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Career Resolutions for 2017 – Part 3
There’s bad news and good news. Let’s start with the bad news: we live in a world of disposable jobs. The corporation’s loyalty is owed to their shareholders, and that that means any job is disposable if they can find a cheaper or more efficient way to get the work done. The good news is that as a clear-headed professional, you can create a good offense with a strong defense, by having the tools to avoid the traumas of financial dislocation that come with an unexpected layoff.
Don’t be too busy working to network
You can no longer afford to be too busy with your job to network. This job is a stepping stone, one of many that form a career, you need to guide that career with strategy that supports your well-being. Connected professionals have the opportunity to ask for, receive and offer help to each other over the years, this connectivity also makes you visible to a wider audience when opportunity arises, hence the saying that there is nothing wrong with nepotism as long as we keep it in our family. While you are a disposable commodity to employers, think of your networks as inter-dependent: To a network of professional colleagues you are part of a web of people mutually committed to survival and success, so the well-being of each is in the best interests of all. You help each other whenever you can. Example, tell your network about those three job openings at your company; it might help someone and if it does you get some kudos at work for taking the extra step – win/win. Just as your department and company have inner circles, so does your profession. The inner circle of your profession, those most committed and best connected, know each other through social networking and membership in professional associations; becoming part of it delivers both long and short-term benefits to your career.
Social networking, through Linkedin.com or one of the many other networking sites, enables you to reach out into an almost limitless community of like-minded professionals, on a local or global basis. These contacts can help you grow professionally, acting as mentors and allies. They can also help you in a job search today, or one planned for the future, with introductions at their own companies or to the right people at other companies.
Begin by linking up with people you have worked with in the past, then expand your network by joining special interest groups and connecting with others who share your professional interests.
These benefits make getting connected through LinkedIn, the premier networking site for professionals, one of the easiest and smartest career strategies for professional connectivity. There are many social networking sites, and it is probably a good idea to have a presence on more than one. Besides LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and others should not be overlooked. You can also find extensive listings of networking sites by special interests, languages, sex, race, and more by searching Wikipedia and keying in “social networks.”You should also become a member in the local or regional chapter of a professional association. This offers similar benefits to social networking but on a smaller scale. However, association membership gives you at least a nodding acquaintance with the most committed and best-connected people in your profession and local area; these are the people who can most immediately help you with your career.
The most important skills you can develop in a world with zero job security to achieve and maintain success are those of job search and career management.
That starts with keeping keeping your resume current. Reality is, you never know exactly when you will need to go into job search mode and you don’t want to have the added stress of having to create a resume and learn how conduct a job search if you get blind-sided by a layoff. You should create a killer resume or have one professionally written for you, and maintain it with regular updates. That way, you will be prepared for any possibility – whether it’s pursuing a promotion that comes up or an unplanned job search.
Keep your LinkedIn and other social networking profiles current and active posted and maintain some involvement with your special interest groups. Headhunters live in these groups, and so should you: it’s much better to get to know a headhunter and turn down an opportunity, than never to hear about it in the first place. As a working professional, you should also be mindful of what you post on your social networks you say you’re using “just for fun” – this election year taught us that inappropriate comments can cost jobs.
Even when happily employed, keep yourself registered (with an anonymous/ sanitized resume) on appropriate job sites and resume banks. Save job opportunities you are notified about to a career management database ( See latest edition of Knock Em Dead – The Ultimate Job Search Guide even if that particular job isn’t available next time you are looking, another one just like it might be.
Commit to a readiness plan:
- Create and maintain a killer resume; remember that an up-to-date resume can be useful in pursuing internal promotions as well as new jobs.
- Nurture new professional contracts through social networks, because who you know increases what you know. The contacts increase your visibility, while the skills increase your credibility; and these are what a good professional brand is built on.
- Keep your personal brand free of “digital dirt” that could have professional consequences
- Keep relevant job postings, because companies hire similar people every year.
- Save, contacts, resumes, job postings—everything relevant to your career—in a career management database. It will make navigating the twists and turns of a long career much easier and help keep your focus on what’s best for you.
Your future is built with the steps you take today. Make this the time when you build the job search and career management skills that enable you compete in a fiercely competitive job market.