This is the third in a series of four posts regarding managing your career with the help of technology. I've chosen the title words very carefully as I wanted to talk about the life-long process of career management not to be confused with the job search process. Oh for sure, the job search process is a part of this but the management of your career should not start and stop with each job search you go through. I am eager to learn what has worked well for you. Please leave your comments and suggestions.
In the first post in this series I talked about "Who You Are" which on the surface sounds like it is about your "brand", but it is different. Think about Chevrolet and Ferrari. Who are they? Well they are both car companies. What's their brand? Ah, big difference! Your brand is what distinguishes you from all the other people in the same role. Think about the group of programmers or analysts you work with. Through their actions they've established a brand as "the go-to guy in an emergency", "the plodder", the "yeh, I can make that work", or the "that can't be done" person.
For your career management you want to establish a good and memorable brand. The difficulty is that it is hard to market that brand beyond those that know you well. A resume alone doesn't adequately communicate what your brand is. Fortunately, technology with the broad reach of the Internet can help communicate your brand to the world.
Obviously, my favorite technology for communicating your brand is blogging (don't worry it's not the only option). Blogging allows you to express yourself in more depth than you can on a resume. In an earlier post I wrote "The goal was to become known for more than just what was on my resume. I wanted to highlight my "value proposition" in a way that would help make me an attractive candidate." Blogging allows you to demonstrate you philosophy of management, how you approach issues, your views on various topics and to demonstrate your knowledge and expertise. As the use the Internet as the primary research tool continues to grow this allows you to easily present yourself to the world.
The big downside to blogging is the time commitment. To develop a readership you need to post on a regular basis and must be willing to commit to the time to write and research. An alternative to having your own blog is to join a network such as ToolBox [Note: my listing this site does not imply a recommendation or endorsement - conduct your own due diligence]. This will allow you to blog without having to commit to operating your own site.
The other way to use blogs is to become an active commenter. Although in many cases your comments may not show "at the top" of most Google searches they can be useful for establishing your voice and expertise within your community.
An alternative to writing a blog is to write articles. They provide a way to showcase your expertise without having to make a long-term time commitment to blogging. A few sites that accept article submissions include Technology Management and Ezine articles [Note: my listing these sites does not imply a recommendation or endorsement - conduct your own due diligence].
As you try to manage your career getting yourself known and distinguishing yourself from the crowd are crucial. For every possible position there are many possible candidates and by branding yourself you can greatly improve your chances of making the "short list" of possible candidates. By making yourself known to the world you improve your chances of being offered opportunities that you might have otherwise missed.
It's your career what are you doing to take control of it?
Please comment on how you've used technology to brand yourself and to manage your career.
Please leave a comment - I'd love to hear how you feel about this and how you've found technology helpful in managing your career.
Prior and upcoming posts in this series:
- Career Management With The Help of Technology: Who Are You?
- Career Management With The Help of Technology: Networking
- Career Management With The Help of Technology: Nurturing Your Network (February 25, 2009)
If this topic was of interest, you might also like these:
- Why I Blog: 10 Reasons to Blog To Establish Your Personal Brand
- Building Your Personal Brand Without A Blog - 1 of 3 by Jason Alba
- Building Your Personal Brand Without A Blog - 2 of 3 by Jason Alba
- Building Your Personal Brand Without A Blog - 3 of 3 by Jason Alba
- Or the posts in the "Branding and Marketing" category