Are you living a “small” career?

 

 

Nothing is worse than living in a small world in your career.  Doing boring work where you feel under-utilized, under-challenged and under-valued in your job.

I’ve found myself there a couple of times during my own career and I’ve learned that you if you truly want to have a career that excites you, then you have to step up, take ownership and look for ways to expand your skillset, your scope and your leadership abilities.

 

That’s what I admire about Vid Vidysagara’s story.

In my new book, The Bounce Back, he reveals how his career had once flatlined as a Project Manager and how he took control to move into a management position with more visibility, influence and leadership responsibilities.

Here’s an excerpt from Vid’s story…

“I was in a rut. I was a project manager working for a technology company, and had 6 years of successful performance reviews. But I was working long days and felt pigeonholed as an expert in a particular area with no opportunity for growth.

Then, one day I noticed that a project owned by a senior leader urgently needed resources. This project had been shunned by many others, due to the tough goal set and the unattractive nature of hard work required. Despite being overstretched, I volunteered. I just wanted the chance of doing something different and working with a senior leader of the company.

Although my day now was stretched even longer, I found that this volunteer opportunity brought some excitement and differentiation to my otherwise boring routine. By definition, a “project” has a start and end date, so I knew the situation would be temporary and was determined to make the best of my investment. A few months into the project, there were some personnel changes that were made and I was given a terrific opportunity to become the project leader.

After the project was successfully completed, I volunteered for several more high profile projects. By increasing my visibility, network and reputation with Sr. leaders, I have been given numerous opportunities to branch out into other challenging areas and grow in my career in management.”

Vid goes on to say how he believes that there are always opportunities around (even though at first they may not look very attractive), and that he has gone on to mentor several employees on how to look for opportunities to help them build their credibility and influence, develop a new skill, or even help secure employment.

I love Vid’s story because it’s a wonderful example of how he stepped up and made things happen. Rarely, if ever, do plumb jobs and assignments land in your lap. You have to go after them! You have to look for volunteer assignments where you can stretch and flex your professional muscles. It’s okay to get into a career rut. It’s just not okay to stay in one. 🙂

Are you living small in  your career right now…?

 

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Sherri Thomas is a Career Strategist, international speaker and best-selling author of “The Bounce Back” and “Career Smart – 5 Steps to a Powerful Personal Brand. “ Get more tips and strategies on how you can bounce back from a layoff, re-org, bad manager or other career threatening setback in my new book, “The Bounce Back” now available on AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.  You can download the three FREE chapters of THE BOUNCE BACK at http://www.MyBounceBack.com

7 Tips for Becoming "Social Media" Smart

Ready to advance your career?
Social media is a remarkable tool that can accelerate your reputation, credibility and personal brand to help you build a name for yourself for the services, knowledge, and value that you have to offer.

      But social media can be a double-edged sword. If you're thinking about ways to leverage Facebook, Twitter and the all-important professional tool, LinkedIn for the advancement of your career, you'll need to keep in mind that you must present a professional appearance in line with your intended personal branding persona.

Below are seven super easy tips to help you navigate the confusing social media maze to advance your career.

1. Your Self-Image And Public Image Need To Be The Same

    How do you see yourself? Be sure your public image is in concert with your personal image. Not only will your audience and intended customers or clients appreciate an authentic voice, but it's easier to be genuine when you use your own voice in articles, blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

      This does not mean being so informal that you don't sound professional. Strike a balance, always keeping in mind that the world is watching. What do you want the world to see?

      2. Personal Branding – Name Your “Product”

      What are you selling, offering or providing for your intended audience? In other words, what is your product? Whether you're using social media to offer a skill or talent you have and are looking for clients, or you're seeking a career-oriented position, be relentlessly clear about two things:

        a. Your niche or your discipline; and

      b. Your experience and expertise in your chosen field.

      3. Network, Network, Network!
        After mulling things over and deciding how you’d like to position yourself, it's time to begin serious networking. Put up your professional looking and sounding self-named Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter account. Blog on your topic and offer to guest blog on peer blogs and subject related blogs.
4. Article Writing – Your Claim To Fame
    Write timely and relevant articles on your subject matter and get them up on the many available ezines. One exciting consideration is that you can take your inspired writing from your blogs and turn it into helpful and interesting articles.

    Be sure not to just copy and paste, though, as reputable ezines are looking for original writing and will reject copied text (yes, even if it's your own). Make it unique the first time, and get your presence known.

      There are a few great resources online for finding ezines to write for, such as the ezine directories at BestEzine, or FindEzines. These sites are broken up into different topics and niches, so you’re able to find your specific topic within minutes!

      5. Upload Your Resume
      If you're looking for a career position, you'll want to upload your resume. But even if your intention is to sell your product or a service you provide, there's no reason not to have a resume up on the numerous available resume websites and job boards. It's great free exposure. Narrow your resume to the precise area you are working in to assure that you get the responses you most hope to receive.

      There are quite a few sites that are definitely worthwhile to upload your resume to. Try using CareerBuilder or Monster. They’re incredibly easy to use, and are relatively well known, so many prospective employers are likely to stumble across your resume.

