Are You a Generalist or Specialist

Generalist or Specialist

generalist or specialistHow you manage your career depends on whether you are a generalist or specialist.

When I started my career in the 1970s, large corporations valued generalists. In my 22 years of working for IBM, they let me take a variety of career paths. It also suited my personality, because I have a lot of varied interests. After a few years in a job, I would get bored and wanted to do something new.

IBM allowed me to work with a lot of leading-edge technologies that are still around today. Some of these included:

  • Word Processors – I worked with early word processors even before the IBM PC was released.
  • 3D printing – I was working with early 3D printers in 1989.
  • HTML and Internet Applications – I was designing Internet applications in the 1990s, long before it was common.
  • Advanced Router Design – When I left IBM in 2000, I developed curriculum to teach major equipment manufactures how to design next generation routers and switches.
  • High Definition Video – In 2007, after spending a couple years teaching high school math and working in the non-profit arena, I went to work for a HD video conferencing start up developing a training and certification program.

I am a generalist. I have enjoyed working with a lot of different technologies and methodologies. My challenge was that I got bored about every three years and wanted to move on to something different.

Specialists Rule

A fundamental shift started about twenty years ago. As technological change sped up, the need for specialists increased. Starting in the mid 1990s, I saw many move on to become specialists—and they were generously rewarded…for awhile. If you developed skills and became a specialist in an area that was in the early adoption phase, you could make a lot of money, again, for awhile. That was only true until others developed those same skills. The key was to identify correctly which skills would be desirable to have a year or two ahead of the demand.

This is easy to see in the world of technology, but does it apply elsewhere? YES!

In the world of Human Resources, you could be a generalist or a specialist in recruiting, compensation, benefit programs, diversity, HR IT, etc…

In the world of sales, you could be a generalist or a specialist in B2B or B2C, Internet sales, Channel sales, etc…

The challenge is that, if you are a specialist, your skills may not be valued in 5, 10 or 15 years. Let me give a few examples of skills that have become obsolete:

  • Experts in direct mail (snail mail) marketing – With the exception of credit card offers, what industries still market through direct mail?
  • Travel agents – When was the last time you talked to a travel agent? Fifteen years ago, this was still a valued skill.
  • Specialists in the complex process of laying out news print for your daily newspaper – When did you last pick up a paper newspaper?
  • Photo-Journalists – Why have photo-journalists when everyone has a camera?

These were all valued skills just a few years ago.

What if I am a Generalist?

Generalists are typically more valued in smaller organizations. Small organizations typically cannot afford to hire a lot of specialists. I have a client who is a marketing generalist. She like to write press releases, e-mail marketing, social media, direct mail, creation of collateral,….. You will be more valued in smaller organizations who need their employees to wear a lot of hats.

What if I am a Specialist?

Specialists need to stay on top of their areas of expertise and be willing to move when their expertise becomes a commodity  or obsolete. This requires vigilance and the willingness to move with industry trends. You must be aware of disruptive trends in your industry.

Examples of Disruption

Taxi and Limousine Services – Will Lyft, Uber, Sidecar or even Google’s Driverless car make these businesses obsolete?

Local Television News – When did you last watch the evening news? The local news programs are still around, but will they be in ten years?

Cable Television – Why have cable television service when there is Netflix, Hulu, etc?

Facebook Marketing – Will Facebook be relevant in 10 years? It did not exist 10 years ago and may not be relevant in another 10 years.

Give it some thought.

Are you a generalist or specialist?

Are you prepared for disruptive change that is coming?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Discovering Your Personal Brand Vocabulary

Discovering Your Personal Brand Vocabulary

vocabularyDo you have a personal brand vocabulary?

What words do you use to describe yourself? These should be words that describe yourself personally and professionally.

I am currently working with two clients who are struggling with finding their personal brand vocabulary.  Here are a couple of methods to discover your personal brand vocabulary.

How do people describe you?

The reality is, you probably do not know how people describe you. You may think you know, but do you really?

Pick 6-12 people who you trust and ask them for the following:

  • Please give me 3-5 words or phrases that describe me.
  • If I were an animal, what animal would I be? Okay only give this one to people you really trust!

Evenly divide the list between people who know you from work and friends from outside of work.

I will almost guarantee you that you will be surprised at the answers. I have heard clients say, “I never thought people saw me in that way,” or “I know I am a certain way, but I did not think people saw it in me.”

