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LinkedIn Makeover: LinkedIn Profile Optimization
From:
Donna Serdula, LinkedIn Profile Optimization & Online Image Consultant Donna Serdula, LinkedIn Profile Optimization & Online Image Consultant
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Delran, NJ
Tuesday, June 30, 2020

 
LinkedIn Makeover: LinkedIn Profile Optimizationhttps://www.linkedin-makeover.comLinkedIn Profile WriterTue, 21 Apr 2020 19:10:43 +0000en-UShourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.4.2The Second Edition of My Book…https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/21/the-second-edition-of-my-book/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/21/the-second-edition-of-my-book/#respondTue, 21 Apr 2020 19:05:34 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13411I'm excited to announce that the second edition of my book, LinkedIn Profile Optimization FOR DUMMIES is officially out in bookstores and ONLINE!

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I’m excited to announce that the second edition of my book, LinkedIn Profile Optimization FOR DUMMIES is officially out in bookstores and ONLINE!

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VIDEO: Tips for Networking on LinkedIn During Social Distancinghttps://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/20/video-tips-for-networking-on-linkedin-during-social-distancing/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/20/video-tips-for-networking-on-linkedin-during-social-distancing/#respondMon, 20 Apr 2020 20:38:39 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13393Tracey Piechocki of Illustrated Designs interviewed me on April 14, 2020. We cover a number of topics in this fun interview: working remotely, post-COVID predictions, why LinkedIn, my 4-point LinkedIn Methodology, and so much more! Check it out:

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Tracey Piechocki of Illustrated Designs interviewed me on April 14, 2020. We cover a number of topics in this fun interview: working remotely, post-COVID predictions, why LinkedIn, my 4-point LinkedIn Methodology, and so much more!

Check it out:

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How to Change Your LinkedIn Profile’s Background Photo on the Mobile Apphttps://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/20/how-to-change-your-linkedin-profiles-background-photo-on-the-mobile-app/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/20/how-to-change-your-linkedin-profiles-background-photo-on-the-mobile-app/#respondMon, 20 Apr 2020 18:10:33 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13384I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn about updating your LinkedIn profile's background photo via the mobile app. How do I change my LinkedIn profile's background photo on the mobile app! I can upload a new profile picture and add a new headline but I can't seem to change my background picture. HELP ME!!!! Whether you are visiting someone else's profile or you are viewing your own profile, the background photo shows clearly. It's right there! Clicking on the edit button/pencil icon gets you into edit mode but suddenly, the background image just disappears! You aren't crazy. It's IMPOSSIBLE to upload a background image via LinkedIn's mobile app. The only way to do it is through their desktop experience. Here are instructions on how to upload a background photo to your LinkedIn profile via the LinkedIn desktop experience. This page also provides TONS of free background photos you can use for your LinkedIn profile. I have no idea why LinkedIn doesn't allow this basic functionality. Perhaps in the future it will be added but until then, the only workaround is to access their desktop experience and upload from there. If you need help writing your LinkedIn profile, check out our LinkedIn profile writing services. Check out my LinkedIn profile.

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I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn about updating your LinkedIn profile’s background photo via the mobile app.

How do I change my LinkedIn profile’s background photo on the mobile app! I can upload a new profile picture and add a new headline but I can’t seem to change my background picture. HELP ME!!!!

Whether you are visiting someone else’s profile or you are viewing your own profile, the background photo shows clearly. It’s right there!

Clicking on the edit button/pencil icon gets you into edit mode but suddenly, the background image just disappears!

You aren’t crazy. It’s IMPOSSIBLE to upload a background image via LinkedIn’s mobile app. The only way to do it is through their desktop experience.

Here are instructions on how to upload a background photo to your LinkedIn profile via the LinkedIn desktop experience. This page also provides TONS of free background photos you can use for your LinkedIn profile.

I have no idea why LinkedIn doesn’t allow this basic functionality. Perhaps in the future it will be added but until then, the only workaround is to access their desktop experience and upload from there.

If you need help writing your LinkedIn profile, check out our LinkedIn profile writing services.

Check out my LinkedIn profile.

