts on LikedIn are not free, but the basic free account will give you everything you need to get the point across. Included in the website is a feature that allows you to see who has viewed your profile during a set period (usually 90 days), so rather than having that horrible feeling of wondering whether your resumé has even been looked at, you can get your answer with the simple click of your mouse.
I should mention that, even without the boost of social media, having a strong commitment and a solid game plan is always the best course of action when trying to sort out what you want to do for dgfev eight hours a day. But hey, when the tools are there to be used, why not use them as well?
Oh, I almost forgot: relax. Stress compiles and creates more of the negative stuff. Your day may not be today, but it will be soon. Believe and you will succeed.