Don't Do Your Career Alone
How many times you heard a great quote or
saying and believed it instantly, but then thought
“How do I do that?”
For example, when you hear
“Embrace where you are”
“Do one thing every day that scares you”
“Stay in your lane”
and of course…
“Don’t do your career alone”
I am a lover of a good, motivational, mood-shifting, kick-in-pants quote. So much so that I write them on multicolored post-its and stick them to my desk.
But what good are they if I don’t know how to apply them in my life and career? What good are they if I give them a Like on Instagram or Facebook and then go to watch a puppy video? Don’t just get motivated, learn more about what it means for YOU and act. Stop just hearing and reciting the right words. They won’t do anything in the long run unless you start acting.
I preach DON’T DO YOUR CAREER / BUSINESS / LIFE ALONE almost every day
because I believe genuine relationships are what we are meant for.
They are the means by which doors of opportunity open.
In today’s blog post I am giving 5 ACTIONABLE
ways to do your CAREER / BUSINESS / LIFE with others.
You may be thinking why should I add one more thing to my list?
Because it is the most effective way to:
1. Find a fulfilling career
2. Find your next job
3. Find support through life
4. Market yourself or your business (without MARKETING!)
FIRST THINGS FIRST
The first step before you can find and grow relationships in your career or business is to find out more about yourself or your company. That is why I offer my online Personal Branding for Professionals Course every month of the year. It is 4 weeks of discovering who you are as a professional and then helping you communicate it to others. You will leave the course with more confidence as well as a resume, cover letter, and online profiles so you can start connecting.
(This course is not a branding course for business branding. At this time, I only offer those services one-on-one.)
LET’S DO THIS TOGETHER
Once you know yourself, you can experience your career with others.
FIND AN ACCOUNTABILITY PROFESSIONAL
Someone who is actively pursuing a similar path.
Start easy. Start familiar. Think through the people already in your life that are pursuing similar paths. Whether that be career paths, schooling, motherhood, approaching retirement, or owning a business. Make sure they will be a positive force and not a complaining companion.
For example I have a friend who is pursuing her career in the fashion industry and working on moving up in a company. I have another friend who owns a franchise and killing it as a boss. I have another friend who is a freelancer, and her clients are always changing, and she travels a lot. I have something in common with each of these women. We can lean on each other for advice, a listening ear, and a good laugh. I share with them because I know they can relate, I respect them as professionals, and I know they will encourage me and push me in the right direction.
Find at least one Accountability Professional.
Reach out to them, share this blog post with them, and ask that you start talking about your careers or businesses through text, email, or phone call on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
Check in on each other with a text once a week.
Send them helpful articles from social media, blogs, podcasts, books, or LinkedIn.
Schedule time once a month to talk on the phone or meet for a drink/meal.
This isn’t formal. This is just being intentional about your relationships.
FIND A GROUP
People who can provide perspective.
This may make you a little more uncomfortable because it takes you showing up to the unfamiliar. I want you to think about the groups, organizations, clubs, chapters, etc. that are local that you can join and engage in. If you have enough opportunities in your industry, think about something you enjoy that can create connections and teach you something new. Let’s use Gardening as an example. Katrina (our Photographer and Design Coordinator) has joined a gardening club. She is youngest member (by a couple decades) but she has learned so much and enjoyed the different perspectives of her new friends. It makes her better as a professional because her network has
broadened, she has accountability and enjoys learning
Ask friends, parents, bosses, co-workers, local Chamber of Commerce, etc. what groups and organizations you could join. Start by asking those you know and then start Googling organizations in your area.
Research them to make sure you can actually commit. Then join 1 club, organization, group, chapter, etc.
Don’t break a promise to yourself – show up. Amazing things will happen when you do!
FIND AN ONLINE COMMUNITY
People who are in the same season or have been through your season.
Utilize the power of social media and your phone to connect with people. If you feel you are limited by Finding a Group (#2) in your small town or huge city, find an online community!