      6. Linking Up

      Be sure to link your various social media and your internet sites to one another. Leave a trail of big, fat bread crumbs that will infallibly lead your potential customer, client or employer to you.

      When you consider having “everything about you” transparently available to the world, it becomes clear that your presentation must be consistent. A profile of a fun party girl on Facebook may not jibe with the responsible word smith you present yourself to be on LinkedIn. It's fine to be more casual on Facebook, but don't let the difference seem incongruous.

      7. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You
    This last tip may well be the most important – help others get to their destination when you have the opportunity. The miraculous aspect of the internet is that it has put virtually unlimited power in our hands. Use this force for good!

      Call it Karma, paying it forward, or simply, the right thing to do. In any case, there are stunning examples of the power of this approach. Take, for example, John Locke, the first self-published author to sell a million eBooks on Amazon. What's relevant to the subject is his social media model, and the wise individual will borrow from it. He is generous in his praise of other authors and tirelessly tells his followers to check out the web pages and the books of other authors.

    Generosity returns in kind, and multiplies on its return. 🙂

      ——————————————————————————————————–
      Written by James Adams, guest blogger for CareerCoaching360.com. If you ever need to find printer cartridges online, just ask James. He is an employee of a British supplier of printer cartridges and spends most of his time blogging for the website, or keeping it updated. He’s recently been busy with keeping track of all the HP laser cartridges but still finds time to write guest articles.

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      It’s Time to Bullet-Proof Your Career!

      Nervous about your career?  

      In today’s increasingly volatile economy, it’s more important than ever to be prepared for any kind of change, should your career take a turn for the worst. 

      From a layoff, to a demotion, to a change in your job role – it happens to everyone! And I know from personal experience that when you are prepared for change – you’re more likely to rebound quicker and faster!

      Below are five things you can do RIGHT NOW to bullet-proof your career and keep yourself in high demand in today’s job market…
       

      1. Invest in a professionally written resume. Think your resume is good enough?  Think again.  The unemployment pool is getting bigger and your resume must be in the top 2-percent to get noticed. 

        Imagine that a once-in-a-lifetime career opportunity comes up and you have one shot to get your resume in front of the hiring manager.  Will your resume help you, or hurt you?  Invest in a professionaly written resume.
         

      2. Create an “Interview Prep Kit” including a polished portfolio, briefcase and power suit.  Make sure you’re prepared for an interview, by having a hefty sample of your best work available including reports, strategic plans, proposals, campaigns or presentations that you created.  This helps validate your successes and what you can do for the next company that hires you.

        Also, invest in interview coaching so you’ll know how to answer those tough questions, and what to say to close the deal. 

        Finally, don’t wait until the night before your interview to go suit shopping.  Make sure you have a smart looking briefcase, power suit, and matching shoes so that you make a great impression when you walk into a room.  You’ll need these for business networking events, plus all of your interviews!
         

      3. Make a list of your high powered references.  Start identifying those who could give you a strong professional recommendation.  Go after those managers and executives with the highest title, biggest influence, and work for the most prestigious companies. 

        If you’ve lost touch with someone on your list, start searching them out now. Professional networking sites such as LinkedIn.com makes it easy to find past colleagues.  Also, consider who you WANT on your list and start looking for opportunities to get connected. 
         

      4. Build a deep and wide professional network.  Don’t wait to start networking – do it now. Send your contacts links to videos, reports, case studies, press releases and websites that you think may interest them.  Invite them to business networking events, and introduce them to other movers and shakers.  Career influencers (those who could hire you, or introduce you to others who could potentially hire you) are drawn to those who are resourceful and well connected.

        Make sure you have updated contact information including e-mail address and phone numbers.
         

      5. Develop Your Plan “B”.  What kind of work could you do to generate income if you lost your job right now?  Could you freelance or start consulting?  Would you prefer to work part-time while getting some specialized training or advanced education to help you come back better and stronger?

        Your Plan B is a back-up plan that should include a career strategy, as well as a finance plan with monthly costs you’re prepared to cut immediately if the worst should happen.

      Remember, hope is not a strategy.  Nobody else is going to own and drive your career.  It’s yours, and yours alone, to manage. 

      By having the right strategies and plans in place, you’ll be better equipped to manage through any career change, as well as come back faster and stronger! 

      Your Assignment… 🙂

      Start creating your Plan “B” in case you need to make it your Plan “A” 🙂

      Start thinking about your next career move. exploring all of the opportunities around you. If you want to change into a freelance or consulting role then create a plan that defines financial budgets, marketing strategies and potential customers.  If you want a new job role, then research companies who are hiring and what their requirements are for that job.  Make a plan on how to fill any skillset gaps with experience or training. 

      If you’re feeling ‘stuck’ and not sure what you want to be when you grow up 🙂  then read the business journal, trade magazines, industry publications and your local newspaper to see what kinds of jobs are available and what inspires you. Also, start talking to past and present colleagues, clients and those in your network to learn about their job. 

      The point is to become proactive in your career.  Get prepared for any change so that you can rebound quicker and faster, and get into a career that inspires you! 🙂