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Most Important Career Tip: Use Your Network!

I had the pleasure of being part of a panel for this morning’s IABC/Dallas Members-only Breakfast seminar that focused on career management. Thanks to Melissa Anderson for coordinating the panel, and to my co-panelists, Sharon Larkin and Nancy Voith, for their participation.

Here are the points I made:

Most Important Tip: Use Your Network!


Find your passion or what you’re good at and stick with it. You’ll become a subject matter expert rather than staying a jack of all trades.

Next Opportunity or Looking for Work

If you are out of work and marketing yourself, rather than saying, “I will do any kind of work,” be more specific. Your network does not know how to help you if you can’t get more specific on what you’re looking for.


Find ways to do this without being boastful. Again, use your network. Use social media to push out information. Let others know about your latest project. If you cannot talk about specific projects because of proprietary concerns, then talk about these in general terms.

Read as much as you can

I used to set aside a certain amount of time to read each day, but that isn’t really realistic any more. With technology, you ought to be able to capture your reading online and read it wherever you are. Try to read about topics that might help you to develop additional skills, e.g., if you’re not as advanced in social media as you think you should be, then read all about it.

Write for free – contribute

Contributing your time as a writer for a nonprofit, church, school or other organization provides you with a portfolio, additional experience and also is good for networking. Try it.

Be the go-to person in your company/with clients and your network

Are you a subject-matter expert? Some of my clients refer to me as a subject expert in accounting because 1) I niche in it, but 2) I’ve developed my skills in this area and let others know about it. You don’t have to be a subject-matter expert to be the go-to person, but it helps. You have to find some way to differentiate yourself from others – that’s the key.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Your comments reminded me of the importance of finding your niche, and becoming known for that area of expertise. It makes a huge difference in finding new clients and in finding more of the work you love. 🙂

  2. It’s nice to see that people who regularly take advantage of Social Media are pushing the topic in regards to personal growth and promotion when in the market for a new job.

    I was actually sent a newspaper clipping (who still reads those, right?) from last week about “job hunting hints” and they suggest dodging most if not all forms of social media for both self promotion and hunting.

    So there seems to be an interesting dichotomy between those who regularly use Social Media to promote themselves and their work versus those who are more passive about it and just read.

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