If you want to pursue a new hobby, new skill for your career, or start a business – search on LinkedIn and Facebook for groups in that area. There are 1000’s out there. Once you find some, look up the people who run them. Do you like their content, style of communicating, personality? If you do, you will probably like the group. Similar people will be attracted to the same leader.
This is one area that I working on right now. I have joined multiple online groups for small business owners. I now need to engage and learn from the people in the groups.
FACEBOOK: Once you join a group - ENGAGE! You will not get anything out of them if you join and never engage. Comment on posts or write a post and ask your questions. This is what Facebook groups are for! Connection and Communication.
LINKEDIN: Once you have a LinkedIn profile (free checklist HERE), follow companies and join groups that interest you. Connect with professionals and actually engage on the News Feed. Create a community one person at a time. (This is perfect for reconnecting with peers or previous co-workers who live elsewhere now.)
FIND A COACH OR MENTOR
Someone who has been there and can guide you.
This one may be the hardest but the most impactful, life-changing, and rewarding. There is no one way to find a coach or mentor. I think finding a mentor is harder than finding a coach. You can search for coaches in a specific area (career development, business, athletic training, etc.), research their credentials, reviews, and see their style through social media and their website. It is a paid relationship and thus there is an obligation for the coach to deliver on accountability, teaching, etc.
I am a career consultant but I often become a coach for professionals. I may be a good consultant/coach for you if you need career accountability.
But you may need a mentor instead of a coach. Finding a mentor is hard. It isn’t always paid - so structure and accountability can vary based on the mentor and mentee. Like coaching, personalities need to connect naturally in order to build trust. So how do you find a mentor?
Does your job or company offer a mentoring program?
Does your university or alma mater offer mentoring programs?
Is there a mentoring program online that you can join?
Who has been impactful in your life already? Could you ask them to be your mentor and connect with you on a monthly basis?
Can you ask your boss, parents, or professors who they recommend as a mentor?
Should you be a mentor?
If you are sitting there reading about Finding A Mentor and want one (or want to be a mentor), email Eloise at firstname.lastname@example.org to express your interest. We have some things in the works! (No strings attached if you express your interest)
Someone who can support your business.
Though this was originally created for my business owners, freelancers and entrepreneurs, it can apply to any professional in any industry. If you are active on social media, you may have heard about “Community over Competition”. It is another one of those phrases that sounds wonderful, but what does it mean for you and me? You may be thinking, "How can I practice that?"
How about we stop thinking about people in our fields as our competition? Instead, we can start thinking of them as our community to learn from and share with. I will use another quote from above to illustrate my point. When we hear “Stay in your lane”, you may have focused on the word “STAY”. I would recommend you focus on the word “YOUR”. When you do this, the phrase’s connotation is positive. It means to focus on what you are pursuing. It means that your path is SUPPOSED TO LOOK DIFFERENT from your peers,
co-workers, or the girl on Instagram. It means that both of you can support each other because your paths will look different and still experience success and failure.
Incredible opportunities have happened when I have realized I am NOT supposed to provide every service to every person. I have helped people by recommending they use someone who does something similar to me. Once I took the time to realize my strengths, skills, weaknesses, and goals, I could more clearly see and appreciate other’s strengths and talents. I could recommend them without worry that someone would think I am incapable. (Thus the creation of Personal Branding for Professionals online course)
We did a photo shoot with 2 other photographers this last month (seen above). Katrina is my photographer and she is actually the one who recommended this idea. Though some of the photography overlaps for all three of the photographers (seen above), they each have a different personality, style, editing style, availability, equipment, and skill set. By the end of the photo shoot I had asked if one of them could fill in on a headshot session and they asked Katrina to be a second shooter at a wedding. Community over Competition was achieved!
Surround yourself with people who you can open doors for and in return will open doors for you.
And if there are people in your community who are not willing do that, remove them from your day. Focus on the ones who will. And if there are people who you follow on social media who only cause you to envy or self-doubt - UNFOLLOW THEM or CHANGE YOUR PERSPECTIVE.
Your path will never look like their news feed.
Sharing is Caring!
If this post or any of the other posts have helped you, share with other professionals!