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Guest post by Simon North, Founder of Position Ignition and the Career Ignition Club.
- Set a target for building your network. You will understand that the size of your network is less important than the quality of it. It’s worth setting a target for how to build the most appropriate network for you at any moment in time. Chucking people out of your contacts database is as important as putting people into it. The point is to set a target and manage yourself.
- In relation to the point above, set a target for building your online network. How many people in your network online can you sense will provide an opportunity for you, a reciprocal relationship and synchronicity for your career or business? See if it’s possible to meet them, or at least chat face to face on Skype so you can see one another. Your career and its success will be correlated with the quality of relationship you have with people in your networks.
- Use recruiters and third party agents. These people will always know your market for employment. You’ll find them useful for getting an idea of the going market rate for your profession. Beyond that they could easily facilitate an employment opportunity for you.
- Present yourself appropriately and in different ways. Use your online profile on different platforms for the audience that you wish to reach. There must be some consistency and alignment in your profiles, but the point is your profile on LinkedIn and Twitter will be more interesting for people to see than your resume. It’s spades more interesting than just sending out the same old CV to everyone.
- Try reading more. You need to sign up to an online magazine or indeed a paper-based one. Don’t think those are your only options though. Sign up for something that you know you’ll enjoy and will have enough time for. Reading a book about your area of work is also helpful; try to read one per quarter. So, in a typical year you will have several chances to expand your knowledge, understand more concepts and be a more interesting potential employee to anyone that you might subsequently meet.
- Prepare for meetings. The definition of a meeting, we suggest to you, is any conversation— whether it’s one-on-one or involving several people—where there is a defined purpose of communication. Excellent professionals prepare for any discussion, whether it’s going to be by phone or face to face. Why do they do that and why are they excellent? Because they know that they have to use time or a meeting appropriately in order to be productive and that there will always be a clear outcome for all parties if preparation is done well.
- Get feedback as often as you can. Proactively seek it out. It doesn’t matter whether it comes from internal work sources such as colleagues or external parties, feedback is so crucial for us as we build our careers. It helps us understand what it is we need to do to go from good to brilliant.
- Talk to older colleagues. Colleagues often have not just experience that we can draw upon. Seek to have a mature conversation with those that you respect; learn from them to build your own career as they have built theirs.
About the author
Simon North is the Founder of Position Ignition, one of the UK’s leading career consultancy companies which created the Career Ignition Club, a leading-edge online careers support and learning platform. Follow him @PosIgnition