When our guest on this week’s podcast, Tracy Enos, gave us tips on how to use LinkedIn to reinvent our careers after divorce, she preceded that part of the interview by sharing with us her divorce experience. She went through her own reinvention challenges due to her well-paying job at the start of the divorce quickly disappearing without warning. Life has a way of shaking us up.
And then another, and then another job came and went. This was in 2008 when the United States had a financial meltdown and so many jobs disappeared. Until she started playing around with LinkedIn, the largest professional online networking platform out there. Tracy experimented with her own site, learning the ins and outs of creating an online presence that brought her connections to other professionals in her ongoing search for a career reinvention. Tracy was the main income earner in her marriage, so when her world was turned around by good paying jobs becoming short-lived, she had no choice but to put pedal to the metal and figure out how to earn at the level she was accustomed.
By experimenting with her LinkedIn profile, Tracy saw that there were certain aspects of creating a profile that endeared her to those reading about her. This is what she learned:
- Create a Brand. A brand for yourself personally is a strong identity that you have, that people notice, and that connects you with people. Tracy’s brand was High Energy.
- A Personal Profile is as important as a Business Profile. Tracy’s theory is that people on LinkedIn are no different than people you meet in person. We connect with each other on a personal level more than on a business level. Causes you support, where you spend your volunteer time, your hobbies, your life philosophies, all contribute to a connection with people reading your profile, deeper than just a business connection of similar professional backgrounds. The goal is to create as much personal connection as possible, in tandem with your professional identity. Likeability is the name of the game.
- Use a lot of Keywords behind the scenes of your site that would be great search words to find you.
- Think like your prospective employers. What do you think they are looking for in the area of work that you would like to have. Reflect that back in your profile.
- Who do you serve? What are any special projects that you’ve done?
- Involve other people in your story. Who do you admire? What books can you recommend? Any quotes from famous people that inspire you?
Sometimes where we think we’re headed is a little different than where we land. The journey of reinvention is so much fun, if you let it, because it’s filled with unexpected adventures and turns that can take you to a point that is satisfying and fulfilling, but very different than where we thought we would land.
Road trips can be fun. Career trips can be that road to ultimate satisfaction, enlightenment, and financial satisfaction with people who are nurturing, motivating, and totally satisfying.