THINGS YOU CAN DO TO ADD VALUE TO YOURSELF
Here are some mindset and practical tips you can use to start making yourself a more appealing candidate today.
Consider Yourself As A Product That Needs Upgrades
This may sound a bit odd, but using some of the same thoughts that the major companies use may be a benefit to you. After all, just like a product, you have features, benefits, assets and liabilities. The ways that you differ from others in this area are the foundations of your own personal brand. If you are just starting out in the professional world, like a fresh college grad, it may benefit for you to lay things out. Set up a chart and figure out what specific areas are strengths and others are area improvements. This will be an important start to some of the steps we are going to discuss next.
Become A Student Again
Perhaps the biggest thing you can do to start your path to improvement is to drop the idea that you know all you need to do. Many of the best influencers in various fields try to constantly keep learning. Use the same mindset. After all, who knows when a new method or piece of tech will change the way you do your job? In addition, adding new skills keeps you a current and valuable property in the job marketplace.
Don’t be afraid to think that your field precludes you from improving. For example, botox certification for nurses is a way for nurses to be able to work in a whole different set of medical fields. With botox and other cosmetic procedures being more popular and accessible, this means more jobs that the nurse can apply to. If you are looking to apply to a hospitality or similar customer-friendly position, consider learning another language. This allows you to serve a whole new set of potential customers better than the next person applying for a job.
Apply this same focus to your field of choice when it comes to seeking out training opportunities. What do people need from this field? How can I do it better than the next person? How do I get to that point? Revisit the chart we discussed earlier to see what potential areas you can stand to grow in. At this point, it’s time to start seeking out the opportunities to learn. Many may instantly think this means going back to school. And yes, this is certainly a valuable choice to make. However, time and financial concerns may not make this viable. If this is the case, seek out online courses, e-books, seminars, and groups relevant to what are you trying to learn. We live in a time where more and more people are putting their expertise out there to share. A little bit of investment now may make a big payoff later.
Expand Your Network
Educating yourself by learning from the best has a bit of a double-sided value. Not only are you picking up valuable skills, but you are working your way into the network of an expert in your field. The “not what you know, but who you know” cliché is something we hear a lot when talking about networking. But this is more than just nepotism at work. A wide and diverse network of professionals means that you have someone who you can lean on when you have a question outside your network. This means another person you can collaborate with on bigger projects that benefit you both. And yes, this may mean a foot in the door at the company of your dreams.
However, what you need to realize is that successful networking is more than just dropping a Linkedin request to anyone you see. Just like we’ve been talking about, there are strategies you want to use while building your network. As a start, you may base it off a shared product you use, like the education we mentioned earlier. Say for example, you finish an e-book by someone you admire. Take the time to contact them and share how the book helped you. You now have an chance to exchange info with a proven influencer.
Sometimes, you’re better served networking towards your industry directly. While there are several events dedicated strictly for networking, the best thing you can do hear is attend a tradeshow. With so many people gathered, you can see firsthand how networking plays out. The professional community is full of relationships, so get ready to introduce yourself and share your status and goals in the industry. Not every contact will blossom into something, but that’s not the point. You never know who may be able to help you down the line. A good network means that you can be prepared for anything.