Begin 2017 with a lens of optimism for building strong career tools. Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or just beginning a new job, developing a healthy career tool box is a smart goal for all.
1. Build/Update your LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn has grown to be the premier online networking platform that has millions of users globally. A fully developed profile enables users to receive recommended employment opportunities, discover connections who may be instrumental in furthering your career goals, and a starting point for informational interviewing (among many other perks, too). There’s no real reason why anyone cannot use LinkedIn as an essential career management tool.
2. Get involved with a professional association. Holding membership in a professional association can be a great experience. Being a part of a group of professionals who share comparable interests can afford professionals with a wealth of knowledge and resources. Getting involved with a committee, or as an elected officer, is a great way to expand your contact network while honing leadership and team building skills.
3. For experienced professionals, become a mentor. Taking on the role of a mentor is a big responsibility, but the rewards are well worth it. In this role, one has the opportunity to coach, train, and advise a young professional or career shifter in getting adjusted to their new career. This can be a great chance to showcase all of your areas of expertise and put them to good use.
4. Share your expertise. Online blogging is a great way to communicate ideas and share perspective. You have the opportunity to effectively deliver information to your contact network while allowing others to engage in meaningful discourse. LinkedIn has a publishing tool that makes it easy for beginning bloggers to get started.
5. Participate in professional development. Formal and information professional development events can enhance your professional lens and have a positive impact on your work. These events are also great for expanding your contact network in your field.
Your career tool kit is an essential part of your professional development. Upgrade your tool kit often with enthusiasm for personal and professional growth.
John Link is the Assistant Director in the Webster University Career Planning & Development Center.