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How do I mention a person in a LinkedIn post?https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/16/how-do-i-mention-a-person-in-a-linkedin-post/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/16/how-do-i-mention-a-person-in-a-linkedin-post/#respondThu, 16 Apr 2020 16:24:08 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13356I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn how to mention or tag a person in a LinkedIn post. Question: LinkedIn suggests I mention someone in my post to expand its footprint. How to I mention that person and link them so they and others notice the mention? Mentioning or tagging a person in your LinkedIn post is a great way to get more eyes on your post and boost engagement of the post. Posts that have activity are more successful, showing up longer and more often on other people's LinkedIn Feed. By mentioning a person in a post (or even a comment), that person will receive a notification that they were tagged in a LinkedIn post. The person will then click the notification to see the post and then typically they will like, comment, or even share the post. Likes, comments, and shares are all activities that prove to LinkedIn that the post is relevant and resonating and deserves to be seen by more eyes. You can mention one person or more than one person in a post or comment. Think of it as a way of drawing people into the conversation. Step by Step Instructions: How to Tag a Person in a LinkedIn Post Time needed: 10 minutes. How to mention a person in a LinkedIn post From your LinkedIn homepage, click, "Start a post." You can also mention people in comments, click "Comment" at the bottom of someone else's post. Add text and where you want to mention a person, type "@" and then begin typing a name. A drop-list of potential people will appear. Click the name of the person you want to mention from the drop-list. The person's name will appear in bold. Click the post button. The person or people mentioned in the post will receive email and app notifications of the mention. What to do if you are mentioned in a LinkedIn Post If someone mentions you in a post, you will receive a notification via email and/or app notifications. Best practices suggest visiting the post and reacting to the post in some way: LikeCommentShare Liking the post is the most benign approach. Consider it an acknowledgement that you saw the post. Commenting on the post is your way of jumping into the conversation. When you comment, make sure you mention the writer of the post in your comment. Hannah Morgan says, "It also helps to mention/tag them when you leave a comment, otherwise the person will not see it in their notifications." What do you say in a comment? You can add more information, you can ask a question, or if at a total loss, you can simply say, "Very interesting, thanks for tagging me." If you are extremely moved by the post, you may choose to share it. Sharing the post is a way of promoting the post and giving it a greater audience by sharing it with your network and followers. In Conclusion... There you have it, how to mention a person in a LinkedIn post and what to do if you find yourself tagged in a post. If you liked this post, you may like this video I made all about LinkedIn Hashtag best practices.

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LinkedIn Q&A: How to mention a person in a LinkedIn Post

I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn how to mention or tag a person in a LinkedIn post.

Question: LinkedIn suggests I mention someone in my post to expand its footprint. How to I mention that person and link them so they and others notice the mention?

Mentioning or tagging a person in your LinkedIn post is a great way to get more eyes on your post and boost engagement of the post. Posts that have activity are more successful, showing up longer and more often on other people’s LinkedIn Feed.

By mentioning a person in a post (or even a comment), that person will receive a notification that they were tagged in a LinkedIn post. The person will then click the notification to see the post and then typically they will like, comment, or even share the post. Likes, comments, and shares are all activities that prove to LinkedIn that the post is relevant and resonating and deserves to be seen by more eyes.

You can mention one person or more than one person in a post or comment. Think of it as a way of drawing people into the conversation.

Step by Step Instructions: How to Tag a Person in a LinkedIn Post

Time needed: 10 minutes.

How to mention a person in a LinkedIn post

  1. From your LinkedIn homepage, click, “Start a post.”

    You can also mention people in comments, click “Comment” at the bottom of someone else’s post.

  2. Add text and where you want to mention a person, type “@” and then begin typing a name.

    A drop-list of potential people will appear.

  3. Click the name of the person you want to mention from the drop-list.

    The person’s name will appear in bold.

  4. Click the post button.

    The person or people mentioned in the post will receive email and app notifications of the mention.

    How to mention a person in a LinkedIn Post

What to do if you are mentioned in a LinkedIn Post

If someone mentions you in a post, you will receive a notification via email and/or app notifications. Best practices suggest visiting the post and reacting to the post in some way:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • Share

Liking the post is the most benign approach. Consider it an acknowledgement that you saw the post.

Commenting on the post is your way of jumping into the conversation. When you comment, make sure you mention the writer of the post in your comment. Hannah Morgan says, “It also helps to mention/tag them when you leave a comment, otherwise the person will not see it in their notifications.” What do you say in a comment? You can add more information, you can ask a question, or if at a total loss, you can simply say, “Very interesting, thanks for tagging me.”

If you are extremely moved by the post, you may choose to share it. Sharing the post is a way of promoting the post and giving it a greater audience by sharing it with your network and followers.

In Conclusion…

There you have it, how to mention a person in a LinkedIn post and what to do if you find yourself tagged in a post. If you liked this post, you may like this video I made all about LinkedIn Hashtag best practices.