What words do you want to use to describe yourself professionally?

This is where keywords come into play. This vocabulary list should contain words and phrases you use commonly. It should also include words and phrases that are commonly used within your industry.

What if you are pivoting your career or changing industries? Harvest the vocabulary from LinkedIn!

This is where LinkedIn Advanced Search comes into play.

What job title(s) do you want? Fill out the title field with each job title you might want. If you want to narrow by industry, click the check boxes of the industries that you want to search. Finally, fill in your current zip code or the zip code where you might want to relocate to in the Postal Code field and set the appropriate range (it defaults to 50 miles or 80 kilometers). Click on Search.

You now have a list of 100+ people in your network who have a title similar to the one you want. Look at each profile in the following fields:

  • Headline
  • Summary
  • Current job description

Do you see a set of common phrases? You may want to automate this process a bit using a word cloud tool like Wordle or Tagcrowd. Read this article Finding Keywords to Manage Your Career [Video] to learn more.

What you are looking for is the vocabulary that is commonly used by everyone else!

What next?

Combine the two lists and then weave these phrases into you resume, cover letters, LinkedIn profile, and your day to day language. The key is to be consistent when you write material that you will post in Social Media.

Once you have discovered your personal brand vocabulary, use it everywhere to create a consistent brand.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Does Your Personality Mesh with Your Career

Personality Mesh with Your Career?

personalityYour personality is a key factor in finding happiness in your career. Unfortunately, when we make our initial career choices, we may ignore certain key traits or just focus on where we can make the most money.

Kinetic Programmer

I learned to program computers in high school in the early 1970s. Yes, they had computers back then!

I decided to study computer science at the Northwestern University Technological Institute, which is now the McCormick School of Engineering. I loved to solve problems. I enjoyed writing programs in a variety of languages, even assembler code. I would often find myself writing programs for a couple of hours at a time.

I graduated in 1978 and went to work for IBM.  My job was to program the latest trend—word processors. I was supposed to sit in my office for eight hours a day with a coding pad and write assembler code. This kind of code is directly translatable into computer instructions (it is very tedious to program and hardly anyone does it anymore). Once I was done writing a significant amount of code, I would sit at my desk and review it. Then my team would get together and perform code reviews.

The problem with this is that I am a very high-energy guy. I cannot sit at a desk for more than an hour at a time. I am social. I like being around people. My personality was not suited to just sitting behind the desk and programming for hours at a time.

I spent six years being miserable before I moved into a new role where I no longer wrote programs, but supported Computer Aided Design (CAD) systems. I got to work with people, solve problems, and often got to work with my hands.

I was not genuinely happy until I moved into a training function where I taught the latest technologies developed at IBM. That transition took over ten long years.

My personality with the need for high activity was in direct conflict with sitting at a desk for long hours as a computer programmer. My personality did not mesh with my career choice.

Structured Anarchist

I have a client who has been a finance guy in the non-profit sector for most of his career . He appears to be very structured and orderly.

After graduating from college with a liberal arts degree, he became a non-profit executive director. He decided to get an MBA from a prestige business school because they had a non-profit track in their curriculum.  When he started the program and was sitting with his advisor, he asked when he would get to take the non-profit courses. After a few perplexing questions his advisor said “We should have removed those from the course catalog years ago.” Despite this, he stuck it out and finished his MBA in Finance.

He appears to structured and orderly, but he only works well when it is his structure. He is really good at creating order out of chaos, but once he finishes, he gets bored. He wants another problem to solve.

He has been in one non-profit organization after another, fixing the problems, then getting bored and leaving.

He is now building sales programs. He does not sell! He creates sales systems and then trains sales partners on how to implement them. He creates the structure and gets to interact with people to implement that structure. Not your typical finance guy.

His personality told everyone that he was very orderly, but his need for very little outside structure caused people to place him in positions where there was already a lot of structure…that he could not change. Therefore, he was often unhappy.

It was only after he sought out a role that was compatible with his personality, rather waiting than being placed in a role, that he was happy. He became proactive and not reactive.

The Challenge

Just because you are good at something does not mean you will want to do it for a career. We are often pushed into career paths because we appear to have certain traits. I wrote previously a post titled Are You Your Authentic Self at Work.

