I recently had the opportunity to sit down and chat with a new graduate from the University of Washington, Xiu Wen Li. I asked Xiu, a Marketing and Human Resources major, if there was any emphasis in her classes on building her own personal brand. The topic was covered briefly in one class but they did not dive into any specifics.
This post includes the ideas I gave Xui to get started and a few extras. These small steps are relevant for new grads, business owners, or anyone interested in redefining their career.
Figure out what interests you and makes you tick. Start by reading content in the field, attend meet ups, and conferences. Take time to meet and talk to other people in your field and ask about their experiences. Use services like CoffeeMe to connect with others in your area of interest.
Make a goal each week to share articles, infographics, and other relevant content with your social media networks, like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram. For more information on to social media posts, check out: Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World or The Art of Social Media: Power Tips for Power Users.
When you feel comfortable sharing to your networks, add your own opinions or observations about the articles with your posts. Also, engage with the people interacting with your posts as long as it's productive.
One discouragement for recent college graduates and people who change their careers, is the years of experience asked in job posts. Don't let this stop you for applying for a job you want. Go for it anyway! If you are a right fit for a company, they may be flexible on their requirements.
Another great way to gain experience or build your portfolio is to volunteer your special skills. Many non-profits or local groups need help in areas they are not accustomed to or cannot afford to pay an expert. So reach out and see where you can help make a difference.
What an exciting time to venture out and start a career. The world of work is not the same as it's been in the last decade. Services like Upwork allow you to pick up jobs on the side as needed. You can write a guest blog for another publication. Your options are endless if you change your traditional work mindset. Everyone has the opportunity to create a job they love.
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