“Eventually everything connects – people, ideas, objects. The quality of the connections is the key to quality per se.” – Charles Eames
In the world of business, making connections is key and most people understand the way to do this is through networking. If you are great at networking, it can grow your business fast. At the same time, there are a lot of ways to make good connections. You can go to different events, conferences, or create your own event and invite the relevant audience to your event. But these methods consume a lot of time, and connecting to each and every person in an event is just impossible. Fortunately, thanks to technology and platforms such as LinkedIn, you can now network in the comfort of your office chair.
Since it is possible to connect to people in just a few clicks it is important to make sure that you have the right strategy. Here are 5 ways for you to be more successful using LinkedIn:Advertising
Identify Your Goal
LinkedIn is a professional networking site and with the millions of people that you can connect to in this site, you may get lost accepting and making unnecessary connections. This is the reason why you should be identifying your goal in using this. Do you want to build strong connections and get to know them better with the idea of developing a potential for collaboration down the road? Do you just want to see who the people in your network are working with? Are you looking for a new position? Whatever the goal that you have identified is, make sure to stick with it and always have it in mind when making and accepting connections.
Complete Your Profile
It is all about your profile. Since you are connecting to people via internet, they don’t know anything about you other than what they can see on your account, so make sure you have a complete profile. Start with a professional photo. Your photo should give the impression that you are a credible person and you can talk about business. Profiles with photos get 4x more views on LinkedIn. While you may enjoy taking selfies, this is not the platform to have that uploaded. Keep your selfies on Facebook and get a well taken professional headshot for your LinkedIn.
Make use of the summary section to write a good introduction about yourself, highlighting the milestones in your chosen industry and providing more information on your accomplishments. Write it in first person, as if you are talking to the reader. Don’t forget to put all of your experiences in your career and list all of the certifications you have acquired. Proof read and get someone else to proof read it for you. Ensure there are no grammatical errors. Nothing is a bigger turn off than a profile that is badly written.Advertising
Join LinkedIn Groups
Once you are done with completing your profile, start searching for things and topics you are interested in and start joining the relevant groups. Try to join at least 50 groups. This will expand your network quickly and you can also share relevant content in the groups and make use of the groups to gain the right connections.
This is also important for expanding beyond your current network as being active in certain groups will raise your profile for that topic.
Solicit Positive and Credible Recommendations
The first people you will connect to on LinkedIn are, of course, people you have worked with. To back-up your experience, skills, professionalism, and your whole personality as a professional, you should solicit recommendations. Start by going to the people you have worked with and giving them recommendations. Generally, they will then write about you in return. This will serve as a good reference for your prospects.Advertising
Never solicit recommendations from someone you don’t know. Also never recommend someone you don’t know. There are many people messaging strangers to for solicit positive recommendations promising a positive recommendation in return. This is fraud and should be avoided. Remember that your reputation is key so do not ruin it with such shady practices.
Connect to People with a Personal Touch
Connecting to people is often just a simple click for a request to connect. However, if you wish to be truly successful at creating great connections on LinkedIn, add a personal touch into it. Take a look at their profile and find out what commonalities you have. Send them a personal message mentioning the things you have in common and the person will be more likely to respond.
If you would really want to connect to a specific person and tried sending them a message but didn’t get a response, request for an introduction from a common connection. This normally helps to open doors easily.Advertising
Alternatively, check the groups that the person is part of and join that group. If you have seen that person commenting into something or have posted something, connect with them by replying. This will get their attention and may want to look into your profile. Again, add a personal touch when connecting to them.
Post and Share
To increase the exposure of your profile and get more people into your network, always create and post something related to your business on LinkedIn then share it on your social media accounts. For your posts, always think of your prospects or the group of people that you want to target. Make your posts especially for them so that you can get their attention. Research on a topic if you need to and create a unique idea from it to get your target market more interested. Be sure to tag your posts accordingly so that they can be picked up and shown correctly on Pulse.