Just because we have certain talents does not mean you can apply them in the business world.  Just ask artists and musicians about applying their talents in the business world. This is why it is important to try a career before you fully commit. Try before you buy!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Probing for Pain Points in an Interview

Probing for Pain Points?

Probing for Pain PointsProbing for pain points should be one of your first steps in an interview. Every business has problems. Your first job is to ask probing questions to uncover those pain points.

Initial Phone Screen

Most of the time in the interview process, there will be an initial phone screen with either a recruiter or HR professional. Your first questions should include:

  • Is this a newly created position?
  • What are the responsibilities of the position?
  • Are these responsibilities new to the department, organization, or company?
  • What are the new business requirements that are causing you to fill this position?

What you are looking for is insight into whether this is a newly created position and whether these are new responsibilities. If it is new, then they are likely working on solving an existing problem. If it an existing position, why is the position currently vacant?

You want to be a detective. Ask probing questions to look for problems. You are looking for problems that you know how to solve!

Post Phone Screen

Now you need to do your research. Check on LinkedIn to see who currently or in the near past had the title for this job. Did this person leave the company or move to a different department? Connect with this person on LinkedIn and ask for 15 minutes on the phone to ask for AIR,  advice, insights and recommendations.

If they left the company, ask them why. You may find that you do not want to work there!

If they moved to a new department, ask them whether it was a lateral move or a promotion. If it was a promotion, make sure to congratulate them. If it was a lateral move, ask about the business reasons for the move.

Carefully read anything and everything about the company, looking for pain points. It may be that the company is growing fast or moving into new markets, or that sales have stalled. What are the potential problems?

Interview Questions

Bring a minimum of five pain point questions with you to the interview. They should be open-ended questions to uncover problems that you have already thought about—know how you would solve them!

  • Are you satisfied with current growth of the business?
  • Are you meeting service level agreement targets with all of you important clients?
  • What are the areas where you are having problems meeting deadlines?

Notice that all of these are open-ended questions. Your goal is to get the interviewer to give you insight into the pain points that you know how to solve.

Pain Points Uncovered

Once the pain points have been uncovered, you can explain how you have solved these problems in the past.

The best way to do this is to tell stories how you previously solved the same or similar problems for your employer.

Let me tell you about the time when I encountered …..

This demonstrates that you have the skills to do the job.

So plan on being a detective. By asking good probing questions looking for pain points shows that you have done your homework about their business. The more you uncover the better you can demonstrate that you are the best candidate for the job!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

The Purple Cow Job Description – Should I Apply?

Purple Cow Job Description?

Purple CowI guarantee you have read a purple cow job description. It’s one of those that, when you finished reading it, you said to yourself:

I am not qualified for this job but…is anyone?

They are looking for the purple cow. The ideal candidate does not exist!

I am going out on a limb to say that most job descriptions are badly written.

In my last corporate job, I had an open position to fill. I had to write a job description.

Did I know how to write a job description? NO!

I went onto Indeed.com and searched for openings with the same job title. When I found one I liked, I copied it!

I was expanding my team for a training and certification program. I wanted a technical trainer who was familiar with the program and was already certified. We had certified less than a thousand people worldwide.

The candidate needed to have five years of technical training experience.

I wanted someone who was already located in Austin, Texas.

The odds of finding someone who was certified in the topic, had five years experience as a technical trainer, AND lived in Austin was close to ZERO!

I was looking for the Purple Cow!

Did I write the job description saying I wanted everything? YES!

Dissecting the Job Description

We will want to look at:

  • High level job description
  • Responsibilities
  • Requirements/Qualifications
  • Education

(More: Is the Resume Still Relevant? )

High Level Job Description

Can you honestly see yourself with this title? One of the problems with high level job descriptions is they have become so vague. Do not write yourself off even if it does not look like a fit just yet.

Responsibilities/Description

Read through this section carefully. Have you actually performed more than half of the responsibilities described?

Requirements/Qualifications

Check out each item in the requirements/qualifications section of the job description:

  • How many of the requirements/qualifications do you have? Make sure you meet at least half of the requirements/qualifications.
  • Do you have equivalent requirements/qualifications? Do you have existing skills that you can map to what is in the job description? How long would it take, given your current experience, to attain what is needed?

Education

  • Do you have all of the required educational credentials?
  • Do you have the preferred educational credentials?
  • Do you have experience that can be substituted for any of the credentials?

