Career Security, Not Job Security (Part 2)
There were alot of great comments on my post awhile ago: your resume is meaningless (and building career security, not job security). Please take a moment to read it if you haven’t, as I want to build upon what I wrote there.
I think this issue is relevant again because of the state of the economy. I get the sense that some people are fearing for their jobs. Stepping back and looking at the bigger picture you should never live a single day of your life with any fear – there is no reason for it. It’s simply not a productive use of life. Not if you want to be remarkable and reach your full potential.
Letting an external, intangible force ruin your drive and motivation just doesn’t make sense when it is beyond your control anyway at the macro level.
Fear is paralyzing, fear is counter-intuitive, fear is illogical. Instead, use passion, use focus and use confidence as tools to conquer any fear. Focus on the micro level, your world, and in time you actually impact the bigger picture as well, even if you don’t realize it immediately.
If you are a creative professional, such as a marketer or blogger, your best results depend upon being purely focused on the task/project at hand.
How do you get such a focus? Ignore and block out the negativity and the fear around you. This is especially important during times of stress and recession. Approach everything with truth and passion. Ignore the economy, don’t hold back, and go for what you know will be successful, even if it is not traditional. Push for results, push for change — lead, never follow.
A lot of people take the knee-jerk reaction to hold back during times of recession and do things the “safe” or “typical” way. The typical way produces typical results, and that’s not what you’re after. Never dull things down because of external forces that are beyond your control – go all out and take risks or don’t even bother. Safe approaches are actually more dangerous because they align you with mediocrity.
If you’re an all-star you never have to worry, because the world will know you can produce exceptional results and you will always be in demand. The state of the economy is irrelevant if you’re an expert in your niche and consistently sought after.
Let’s step back a minute. How exactly do you build a reputation to the point you’re sought after?
The trick is, prove your passion/successes somewhere in a tangible format. Again, a blog or digital platform is the perfect place for this because it puts your results in black and white on display for the world to see. This allows you to use your passion to concurrently build a personal network.
Connections are empowering – they give you power of having a voice as an individual, the power of being able to raise issues, start discussions, and rock the status quo of your industry. Connections allow you to shape and reshape your field from the ground up and bring forth positive change in the world around you. Counter to what you hear from most people, change in an industry is a good thing and is what moves things forward.
Digital mediums of expression allow you the freedom to create a following and carve out a name for yourself in your industry. In time, if you work hard enough and share your expertise and results publicly you will get noticed. Let your successes work for you.
Here are a few steps to take to build a name for yourself in your industry and build your personal brand (these are your action items):
- Build a network for yourself using a digital communications tool such as a personal, professional blog.
- Contribute content to your network frequently to establish a voice and build authority for yourself. Write passionately and on what you know. Be genuine and take time to personally help others –this is actually one of the most rewarding aspects.
- Supplement your personal network by becoming active in services like LinkedIn, Twitter, FriendFeed, etc where you can contribute to the discussion and have a voice.
- Do some PR for yourself: write by-lined articles to trade publications in your field, offer yourself up to reporters as someone to be quoted for articles, contribute to other people’s blogs.
- Document all your projects in a private portfolio but ask permission to share them with the world too. You’d be surprised how open people are to sharing successes on projects you created for them. Rising waters lift all boats.
- Go to industry events, conferences, trade shows, etc. Speak or present at them if you can.
- Be relentless, passionate and never settle for mediocrity in anything. Never do something or commit to a project you don’t believe in. Voice your opinions from the start if you think something will be a failure.
In a changing world, staying at the edge, being ultra-connected and carving out your personal brand is incredibly powerful and liberating. Building career security, not job security and showcasing your results/expertise is not only empowering, but it’s really alot of fun. You will connect with other like-minded, passionate people and help each other with projects, help each other spread ideas and make change in our world. It’s the difference between being average and being remarkable.
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