Tech

5 Tips to Supercharge your Career in 2024

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In a recent “Ahead of the Game” podcast, Morgan Cummins, the Mindful Recruiter, chatted with Will Francis about how digital marketers can develop and boost their career in 2024. Key to success in this area is having an optimized LinkedIn presence, a positive mindset, and the tools and habits needed to help you stand out from the noise.

As the digital marketing job market continues to cool, marketers need to become adept at staying ahead of the game. And this requires effort.

Let’s explore in more detail five tactics you can use to do just that:

1. Optimize your LinkedIn presence

Building your professional brand is an essential part of any career strategy. And the key platform where you can build your brand is, of course, LinkedIn. So you need to prime your LinkedIn profile for success. Even if this drags you out of your comfort zone.

Here are some key tips for optimizing your LinkedIn presence:

Develop the habit: LinkedIn is ideal for browsing, so just start by having a 15-minute habit of going through your LinkedIn feed every day.

Become familiar with the platform: See if you can learn something new during your 15 minutes there. Do that for a couple of weeks, to help you become familiar with the platform.

Engage: Start liking and commenting. These actions are going to boost the algorithm. Share content that you’ve found, and give your own thoughts on that content.

Post: Use the ideas you’ve found on LinkedIn as inspiration for your own content. Instead of just commenting on an article, you might write your own blog where you explore similar issues from your own perspective.

Develop thought leadership: The more quality content you post, the more you build your brand. You start to establish yourself as a thought leader. You become accountable for the content you’re sharing on the platform.

By developing a routine of engaging with the platform, and sharing or creating high-quality content, you are more likely to come to the attention of potential recruiters.

LinkedIn vs your CV

Many organizations now regard your LinkedIn profile as your CV (resumé). Remember that recruiters are looking at hundreds of LinkedIn profiles a day, so make sure yours stands out. You must make a strong business impact very quickly.

Don’t just copy your CV into your LinkedIn profile. Be mindful of the strengths of the platform and use them to ensure you make a good impression.

Here are some simple tips:

Keep an up-to-date LinkedIn profile: If you have a polished LinkedIn profile, and other candidates haven’t even set up theirs yet, you’re off to an immediate advantage.

Have an eye-catching profile photo: It takes a very short time to find and upload a suitable photo for your LinkedIn profile. Blank profiles could make potential recruiters think you’re lazy.

Add an appropriate banner image: Choose a banner image that complements your brand personality. Again, it takes little time to do this, so make the effort.

Write a compelling bio: Use the space allowed to promote your values and skills in a way that grabs attention. Look at successful LinkedIn profiles and study their bios. What best practices could you follow?

2. Work with a mentor

Working with a mentor can help you develop the skills and practices you need to succeed in digital marketing. However, first you need to be clear about why you’re looking for a mentor. What skill do you want to develop? How can this particular mentor help you develop this particular skill?

It’s not enough to “cold call” potential mentors. Do your research on them. What type of online presence do they have? Find their unique selling point (USP) so that you can refer to that when you approach them.

Set limits on how much you hope to get from them. Perhaps all you want is 20 minutes of their time. Or maybe you want a short monthly catchup call. Be clear that you’re not looking for a time-intensive ongoing commitment.

Also, what will the mentor see when they search for your own online brand? What value can you offer them? Try to pitch the proposed mentoring as an information exchange, where you share your insights with each other.

Top tip: Think about finding an accountability partner. This is a peer who works with you to ensure you are both setting realistic SMART goals and achieving them.

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3. Work on your AI skills

Look for ways to harness the power of AI to boost your career. This could involve developing your own AI skills – becoming an expert prompt engineer, for example. Or you could use AI for some of your more mundane tasks so that you can devote more time to upskilling.

Use AI to market yourself

You can use AI tools to better market yourself. For example, you can use AI to help you rewrite your CV or LinkedIn profile based on a specific job role you’re interested in or even a specific job description that you’re applying for.