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LinkedIn Events: How to Create an Online Event When the Location is Required?https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/08/linkedin-events-how-to-create-an-online-event-when-the-location-is-required/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/04/08/linkedin-events-how-to-create-an-online-event-when-the-location-is-required/#respondWed, 08 Apr 2020 21:06:54 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13301I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn about LinkedIn Events. .ugb-df6687a-wrapper.ugb-container__wrapper{background-color:#cf2e2e !important}.ugb-df6687a-wrapper.ugb-container__wrapper:before{background-color:#cf2e2e !important}.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h1,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h2,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h3,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h4,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h5,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > h6{color:#ffffff}.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > p,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > ol li,.ugb-df6687a-content-wrapper > ul li{color:#ffffff} Dear Donna, I am trying to create an event on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn event is virtual, an online webinar. LinkedIn requires I fill in the location field from a droplist of actual locations. I tried typing in webinar, online event, Zoom, etc. and nothing works… HELP! How to Create Virtual LinkedIn Events LinkedIn recently brought back the ability to create events within the LinkedIn platform. LinkedIn states: The LinkedIn Events feature is designed to make it easier for members to grow their networks and build authentic, face-to-face relationships with other LinkedIn members who share common interests.https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/100582 The operative word within that paragraph is FACE-TO-FACE. LinkedIn Events are designed to invite people to in-person events. If you want to use LinkedIn Events to notify your network of virtual events, there is a problem. When creating the event, LinkedIn requires you to add an actual location: Creating a Virtual LinkedIn Event When creating a virtual LinkedIn event, you might consider typing ONLINE, or VIRTUAL, or Zoom Event or WEBINAR as the location. As smart as that is, LinkedIn rejects it. You MUST select from the drop-down list of actual locations. Luckily, some of the locations within that drop-down list are quite broad. So... instead of choosing an exact location, add your general location: Philadelphia, PA or Dallas, TX. Next, make sure your Event's name clearly states that it is a virtual, online event, for example, ONLINE Business Development Masterclass WEBINAR. In the venue details, reiterate that it is a webinar or virtual networking event. By this time, everyone should be completely aware that this is not an in-person event. You can even put the online signup form in the ticketing URL field.  Before you create the event, LinkedIn asks you to agree to their terms and conditions for events. Looking through the legalese, nothing states that the event must be an in-person event, so you aren't breaking any rules. I reached out to LinkedIn for comment and their response was: In Conclusion... Perhaps LinkedIn will hear our pleas and provide the ability to mark an event as virtual. Until then, use my workaround as a way to use LinkedIn Events for virtual meetings and webinars. Best of luck to you!

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LinkedIn Q&A

I often get questions from people regarding LinkedIn. When I feel the question is shared by others, I post it here on my blog for all to read. Keep reading to learn about LinkedIn Events.

Dear Donna,

I am trying to create an event on LinkedIn. The LinkedIn event is virtual, an online webinar. LinkedIn requires I fill in the location field from a droplist of actual locations. I tried typing in webinar, online event, Zoom, etc. and nothing works… HELP!

How to Create Virtual LinkedIn Events

LinkedIn recently brought back the ability to create events within the LinkedIn platform. LinkedIn states:

The LinkedIn Events feature is designed to make it easier for members to grow their networks and build authentic, face-to-face relationships with other LinkedIn members who share common interests.

https://www.linkedin.com/help/linkedin/answer/100582

The operative word within that paragraph is FACE-TO-FACE. LinkedIn Events are designed to invite people to in-person events.

If you want to use LinkedIn Events to notify your network of virtual events, there is a problem. When creating the event, LinkedIn requires you to add an actual location:

Creating a Virtual LinkedIn Event

When creating a virtual LinkedIn event, you might consider typing ONLINE, or VIRTUAL, or Zoom Event or WEBINAR as the location. As smart as that is, LinkedIn rejects it. You MUST select from the drop-down list of actual locations. Luckily, some of the locations within that drop-down list are quite broad. So… instead of choosing an exact location, add your general location: Philadelphia, PA or Dallas, TX.

Next, make sure your Event’s name clearly states that it is a virtual, online event, for example, ONLINE Business Development Masterclass WEBINAR.

In the venue details, reiterate that it is a webinar or virtual networking event. By this time, everyone should be completely aware that this is not an in-person event. You can even put the online signup form in the ticketing URL field. 

Before you create the event, LinkedIn asks you to agree to their terms and conditions for events. Looking through the legalese, nothing states that the event must be an in-person event, so you aren’t breaking any rules.

I reached out to LinkedIn for comment and their response was:

In Conclusion…

Perhaps LinkedIn will hear our pleas and provide the ability to mark an event as virtual. Until then, use my workaround as a way to use LinkedIn Events for virtual meetings and webinars.

Best of luck to you!