One way to get around having all of the educational credentials is to put in your resume a statement like the following:

20 years of experience in xxxxxx…in lieu of an MBA.

This will often get you past the applicant tracking systems and at least get you a phone interview for your to prove your worth.

(More: What Does Your Resume Say About Your Age? )

Do Not Be Afraid of the Purple Cow

Lastly, if you are following a targeted job search strategy, you will have an internal contact within the company. Ask your contact to find out what the hiring manager is really looking for!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Understanding the Hiring Manager Prior to the Interview

Who is the hiring manager? Who are they really?

hiring managerYou are scheduled for an interview with the hiring manager. Who is this person? What do you have in common?

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

It is time to do some investigative work!

LinkedIn

Check the hiring manager’s LinkedIn profile for the following:

  • Education – What schools did they attend and where? Did you attend a same school or a school from the same conference or even the same area? Do you have the same or similar degrees?
  • Work History – Did you work for the same company at any point in the past?
  • Check the LinkedIn groups that the hiring manager belongs to. If you have none in common, join some of the groups and check out their participation. What have they shared? Have they commented on posts?
  • Volunteering – What non-profit organizations are listed and how did the hiring manager participate?
  • Recommendations – Who has the hiring manager recommended and who has recommended the hiring manager? Have they written recommendations for current or former employees who worked for them?

Copy the entire LinkedIn profile, including the recommendations, and paste it into a Word Cloud tool like Wordle.net or TagCrowd.

You can then harvest the profile for keywords. You can read and view a video on how to do this on my Career Pivot blog post called Finding Keywords to Manage Your Career.

Look for keyword phrases that the hiring manager used. Create a list of these phrases and bring that list with you to the interview.

Facebook

Check out their Facebook page. Look for the following:

  • Marital status
  • Children
  • Hobbies
  • Vacation photos

Look for anything that you might have in common.

The more you know about the hiring manager before the interview, the more you can do to work on building a relationship during the interview.

Remember — People hire people they like!

Twitter

Take a look at their Twitter profile. What do they tweet? What do they retweet?

Have they tweeted out any pictures?

Who do they follow and who follows them?

Check out the Twitter lists that they subscribe to. Check out the Twitter lists that they belong to.

Look for patterns.

What do you have in common?

Create a list of items that you have in common, both personally and professionally. From that list, create questions that you can ask to start the conversation.

Remember — People hire people they like!

When you show an interest in the hiring manager and who they are, you are more likely to be perceived as likeable.

Remember — People hire people they like!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s Whitepaper Library

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

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You can also download my latest white paperThe Multi-Generational WorkplaceMaking Generational Diversity Work

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers or join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Evaluating the Job Offer – What is Missing?

job offerEvaluating the Job Offer

When you get a job offer what the first thing you look at?

The Money!

If all you are looking at is the money in the job offer, you may end up very disappointed a few months down the road.

I wrote about determining what you want in non-financial terms in a previous postI wrote about the need to determine what you really care about before evaluating the job offer.

What is Missing or Hidden in the Job Offer?

There are two areas of compensation that are changing in the workplace—Paid Time Off (PTO) and health insurance.

When I went to work for IBM in 1978, I was given two weeks vacation that was allotted to me at the beginning of the year, and I had virtually an unlimited amount of sick leave. Pretty generous! At five years, I was allotted three weeks of vacation, and we could carry any unused vacation forward.

Most companies have moved to a Paid Time Off (PTO) model where you earn a certain number of hours of PTO with each paycheck. This way, companies do not have to track whether it is sick or vacation time.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to PTO:

  • Holidays – Some businesses have cut the number of paid holidays back to a minimum and expect the employee to use PTO for the rest.
  • Beginning PTO balance – Is the PTO balance zero when you start? If you have a planned vacation within the next six months, you will probably not have enough PTO time. You can negotiate for PTO time to be added at your hire date.
  • When does the accrual rate of PTO time increase? Do you have to wait one or three or five years to start accumulating PTO at a higher rate? You may be able to negotiate to start at a higher accrual rate.
  • Can you carry the PTO balance over from year to year?
  • Will the business pay out any remaining PTO balance when you leave? This was a huge issue for me when I left my last corporate gig. I had accrued over 5 weeks of PTO and I had to make sure I would get paid before I left.

