A key asset in your career, like your brand, is your personal network. Who you know, and with today’s social media automation, who they know, delivers massive career advantage. Being organized, efficient and leveraging this precious asset is literally game changing.
What is shocking is that on the surface, students say they know the potential power of their network, but their approach to growing, nurturing and serving it is most often remedial. The great news is it’s easy to remedy that, and for those who do, advantage goes to them. Make that a big advantage.
In this message I focus on the repository, which organizes and leverages your contacts. Subsequent posts will dive into more information, tools and guidance on networking in general.
Today I focus on two vital tools: Microsoft Outlook and LinkedIn.
Microsoft Outlook is an often under-utilized product for most students during their campus years. Students have it on their PC’s or Mac’s in that it comes with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook). Why is it critical to use Microsoft Outlook now?
LinkedIn is the other vital tool. It is the largest online network of business professionals in the world. As of January 2013, it boasts a user population of 200 million. Recently their CEO stated that two people a second join LinkedIn.
Think of LinkedIn as a billboard where you can present who you are, what you know and what you have accomplished. In addition, it’s where you keep track of who you’re ‘connected’ to and who they’re ‘connected’ to, as in your extended network.
It also gives you an update when someone’s circumstances change, like getting a promotion or moving to a new employer.
Finally, it updates you on business insight and information that’s of interest to you and members of your network.
This is a critical career resource. You have to keep it updated as you gain career insight and accomplishments to make sure the world sees the best summary of ‘you.’
This is the foundation of developing and protecting the game-changing asset of your professional network.