Conduct a Social Media Audit

Even if you’re not currently looking for a new job, a periodic check of your digital footprint is a must. Think of it like a Spring/Fall cleaning your internet house. If you don’t keep up with it a couple of times a year the job can quickly become untenable. Below are some quick tips to get you started.

  • Google yourself. Think like a hiring manager or recruiter and conduct a Google search for your name. You may need to conduct a couple of searches using different variations of your name (First Name/Last Name, First Name/Middle Name/Last Name, First Name/Middle Initial/Last Name) to see what comes up.
  • Review your current social media profiles for any potentially objectionable content. Also determine if any profile information is missing, or if there’s anything you can add. (For example, you can add a link to your blog in your LinkedIn profile.)
  • Change the privacy settings for any religious or political posts. Delete any posts that show you engaging in anything that a prospective employer may find offensive or inappropriate.
  • Use the Reach™ Online ID Calculator™ to assess your online presence. You can find the tool here: http://www.onlineidcalculator.com/index.php
  • See if there are any gaps in your social media presence — are there websites that are standard for your industry that you should be on (for example, an Instagram account if you’re a photographer)?

Confusing Activity With Action

Are you confusing “busywork” with progress?

Are you spending a lot of time researching jobs online and applying for lots of positions?

While it’s recommended that you spend at least an hour a day on your job search if you are currently employed (and two to three times that if you are currently unemployed), make sure you are tracking how much time you are spending, and what you are spending it on.

Spend your time on high value tasks — like identifying and researching companies you’d like to work for, and trying to connect directly with hiring managers and recruiters, and having coffee with someone who works for the company you’re applying at — and not just simply spending time in front of your computer.

The Myth of the Big Break

How many times have we seen a story about a successful person who talks about the big break they got that sent them on their way to fame and fortune? Too many times.

Why too many? Because the big break is largely a myth.

For every person who got that lucky break, there are a thousand others who worked hard, day-by-day, project-by-project, and built their own path to success.

If you’re looking for your next job or career this is especially important. Don’t wait for that perfect job to land in your lap.

Work for it.

Network, volunteer, intern, do pro bono work. Build your next career by putting in the work day-by-day. If you stop waiting for your big break you just may find yourself creating one.

Back-to-School Season as Career Motivation

As a teacher-by-day, job-search-strategist-by-night, I have always felt like September is the start of the year. Sort of a New Year’s II. It is a time for new beginnings, new goals and new challenges. So let’s use that momentum to jump start career goals as well. Let’s take some new risks.

For many of us January 1st feels more like Groundhog Day. I am going to go the gym 3 times a week, stop drinking soda, cut out ice cream and get in shape. Then, I am going to get serious about growing my career. I will start utilizing LinkedIn and grow my network, create an amazing portfolio, become an innovator at work and apply for that promotion.

Once and for all.

For real this time.

I mean it.

Well, at least until Spring, and it gets warm outside.

But less than half of us make it six months with our deja vu resolutions, meaning we’ll probably be making them again, next year.

Is there a way off the merry-go-round? Sure, but it will cost you.

Want to really lose weight? Want to finally change your career? Want to start out on your own?

“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

So let’s make New Year’s II better than regular old, merry-go-round New Year’s. Whether it is getting off the diet/workout merry-go-round, becoming an innovator in our job or daring to dream of a better career goal, let’s take risks, be bold, do something we have never done before and reap the results, whatever may come.

Instead of making a New Year’s II resolution, decide on a New Year’s II risk. What big, scary step could you take this year that could lead to something great, but could leave you flat on your face?  Chances are, that is the change you really need to make.

A great way to do this is to involve some friends and put both pride and money on the line.

Instead of joining a gym, . Get some friends together and each put some money in the pot. Winner takes all by next September.

Instead of daydreaming of that promotion, get an accountability partner and sign up for a class to learn a new skill. Make yourself indispensable at your company. (And of course you’ll want to update your resume to include your new skill).

After all, Einstein said it best, insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

It is time to change. It is time to take a chance and risk something amazing. What better time than now.