Time off from work is valuable. You need to look at this carefully.

What you should be looking for in the job offer as it relates to health insurance:

  • Is you spouse covered? Are you planning to put your spouse on the health insurance plan? Check to see if that is allowed. Many businesses are dumping insurance coverage for your spouse.
  • Does the business contribute to coverage for your spouse and children? When I went to teach high school math for a couple of years, the school district allowed me to add my wife and child to the policy, but I had to foot the entire bill for the additional coverage. My out of pocket expense was double my COBRA payment from my last high-tech position. I stayed on COBRA until we could find alternative insurance for my wife and child.
  • If your spouse is covered, but the out of pocket expense is very high, consider going to the Healthcare Market Place. Due to the fact that your spouse is eligible for group healthcare coverage from the job offer, you will NOT be eligible for any tax credits. This can be a balancing act with thousands of dollars dependent on your decision.

Usually, the health insurance issue is not negotiable. What you do want is to be able to evaluate the offer with your eyes wide open.

PTO and health insurance benefits can be a large portion of your compensation. Look at these items in the job offer seriously!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

You Did Not Get the Job! Now What?

You did not get the job! What do you do now?

get the jobYou just got the rejection notice that said you did not get the job you really wanted.

What could have happened:

  • There was a more qualified candidate than you for this position.
  • You did not demonstrate one or more attributes that they were looking for in a candidate. You may have those qualities, but you did not convey them in the hiring process.
  • There was an internal candidate that was deemed a safer hirer.
  • They just made a mistake and hired the wrong person.

You did not get the job. That is true—but let’s create a process where you can learn and grow from the experience.

What are you going to do now?

Post Interview

Immediately after the interview, consider doing the following:

  • Write a personalized, hand-written thank you note to everyone you interviewed with. If possible, hand carry them to the office where you interviewed.
  • Write a personalized e-mail to everyone you interviewed with.
  • Send a LinkedIn request to everyone you interviewed with.

Post-Rejection Notice

After you have been informed that you did not get the job, consider doing the following:

  • E-mail the hiring manager, thanking him or her for the opportunity to interview for the position. Mention that you would like to be considered for other opportunities in the future.
  • E-mail others that you interviewed with, and thank them for their time. Ask them for any feedback that they may be able to provide.
  • If you followed the Targeted Job Search strategy and Targeted the Company , you should have had an employee referral. If so, then ask your referral to do some detective work.

1-2 Months Later

Monitor LinkedIn for changes in the department that you interviewed:

  • Check to see who was hired for the position.
  • If it was an external candidate, check to see how their credentials compare to yours. Were they better qualified?
  • Send a connection request to the individual who was hired.

3-6 Months Later

Reach out to person hired and ask to meet for coffee or lunch. Ask for AIR – Advice, Insights and Recommendations!

What could happen:

  • The person who was hired might not work out. I have seen this happen!
  • They might open up other positions for which you will be a better fit.
  • You could learn that the person they hired was better qualified and a better fit.

I recently had a client that was hired a year after the person they hired did not work out, and they changed the job description to better fit my client’s qualifications.

When you do not get the job of your dreams, be persistent and do not let inertia set in!

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

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When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s White Paper Library

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my personal branding white paper –  Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Promoting Your Brand Using LinkedIn Publisher

LinkedIn Publisher is coming!

LinkedIn PublisherLinkedIn Publisher was finally made available to me last week. LinkedIn Publisher is being rolled out to the entire LinkedIn community in phases.

What is LinkedIn Publisher?

LinkedIn Publisher is the blogging platform that LinkedIn Influencers have been using for the last year or so. LinkedIn Influencers are thought leaders who LinkedIn asked to publish their writings on LinkedIn Pulse.

LinkedIn Publisher will soon be made available to everyone.

Why should you care?

In this global economy, how do potential employers or clients know that you know your stuff? In today’s economy, you need to promote what you know!

What better idea is there than to write about what you know on LinkedIn, where prospective employers and clients can find you?

How do I get started with LinkedIn Publisher?

Step #1 is to get access. To speed up the process, you can apply here.

Once you have access, you will receive an e-mail with instructions and you will see a little pencil in the field where you post your updates.

What should I publish?

