|Metropolitan Museum of Art entrance, New York City. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
The web is transforming our workplace — and that means new possibilities for you. Here are six strategies you can employ to grow your professional opportunities and land your dream job.
1. Share Your IdeasBecause it is easier than ever to share your ideas, you don't need permission to create something awesome. You no longer need approval from some higher-up to put your product out into the world (see also: Quirky). You no longer need an official job title to start doing the type of work you were meant to do. You no longer need a publisher to say your book idea is valid.
All you have to do is find the go-getter within yourself and get started.
At first, only your mom and a few close friends might listen. But if you keep offering awesome value and make it easy to discover your work online, eventually people will notice.
2. Grow Your NetworkSocial media makes it easy to stay in touch with anyone and everyone you meet, as well as form relationships with people you haven’t yet met IRL (in real life). Having that huge network can only help your career.
As Charles Duhigg explains in The Power of Habit, acquaintances — people you know but aren’t close to — can actually be more helpful than your close friends and contacts when it comes to looking for a new job, because they’re more likely to hear about opportunities you don’t yet know about. Your extended community casts a much wider net.
So all that Facebooking and tweeting? As long as all those people know what you have to offer, somebody’s likely to come through in the clutch and help you take that next step in your career.
3. Take Advantage of Online ResourcesEveryone has an online presence these days, whether that is a blog, social media account or simply email. Sure, this puts pressure on you to have a solid online presence, too, but it also gives you another opportunity: You can easily find contact information for anyone you want to know.
This includes hiring managers, recruiters and people who work at the companies where you want to work. It also includes entrepreneurs who are running the type of business you want to run and authors who have written the type of book you want to write. All of those people are more easy to contact — and learn from — than ever before.
With so much information at your disposal, all you need is motivation to sleuth, a reason to get in touch and the ability to write an email the person will actually read.
4. Monetize Your Online ExpertiseIf you’re an online or social media whiz, this online presence trend works for you in another way, too — lots of individuals, organizations and companies need help building their online brands.
There’s huge demand for social media consultants, content creators and digital strategists. If you’ve got those skills, why not turn them into a side gig, speaking engagements or even a full-time business? At the very least, use those skills to get your foot in the door where you want to work or help someone who might later help you back.
5. Work RemotelyCompanies are more open to remote workers these days — they're always looking for ways to cut expenses, and typically, remote workers are more affordable than full-time employees.
What does this mean for you? Dollar signs!
If you offer freelance or consulting services, contact companies that are looking to hire full-time staff and offer to do the same job as a contractor. This is a financial win for the company — and a win in lots of ways for you — not least of which because it allows you to do the work on your own terms, for the rate you set and during hours that work in your schedule. You might even be able to continue building your own business and taking on other clients while serving that company.
6. Let Your Personality ShineCompanies want workers who are a good cultural fit. And since all of your online work is a great way to showcase your personality, this is yet another way for you to beat out your competitors. If several candidates have similar work experience and degrees, and you show — via, say, your cover letter or Twitter feed — that your personality makes you the type of person that company wants on their team, you’re a shoo-in.
Don’t be afraid to show your personality; it can only help you get in the door. And if it works against you? That company probably wasn’t a good fit for you in the first place.
What other tactics should we be taking advantage of? Let us know in the comments.