Worrying about where your career is heading during lockdown? Here's how to survive and thrive while at home and future proof yourself in a rapidly changing world
The coronavirus pandemic has caused huge disruption to our lives. Working from home combined with social distancing may seem like a threat to your professional profile. But while we may have to do things bit differently as we adjust to the ‘new normal’ there are still ways you can showcase your strengths, reputation, and expertise to others from home.
Success strategist, Arika Pierce, is the author of The Millennial’s Playbook to Adulting, host of The Millennial Boardroom Podcast, and an expert in helping women succeed in business, leadership, and life. And she's worked out your five-point plan that'll light up your professional profile to action now. What are you waiting for Future Leader?
Five ways to light up your professional profile
1. Expand your LinkedIn network
'I’ve always been a huge fan of LinkedIn as a way to virtually network with people I might not ordinarily cross paths with,' says Pierce. 'Given that most of us are homebound, this is the time to make sure your LinkedIn profile is in great (not just good) shape and to start connecting with new people.'
Pierce advises that you don't just send connection requests, send messages. Ask key people if they have time for a brief intro call to introduce yourself, join LinkedIn groups, share relevant content, and engage on the content posted by others. You will be surprised at how many professional people you can get to know - and will be open to getting to know you - especially right now.
2. Upgrade your CV
'This should be an easy one. If your CV or resume isn’t in perfect shape, now is the time to make it happen,' explains Pierce. 'Yes, even if you’re working at the job of your dreams.'
Is there anything that needs to be removed or added? Is it easy to read or in need of a refresh? If you need help, now might be a great time to consider utilizing a professional CV reviewer. There are many companies that will provide a quality review, copyedit, and provide feedback for a low cost.
3. Create content and get your name out there
'Always wanted to start a blog, write a book, or launch a YouTube channel but didn’t have the time? Well, now you just might,' Pierce says.
One of the best ways to raise your professional profile is to create original content that you can share online. Many people underestimate how easy it is to create video content, publish LinkedIn articles (or an ebook), or even launch a podcast or be a guest on one. Use this time to get your name out there by offering timely and useful information.
4. Attend virtual events
One of the silver linings to our current situation is that we’re all in this together. This means that everyone is looking for ways to connect and engage in virtual environments, so there are a lot of opportunities out there to do exactly that.
'Maybe there was a conference you have always wanted to attend,' says Pierce. 'See if they are offering it online or look for opportunities to attend virtual meet-ups, networking events, and professional development training. Events that were once exclusive, expensive to attend, or geographically restrictive may now be available to you.
'Many organisations are offering low or no-cost alternatives, meaning now is the time to gain access that you might not have in a few months.'
5. Be a connector and widen your circle of influence
A key quality for every professional is to be known as a connector. While many of us are practising social distancing, don’t be afraid to step up and provide value. Think about how YOU can help others connect to ideas, people, and resources that can help them. When you become known as a connector, this helps expand your circle of influence - and your professional profile and reputation - in a massive way, and all without leaving the house.
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