What do you know? What skill or knowledge do you have that you would like to promote?
Pick a topic and start writing. I discussed this last year when I wrote about Establishing Your Personal Brand and Credibility Through Blogging. This is the same concept, except you no longer need a blogging platform.
I tell my clients to pick a topic, write multiple posts in a series, and see what people think. What you want is for your LinkedIn connections and others to read, share, and comment on your posts. Based on the response, you will have an idea what you should write about, or whether to switch to a different topic.

How often should I publish?

Be consistent! Pick a frequency that you can maintain. Once a week, every other week, once a month…start by writing 3-5 posts before you publish the first post. You will be able judge pretty quickly whether the frequency you picked is sustainable.

I will be publishing one post a week. I will also be republishing popular posts that I wrote for the Career Pivot blog from the last couple of years.

When should I publish?

In my opinion, early in the week and early in the day works best. This depends on where your readers might live or work. When I first started writing on the Career Pivot blog in 2011, I had readers in Iraq and Afghanistan (US Military). You might consider shifting the publishing time based on the time zone where most of your readers live.

How will readers find my posts?

If you subscribe to LinkedIn pulse, you get an e-mail every morning with articles that might interest you. LinkedIn will send to everyone who is subscribed to LinkedIn pulse and is a first degree connection a link to your article.

You should also promote your post on Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, and Google+.  LinkedIn Publisher will inform you of how many people viewed your post and shared it on the various social networks. You will also be able to read and respond to comments.

You now have a simple to use, free blogging platform that makes it easy for your LinkedIn connections to find your posts. Now you can demonstrate that you know your stuff!

When are you going to get started?

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

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Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

You can also download my latest white paper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

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Marc Miller Career Design Specialist

Inertia and Persistence as it Relates to Your Career

Inertia and Persistence

InertiaInertia inhibits us from moving forward in our career—persistence is what we need to keep us moving forward in our career.

Inertia

I am a baby boomer!

I was raised to be an employee to go to work for an employer who would take care of me.

We were also raised to be loyal to our employer no matter what. Therefore, we created a lot of inertia in our careers. Once we started something, we stayed and stayed and stayed…well until we got laid off or something happened to wake us up. For me, that was in 2002 with a near fatal bicycle accident. That accident set in motion a series of actions that has led me to where I am today. Until then, inertia had me stuck.

In today’s workplace, inertia is a dangerous thing. The world is changing fast, and you need to keep moving forward with your career.

Persistence

I have been interviewing entrepreneurs, and one key words keeps coming up—persistence.

The definition I like the best is:

“persisting, especially in spite of opposition, obstacles, discouragement, etc.; persevering”

The opposite of inertia.

I have helped multiple clients write their brand stories over the last year. In listening to them tell me their stories, I found a common theme—they have been laid off multiple times over the last dozen years. All have gotten back on their feet and moved forward in their careers. They showed persistence in spades.

Before that first layoff, inertia kept them from preparing for the next career pivot. However, once they were shoved forward and, often, off a figurative career “cliff,” they did not stop until they landed. Unfortunately, inertia would set in again until that next shove.

See the pattern:

  • We get comfortable, and inertia sets in
  • We get shoved into action
  • Our persistence kicks into gear
  • We land, and inertia returns

I have seen this over and over again. I have done this in my life. I bet you have, too!

How can we stay persistent and not let inertia settle in?

  • Take breaks. Yes, take a vacation. Take a day off before you become exhausted.
  • Celebrate success. Stop, sit, and digest the good feelings when you have a success.
  • Analyze failures, but return to the feelings of success. When failures occur—which they will—you have the option to go back to that time of success. Recapture those feelings.
  • Always look forward.
  • Be ever vigilant.

Persistence will keep your career moving forward.

This post is part of a weekly series on the Personal Branding Blog.

You can read the original post on the Personal Branding Blog.

————————————————

Like what you just read? Share it with your friends using the buttons below?

Subscribe

When you subscribe to this blog you get full access to Career Pivot’s White Paper Library

————————————————

Check out my book which is available on Amazon.com!

Repurpose Your Career: A Practical Guide for Baby Boomers

 

You can also download my latest white paper Personal Branding for Baby Boomers – What It Is, How to Manage It, and Why It’s No Longer Optional!

Check out the BoomerJobTips Page for the latest curated content relating to baby boomers.

Join us on the BoomerJobTips LinkedIn Group

Marc Miller Career Design Specialist