Empowering Students (we are all continuous learners) - Digital Career Planning Tips
With the change of times and the development of technology a new career navigator tool for students has evolved: LinkedIn. As a professional I use LinkedIn every day to amplify my message to business relations and brand myself as a valuable digital professional. I believe that there is a huge opportunity for students to accelerate on career planning. You can find your dream job and navigate your career easier than ever before. Role models and influencers can offer you guidance to help navigate on your next steps. The value of standing out with personal branding offers interesting opportunities for you to evaluate. With this blog I hope to offer you insights and inspiration to plan and act on your next steps in your career.
Finding your dream employer
LinkedIn is a networking platform for talent, professionals and organizations. Have you thought about the different organizations that you consider to find your dream job? These are more accessible than ever by searching for them and learning about their updates to find their activity, focus and brand. Start following the organizations you are interested in or aspired to work for to learn and engage with the content they share. A simple like or interesting comment can help you to become visible as a candidate. This visibility, engagement and learning helps you to be prepared for future interactions or interviews.
Finding role models and expert influencers
If you aspire to become a professional in a specific field, you can start exploring the digital community. You can easily find industry leaders, subject matter experts, professionals, scientists, authors of your study books, your educators, entrepreneurs, c-level management, speakers in documentaries or educative films, events, TedTalks and more. You can search for professionals who are working at the organizations you would like to work at or learn about.
Start following and/or sent a connection request with a short note why you find professionals interesting to connect with. Remember that everybody likes to find themselves important and hear about your appreciation of them.
Finding role models helps you to navigate on your career as you can research career paths to build understanding of what has helped people within your field of interest to become the professional they are today. LinkedIn offers many insights on career paths and can help you explore and navigate your next steps in your career or education and development.
Learn about the value of networking
Digital networking has become an important daily exercise that I challenge myself in all the time. We all have a network and LinkedIn makes it very easy to nurture. Connect with every classmate, teacher, community member you feel connected to and engage on LinkedIn by liking, commenting and complementing on achievements. Stay in touch by staying curious and by supporting each other as an online virtual team. Your network can help you encourage others. Virtual networking helps with your visibility, credibility and has the potential to open doors.
By actively connecting with people in your professional field of interest, you will learn about who these professionals are and offers career opportunities to become more relatable and with that more accessible. For example search for Linkedin Groups of your interest. Some groups and people in your professional field of interest might be open to support you in your career path.
Be bold and post a request of support for career guidance. Reach out to your virtual network to go for a virtual coffee or even ask for a mentorship to help you understand what is important for you to develop to become a professional in your field. You might be surprised at how many people are willing to offer their advice. People more easily tend to say yes to someone where there is common ground. For example people with similar passion, professional career ambitions or paths, schools or education and also similar cultural backgrounds. Being authentic and open (enough to be relatable) helps with building a strong social presence.
Be a digital professional
No matter at what career stage you are you can sent up a professional LinkedIn profile that marks you as a diamond in the rough. Create a profile that shines your ambitions. In the about section of your profile you can write your personal aspirations. Personalize with a background picture that resembles who you are, where you want to be or what is important to you. Your LinkedIn profile is a conversation starter and you are in control of what you like to show and talk about with the people who can unlock your next step.
Next to getting your profile ready it is equally important that you engage by starting to share your insights and experiences on LinkedIn. You are never to early in career to start doing so. A great example is 12 year old Ilias Âdmi who engages on LinkedIn like a true professional.
If you have time and want to add to build your resume consider doing courses that offer credibility. Microsoft, LinkedIn and educational institutions like Coursera, EDX offer affordable and some free online and low-cost high quality education. These can help you brand yourself as a professional in any industry.