I’ve given you the 6 ways on how to be more successful in LinkedIn. Just follow these ways and you’ll see the difference. Lastly, after you have done everything that I’ve told you, look at your profile and ask yourself – If I am the prospect, would I want to connect with this person on this profile? If you answered YES for yourself then you are doing a good job. If otherwise, go back to identifying your goal.
Featured photo credit: Stokpic via stokpic.com
Last Updated on December 3, 2019
7 Powerful Steps to Achieve Career Success
I often hear people say, “I want to be successful but don’t know where to start” or “I’ve achieved career success yet I’m not happy.” And then I ask, “what does career success mean to you?” And many have a hard time articulating their response with much conviction.
It’s common that people lack clarity, focus, and direction. And when you layer on thoughts and actions that are misaligned with your values, this only adds to your misdirected quest to achieve your career success.
A word of caution. It’s going to take some time for you to think about and work on your own path for career success. You need to set aside time and be intentional about the steps you take to achieve career success. In my opinion, this step-by-step guide is apart of your life philosophy.
1. Define Career Success for Yourself
Pause. Give yourself time and space for self-reflection.
What does career success mean to you?
This is about defining your career success:
- Not what you think you ‘should’ do
- Not what people may think of you
- Not adjusting to friends and family’s judgements
- Not taking actions based on societal or community norms
“A flower does not think of competing to the flower next to it. It just blooms” – Zen Shin
When you strip away all your external influences and manage your inner critic, what are you left with? You need to define career success that best suits your life situation.
There’s no fixed answer. Everyone is different. Your answer will evolve and be impacted by life events. Here are a few examples of career success:
- Work-life balance
- Opportunities for growth and advancement
- Feeling valued that my contributions had an impact
Now even as you reflect on the examples above, the descriptions are not specific enough. You’ve got to take it deeper:
- What do you mean by work-life balance?
- What do you consider to be opportunities for growth and advancement?
- How do you like to be recognized for your work? How do you know if your contributions have had an impact?
Let’s take a look at some potential responses to the questions above:
- I want more time with my family, and less stress at work
- I want increased responsibilities, to manage a team, a higher income, and the prestige of working at a certain level in the company
- I’d like my immediate leader to send me a thank-you note or take me out for coffee to genuinely express her or his gratitude. I’ll know I’ve made an impact if I get feedback from my coworkers, leaders and other stakeholders.
Further questions to reflect on to help narrow the focus for the above responses:
- What are some opportunities that can help you get traction on getting more time with your family? And decrease your stress at work?
- What’s most important for you in the next 12 months?
- What’s the significance of receiving others’ feedback?
Now, I’m only scratching the surface with these examples. It takes time to do the inner work and build a solid foundation.
Start this exercise by first asking what career success means to you and then ask yourself meaningful questions to help you dig deeper.
What types of themes emerge from your responses? What keywords or phrases keep coming up for you?
2. Know Your Values
Values are the principles and beliefs that guide your decisions, behaviors and actions. When you’re not aligned with your values and act in a way that conflicts with your beliefs, it’ll feel like life is a struggle.
There are simple value exercises that can help you quickly determine your core values. This one designed by Carnegie Mellon University can help you discover your top 5 values.
Once you have your top 5 values keep them visible. Your brain needs reminders that these are your top values. Here are some ways to make them stick:
- Write them on cue cards or notes and post it in your office
- Take a picture of your values and use it as a screensaver on your phone
- Put the words on your fridge
- Add the words on your vision board
Where will your value words be placed in your physical environment so that you have a constant reminder of them?
3. Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Goals
When writing your short-term and long term life goals, use the SMART framework – Specific Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Treat this as a brainstorming exercise. Your potential and possibilities are limitless.
Here are a few self-reflection questions to help you write your goals:
- What would you want to do today if you had the power to make it the way you want?
- If no hurdles are in the way, what would you like to achieve?
- If you have the freedom to do whatever you want, what would it be?
- What type of impact do you want to have on people?
- Who are the people you most admire? What is it about them or what they have that you’d want for your life or career?
