These days, if you want to have a truly successful career, you need to think about how you can create a memorable impression. Using your appearance, expertise and the internet to stand out from the crowd.
Because the world of work has changed. Very few people work for a single organisation all their lives anymore. Or even stick with just one job or profession.
So the best way to think about a modern career is as a series of projects. Each lasting a few years, and bringing you new challenges, skills and opportunities. The trick is to make sure that each project involves doing something you enjoy so much it doesn’t feel like work! So what is it that you like doing the most? Learning something new? Being an expert? Problem solving? Leading? Communicating?
Whatever it is, being successful means understanding what truly motivates you, and what you want to achieve. And creating a niche for yourself, so you don’t have too many competitors! So what makes you different? What are your core values? What energises you? What are you passionate about?
People also need to know about your skills and achievements. Then you’ll never lack opportunities. Being memorable also includes your style. Your clothing. The way you handle phone calls, emails, messages or a meeting. Are you enthusiastic? Witty? Knowledgeable? Precise?
And you must be authentic, because all strong reputations are based on what’s real. Solid values and genuine achievements. And anyway it takes too much effort to pretend, and pretenders always get found out.
So what have you accomplished that you’re most proud of? What do you want to be famous for? Yes famous! Because once you become truly memorable, you’ll be recognised in the streets. So visibility has to be one of your objectives. Making sure that you’re noticed, and that your messages get read first. So try this test: how hard is it to find you on Google?
Difficult? Then redevelop your contact information. Your ‘About’ pages. Your CV. Because when people hear your name they’ll want to check you out. And make sure your online presence says the right things about you.
Find a good name for your email, website and social media. Frequent postings to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or your website, help people to develop a stronger connection with you, and create your ranking in search engines.
You also need to get people talking, and to put yourself out there so that people can’t avoid seeing you. So do voluntary work. Teach a class at your local college. Write for company magazines. Present at conferences. Work on your self-confidence and go for every opportunity you find.
Think about the impression you want to make every time you interact with someone. And keep in touch. Because it’s that network of contacts that will bring you opportunities.
Especially once you’re so memorable that complete strangers talk about you! Then your career will really take off.