Visibility in a down economy

Raise your visibility to protect and enhance your career

Career Opportunities podcast logoVisibility in a down economy
By Douglas E. Welch

Listen: Visibility in a down economy


I have written before about the importance of visibility in your career. (See Visibility for you and your career and A Year of Visibility video) Now that the economy is slowing down, I want to reiterate my call to Visibility and reinforce the need for it in the coming year. Not only are you seeking to develop a better career, you might be facing the creation of an entirely new career. Even worse, you are now competing with a host of talent that is also aggressively searching for new jobs in a market that is reducing the number of jobs available. If you want to continue to have a productive career or recover from a layoff, you have to do everything you can to let people know what you do and how well you do it.

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Beyond the resume

If you want to raise your chances of finding a new or better job, you have to do what others are not yet doing – despite the obvious benefits — You have to use new techniques and new avenues to get your message out. You have to move beyond the “just showing up” that most people do and find a way to raise yourself out of the crowd. Everyone has a resume. Everyone has letters of recommendation. Everyone has their personal network of friends and family. You need to find the new job-hunting tools of this new century.

The first step, if you haven’t already taken it, is to create a blog and start sharing your knowledge with the world. First, this blog provides a place where you can refer people when they ask “what do you do?” Like George Carlin once famously said, “We all need a place for our stuff” and the blog is where it starts. It doesn’t matter if you are an executive vice president or a machinist on the shop floor, you have knowledge that can and should be shared. A blog exposes your knowledge to people who might not have otherwise met you. It also clarifies your knowledge to those you already know. Many of us suffer from friends and family that know nothing of what we do. This is your chance to show them.

Next, start building — or continue to build — your network of online connections. You never know where your next job might arise and connecting to others around the world might just provide an important link in the future. It also expands your job search from the local 50 mile area to, possibly, the world. Sometimes your next job is across the country, not in your own back yard. But it’s very important to engage in conversation with these people, don’t just promote yourself. Let their knowledge of you grow naturally from these conversations over time. You are building relationships for a lifetime, not simply mining people for your own advantage.

Finally, use the media. It is only in the last several years that the individual has won back the media from large network conglomerates. Each of us now has the power to easily create our own radio or television show and directly deliver it to a global audience. You need to embrace the tools of podcasting and new media to spread your message and raise your visibility. Thousands of people read and listen to the same words you are reading not because I am a network star, but rather because I take the time to spread my words as far and wide as possible. I seek to increase my visibility with each passing day and each new project…and you need to do the same.

Into the future

The time of scanning the want ads and sending out resumes is long, long gone. If you want to develop the career you deserve or simply find a new job in this down economy, you have to reach beyond the old ways and old ideas and embrace a new kind of job search. This new job search uses all the tools at your disposal to communicate directly with those who might have a position for you. These tools communicate directly with the people who can help you most, even when you don’t know who these people are. These new tools allow you to star in the movie that is your life, sharing your knowledge and skills and reaping the rewards of your hard work.

Let people know what you do and how well you do it. Directly demonstrate your successes with words, audio and video. If people do not know you or your work, there is no way they can help you on the way to a new career. Give others the information they need to find you and then to see that you are the person they and their company need. You have a tremendous story to tell and no one will tell it with your passion and feeling. You need to use these new career tools to tell your story directly to those who need to hear it most. Raise your visibility and you will raise yourself above those around you and place yourself on the right track to a new, and even better, career.

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