- What activities energize you? What’s one activity you most love?
Remember to revisit your core values as you refine yours goals:
- Are your goals in or out of alignment with your core values?
- What adjustments do you need to make to your goals? Maybe some of your goals can be deleted because they no longer align with your values.
- How attainable are your goals? Breakdown your goals into digestible pieces.
- Do your short-term goals move you towards attaining your long-term goals?
Get very clear and specific about your goals. Think about an archer – a person who shoots with a bow and arrows at a target. This person is laser focused on the target – the center of the bullseye. The target is your goal.
By focusing on one goal at a time and having that goal visible, you can behave and act in ways that will move you closer to your goal.
4. Determine Your Top Talents
What did you love doing as a kid? What made these moments fun? What did you have a knack for? What did you most cherish about these times? What are the common themes?
What work feels effortless? What work do you do that doesn’t seem like work? Think about work you can lose track of time doing and you don’t even feel tired of it.
What are your desires? Try it out. Experiment. Take action and start. How can you incorporate more of this type of work into your daily life?
What themes emerge from your responses? How do your responses compare to your responses from the values exercise and your goals?
What do you notice?
5. Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
Do you have tendencies to use your head or heart to make decisions?
I have a very strong tendency to make rational, practical, and fact-based decisions using my head. It’s very rare for me to make decisions using my emotions. I was forced to learn how to make more intuitive decisions by listening to my gut when I was struggling with pivotal life decisions. I was forced to feel and listen to my inner voice to make decisions that feel most natural to me. This was very unfamiliar to me, however, it expanded my identity.
Review this list of Feeling Words. Use the same technique you use for the values exercise to narrow down how you want to feel.
Keep these words visible too!
Review your responses. What do you observe? What insights do you gain from these responses and those in the above steps?
6. Be Willing to Sit with Discomfort
Make career decisions aligned with your values, goals, talents and feelings. This is not for the faint hearted. It takes real work, courage and willingness to cut out the noise around you. You’ll need to sit with discomfort for a bit until you build up your muscle to hit the targets you want.
Surround yourself with a supportive network to help you through these times.
“These pains you feel are messengers. Listen to them” – Rumi
7. Manage Your Own Career
Not to be cynical, but no one can make you happy but yourself. If you don’t take control of your career and manage it like your own business – no one will.
Discern between things that you can control and what you can’t control. For example, you may not be able to control who gets a promotion. However, you can control how you react to it and what you’ve learned about yourself in that situation.
For many who have gone through a career change or been impacted by life events, these steps may seem very basic. However, it’s sometimes the basics that we forget to do. The simple things and moments can edge us closer to our larger vision for ourselves.
Staying present and appreciating what you have today can sometimes help you achieve your long-term goals. For example, if you’re always talking about not having enough time and wanting work-life balance, think about what was good in your work day? Maybe you took a walk outside with your co-workers. This could be a small step to help you reframe how you can attain work-life balance.
Remember to take time for yourself. Hit pause, notice, observe and reflect to achieve career success by getting deliberate and intentional:
- Define Career Success for Yourself
- Know Your Values
- Define Your Short-Term and Long-Term Life and Goals
- Determine Your Top Talents
- Identify ‘Feeling’ Words You Want to Experience
- Be Willing to sit with Discomfort
- Manage Your Own Career
“When you stop chasing the wrong things you give the right things a chance to catch you.” – Lolly Daskal
Good luck and best wishes always!
More Tips on Advancing Your Career
- How to Set Ambitious and Achievable Career Goals (With Examples)
- How to Ask for a Promotion and Move up the Career Ladder
- Signs You Need a Career Change (And How to Change for Success)
Featured photo credit: rawpixel via unsplash.com
|||^||Carnegie Mellon University: My Career Path Activities Values Exercise|
|||^||University of California Berkley: Goal-Setting: Developing a Vision & Goals for Your Career Plan|
|||^||Guy Hendricks: The Big Leap: Conquer Your Hidden Fear and Take Life to the Next Level|