Top tip: Never forget the Golden Rule of AI prompting: the better the input, the better the output. Carefully craft your prompts so that they’ll meet  your specific needs. Don’t rely on generic prompts.

Use AI to prepare for interview questions

Did you know you can use AI tools to help you prepare for likely interview questions? For example, you could feed the job description into a tool like ChatGPT and ask it to generate some likely interview questions based on that job description. This can be a great way to prepare for the dreaded competency-based questions!

Role play with AI

Another great way to use AI when hoping to boost your career is to use it to “role play” in preparation for an interview. Having used AI to predict what questions you’re likely to be asked, you can then have a natural language conversation with it based on these questions. And you can even ask AI to assess your answers.

Use AI help to write your CV

You should still write a specific CV for every job you apply for. This can be a time-consuming task but with the power of AI, you have no excuse for not customizing your CV for whatever role you’re applying for! And, while you’re at it, why not use AI to update your LinkedIn profile at the same time? Keep in mind the outputs might not be perfect, so proofread… and then proofread again.

Remember that not everybody is using AI yet to further their careers. If you’re already getting skilled at boosting your profile with AI, you’ve just nudged yourself a little further ahead of the pack.

4. Cultivate a positive mindset

When looking to boost your career, it helps to cultivate a positive mindset. To propel yourself, always keep in mind this useful acronym, VGE: your vision, goals, and execution:
Vision: Where do you want to be in one, two, or five years’ time? Be clear and specific about what you want to achieve. Think strategically about your career. (Vision boards can help you clarify your career vision.)

Goals: What goals do you need to set to achieve your vision. Are your goals SMART? Can you use AI to finesse them? (You could use mindmaps to help you see how your different goals relate to your vision.)

Execution: What steps do you need to take to meet your goals? Do you have the necessary skills and resources? What new skills do you need to develop?  What people do you need to talk to? (You could use flow charts to track the resources and skills needed to meet different goals.)

Embrace the mistakes you make. You’re going to make a lot of mistakes when you go through your career to try and get a job. You’re going to get a lot of rejection. This is when you have to apply a growth mindset: What did I learn from this? What good is in the bad here?

Developing a positive mindset and being willing to put in the effort to reach your goals can reap long-term benefits. Mindset is for life, so cultivate a growth mindset that propels you forwards. Look ahead with optimism to the next challenges on your career path. And be willing to nurture the skills needed to feed that mindset, such as critical thinking, leadership, strategic thinking, emotional intelligence, and resilience.

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5. Develop habits for success

How do you eat an elephant? One small bite at a time.
f you ever feel overwhelmed by the effort apparently needed to boost your career, take a step back and think about what small habits you can start encouraging to position yourself for your next career move.

Cultivate a positive mindset: See challenges as opportunities. Note what skills you need to overcome these challenges and set aside time to develop them.

Carve out time each day dedicated to career development: As mentioned earlier, get in the habit of carving out a section of time each day to devote to working on your career. This could be during your break or on your daily commute.

Mentor others: If you’re not currently in a leadership position, you could develop leadership skills by offering to mentor someone.

Upskill: There’s a trove of excellent training videos online. Choose a skill you want to develop and dedicate time each day to honing your USP.

Top tip: Habits are how you get things done. And often, you have to remove a bad habit to start a good habit. It’s like a savings account. It compounds every day with a little bit of interest and, over time, that amounts to something significant.

Final tips for a career boost

Boosting your career is not a matter of luck. It requires planning, effort, and time. Here are some final tips to help you prepare for the next stage of your career:

Have a vision: Know where you want to be in five years’ time.

Research your dream companies: List 20 companies that you want to work for. Narrow down the list and find out all you can about those companies.

Find a mentor: Your mentor or accountability partner can help you persevere through the tough times. You could consider becoming a mentor yourself.

Start networking: Find two

events to go to in the next three weeks. Start networking. Get out there and meet people. You’d be surprised, serendipitously, what might happen.

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