Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Imagine the unimaginable: Essentials for career success in a digital age!

Ten years ago, did you imagine that your primary mode of communication with your family, friends and relatives would be through the internet? Today, thanks to the facebooks and twitters of the world, this is a reality! Ten years ago, did you imagine having all the knowledge in the world in your palms? Today, thanks to smartphones, this is a reality! Ten years ago, did you imagine that you would apply for a job without ever having to 'post' anything? Today, thanks to the internet, this is a reality!

The last decade has been a decade of unprecedented change; change that was never imagined; change that made us realise our limits of imagination. This move towards a digital era has some important lessons for each student, job seeker and working professional. For every student wishing to succeed in this digital era, there are 3 things that I recommend as "must do".

1. Get a professional sounding email address: For many of you, the email addresses you may have created during your college days would have been funky, creative and sometimes whacky! Some of such whacky email addresses that I have come across include "r_for_risky", "snazzydude", "thexxx", "mydreamgirl", "onprocess", "neverpassed" and "vanishing_fellow" ! However, when you are looking for employment opportunities, I strongly recommend that you do not use such whacky email addresses. Create a professional sounding email address that ideally includes only your first name and last name. With so many free email services available today, getting a professional sounding email address is not a difficult task. A review of the top 16 free email services can be accessed here. Take a look, choose one and get your new email address now!

2. Create your professional profile on LinkedInLinkedIn is a professional networking site. It allows you to post your professional profile online and helps you connect with other professionals across the globe. The site also allows you to source professional recommendations from your classmates, colleagues, supervisors and friends thereby helping you build a strong and credible profile for yourself. Many recruiters look for a LinkedIn profile of prospective employees these days and hence it pays to have a LinkedIn profile. Registration is free. Use LinkedIn to effectively connect with other professionals and you will be surprised by the number of doors that open for you!

3. Start a blog: A blog is a digital home. A blog is an easy way to present a lot of information to your prospective employers and professional colleagues about your experiences and accomplishments. A blog can also be used to share your thoughts to a larger audience spread across the globe. You can post photographs of your achievements and bring life to your career history. In simple terms, a blog can be your digital resume that employers can refer to anytime. Setting up a blog is very simple and does not require any technical knowledge. You can sign up for a free blog at websites such as BlogBlogger or Wordpress. A list of some more free blog hosts are available here. Once you setup a blog, don't forget to keep it updated regularly!

What are you waiting for?  All you need to do is imagine the unimaginable and start working towards it. You will be amazed at how everything will fall in place. Still unable to imagine if you can do any of these? Finding it difficult to change?You have two choices - either wait for the digital era to make you obsolete or change with the times and be a success! Which one do you choose?

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