Launch Your Career
Five years ago I was stuck in an industry I was quickly becoming disillusioned with. The only promotional advances were ones I had no desire to take. Like many of you I was lost. So I decided to look for inspiration everywhere I could. I found that my my heroes growing up shared many similar traits. I noticed my TV and reading preferences all shared qualities that I could look for in a career. Once I realized this I decided it was finally time to finish my degree, this time without switching majors. The educational path was the kick in the pants I needed to finally launch my career, but I know it is for everyone so here are my top tips to launch you career without any student debt.
Focusing on a career path can be a challenge, but by focusing on what truly motivates you this process go by quickly. For myself learning is what motivates me. I love a challenge and if I have to figure something out all the better. It is this motivation to learn everything I can that made me a huge success during my first year as a research consultant; and was also the spark my supervisor recognized when she approached me about how to brand Rice Cohen International in the digital space. Whatever it is for you, figuring out what motivates you is the first critical step in launching a successful career that you actually want. There are numerous ways to do this but my hunch is you already know exactly what motivates you.
Look At Other People’s Career Paths
Once you know what motivates you start looking at other people who are doing similar work. What are their job titles? Where did they first start once they got into the industry. The best place to start is LinkedIn and I cannot stress enough the importance of this social media site within the professional world. Pursuing LinkedIn profiles of people working in positions that are aligned with your motivations will provide a clear path toward a your goal. It will also show you the various types of roles in the fields that excite you until you find the perfect match for your motivations and passions.
Your Ideal Career Path
Once you’ve done this preliminary research you should have a good starting point for attaining your goal. If you don’t currently possess the necessary skills to start in an entry level position then professional development should be your main focus. There are many resources available online that can provide this direction such as Khan Academy. Often just showing initiative and passion for your ideal career path can be enough to land an interview that will be the launching point of your successful career.
Leveraging Social Media
Social media is everywhere but leveraging a few key sites not only help your professional brand, it will provide a way for you to connect with all those people in the roles you hope to one day attain. LinkedIn is an especially great tool for this. You can network, join groups of professionally like minded people, and LinkedIn Pulse offers articles and tips from thought leaders across industries; here you can also begin to write your own thought leadership articles as well. Twitter is the social media network to connect with those industry leaders that you must know. You can connect with each hiring manager of almost any company you would ever hope to work for. You can even connect with most CEOs as more and more top level executives are seeing the importance of a good social media strategy. Posting content that interests this potential audience is key, and crafting your own is even better. Be engaging, share posts that not only show who you are as a professional but who you are as a human. Skill-sets and culture fit are both critically important in a new hire and Twitter allows you to demonstrate both to a large audience of key figures.
These are some pretty simple steps you can take today that will help you launch the career of your dreams.