We tend to think of our career as a series of moments – such as when we change jobs or decide on a major career change – but the reality is it shouldn’t be such a fleeting thought. Much of the difficulty and duress we endure when it comes to applying to a new role or deciding what it is we want to do next comes from the sporadic consideration of this question.
It shouldn’t really be a surprise – how good can you be at something if you only try it once or twice a year [insert obvious sports analogy here].
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review by Dorie Clark entitled “It’s Not a Job Search, It’s a Permanent Campaign” raises the interesting comparison between your career and that of a political campaign. Clark points out that we need to think of our career more than just during “election time”.
For some, the idea of running a permanent campaign like this will seem like too much work – attending networking events, staying in touch with colleagues, contributing to articles and frequenting workshops. That’s fine of course; just don’t expect anyone to notice you or trip over your application when it comes to getting hired.
Consider borrowing some tips from our political compatriots when it comes to running your own campaign, just leave out the smear.
Listen. Make sure you’re in a position to know what people are saying about you. You can set-up Google Alerts and carefully curate what networks you allow to share information. Be diligent about contacting those that publish information that’s inaccurate or those that don’t have your permission.
Control the dialogue. Politicians realized many years ago that if they’re not crowding the airwaves with their own brand of messaging, whether it be press releases, news conferences, or otherwise that the void would be filled by someone else (and perhaps in a far less flattering light no less). No one says you need to call your own press conference, but take the time to publish your own information through your preferred medium so people can find it.
Build a following. This can be past/current colleagues, bosses, mentors or teachers. You need people in your corner that can vouch for you and what you can do. Whether it’s a reference check, new business opportunity or a potential investor you’re going to need supporters to vote for you.
Photo: used under CC license .
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