Look Out for What Is In Your Best Interest

by on August 9, 2017

Look Out for What Is In Your Best Interest

linkedin-logo.One bit of advice that career coaches give to their clients is the need to upgrade their Linked In profile as they make their way into their job search. There is no disputing that Linked In is the number one social media site for professionals in the world. It is a place where recruiters look for candidates, where many companies now post their opportunities, where one is able to connect with former work colleagues, and where one can express their professional presence.

A bit of feedback that I often hear from those in job search is the lack of use of Linked In by those currently employed. Either the employed person does not have a Linked In profile, or if they have one, it has not been updated for a long time. When I look at many of these profiles, they are not very detailed, often will just provide a list of places where the individual has worked with no description of duties or accomplishments, and frankly would not attract another professional to want to get to know that person better.

It is not uncommon for those working to sometimes ask me how they can enhance their career options. One suggestion always is to upgrade their Linked In profile. A common refrain I will hear is, “I can’t do that. I’m connected to people with whom I work, and they will think I am looking for another job.” I just shake my head sadly at this, because I know a major opportunity is going by for this individual.

First of all, if one chooses to update the content of their Linked In profile, they can do so in relative privacy. There are settings to indicate that you are not looking to broadcast updates as you are making them. Secondly, Linked In is not meant just to be updated or at its best only when you are in job search. It is free advertising for who you are, what you are passionate about, those things you have done and look to do. It is a way to promote you as an individual, a business that you may have and continue to provide you an up to date professional presence.

The refrain of not updating Linked In ‘because those that I work with will think I am looking for another job,” aligns with the age old one of when a person comes dressed up to work in formal business clothes, that they must be interviewing. First of all, what if they are? Yes, people like “the security” of the job they currently have, but events over the last twenty to twenty-five years have told us that no job is safe. Companies let people go all the time, whether it is to make their quarterly numbers, because of a merger with another firm, because they have brought people on for “just in time” assignments. When those assignments end, the need for the individuals disappear, and they are let go.

I was speaking to a group of millennials at a job search support group targeted specifically for their age range recently. I was impressed with how well many of them were structuring and conducting their job search. I shared with them, (and none of them were surprised to hear this), that their generation will likely have 12 to 13 different jobs and 4 to 5 different careers during their 40 or so year career lifetime. None of them were surprised to hear that. The need for others to know you, and what you offer and how you can solve their issues is more important than ever.

Make career planning and development a regular part of your life (and not just when you lose or are between jobs). Stay up to date in terms of trends in your field. Take seminars and education courses that enhance your knowledge. Keep building your credentials. And, above all, stop worrying about what others you work with may be thinking. An employer or client will think nothing of letting you go if they feel it is for their best interest. Put yourself in a position to look out for what is in your best interest.

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