Donna

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The Story Behind Our New Logohttps://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/27/the-story-behind-our-new-logo/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/27/the-story-behind-our-new-logo/#respondFri, 27 Mar 2020 16:05:02 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13186It was over a decade ago that I started my own business. My initial vision wasn't entirely clear. I knew I wanted to help people create strategic, high-level LinkedIn profiles but I also wanted to design Websites and Social Media experiences. I registered the domain name, LinkedIn-Makeover.com mainly because LinkedIn-Facelift.com seemed coldly clinical to me. Next, I went to LegalZoom and created an LLC named... DonnaTechDesigns. What was I thinking? I was thinking small. At that time, I had no idea that the business would grow and expand to something much bigger than just me. Thinking Bigger A few years later, I hired a business coach and he told me that I needed to rename my business. He had the perfect name: GOLDEN LIZARD! Why Golden Lizard? He said his vision was me walking into a networking meeting wearing a big golden lizard brooch. That night, as I giggled at the silly thought of Golden Lizard and how it had absolutely nothing to do with MY VISION or MY MISSION, I gazed up at my vision board and it hit me... Vision Board Media. That was my company's name! My Vision Board, AUGUST 4, 2012 It made sense and felt right. A vision board attracts the future you desire. For our clients, we are that tool to help them attract a new future. There is also a play on words with the word board meaning a group of people, like a "Board of Directors." We are a group that positions and leads individuals to success. The first logo was simple and created quickly with little thought. I think the spec doc I gave the designer had one word, "BOLD." The logo worked at the time but it didn't capture any meaning or brand story. The old logo 20/20 Vision Fast forward to the year 2020 and I realized it was time for the cobbler to start caring about her shoes. Funny how that works. I spend my days strategizing and consulting with individuals and companies about their brand and I ignored my own. 20/20 represents the perfect vision and now it is time to focus on Vision Board Media. I set out to develop a logo that truly symbolizes and represents the value we provide to our clients. This time, the spec doc was much more thoughtfully constructed. Regardless, the Graphic Designer sent me back a slew of logos containing eyes... it looked like logos for an Optometrist. Back and forth we went. I kept repeating, "transformation-- I want the logo to showcase transformation." It took many iterations and the work of a different Graphic Designer to refine and perfect it but we finally came upon a logo that worked. When I saw it, I immediately knew it was perfect: Looking at the image, it symbolizes so much to me: A spotlight -- showing how we help people step into the spotlight and embrace their strengths and let them shine. A sun -- rising on a new day, a new chapter... a new life. After working with us, our clients embark upon something different for themselves. Transformation -- Like the red squares changing to gray lines, expanding outward, growing bigger, our clients emerge out of the boxes they are stuck in, aligning to a bigger, better future. A network of people -- standing together in solidarity to help and support each other. Your network is your net worth. It's important to have partners invested in you. The Future & Beyond Seeing this new logo, I am excited about the future. Right now, as I am writing this blog, my family and I are practicing social distancing because we are in the second week of the COVID-19 pandemic. It's an unprecedented time and I know many people are scared. Over the last decade, working with over 6,000 professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and companies, I know one thing -- people are resilient. It's a tough time right now but all things pass. A new chapter is unfolding and I am excited to see what it holds. We remain here to help you refine, craft, develop, and articulate your brand and professional story.

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It was over a decade ago that I started my own business. My initial vision wasn’t entirely clear. I knew I wanted to help people create strategic, high-level LinkedIn profiles but I also wanted to design Websites and Social Media experiences.

I registered the domain name, LinkedIn-Makeover.com mainly because LinkedIn-Facelift.com seemed coldly clinical to me. Next, I went to LegalZoom and created an LLC named… DonnaTechDesigns.

What was I thinking?

I was thinking small. At that time, I had no idea that the business would grow and expand to something much bigger than just me.

Thinking Bigger

A few years later, I hired a business coach and he told me that I needed to rename my business. He had the perfect name: GOLDEN LIZARD!

Why Golden Lizard?

He said his vision was me walking into a networking meeting wearing a big golden lizard brooch.

That night, as I giggled at the silly thought of Golden Lizard and how it had absolutely nothing to do with MY VISION or MY MISSION, I gazed up at my vision board and it hit me… Vision Board Media. That was my company’s name!

My Vision Board, AUGUST 4, 2012

It made sense and felt right. A vision board attracts the future you desire. For our clients, we are that tool to help them attract a new future. There is also a play on words with the word board meaning a group of people, like a “Board of Directors.” We are a group that positions and leads individuals to success.

The first logo was simple and created quickly with little thought. I think the spec doc I gave the designer had one word, “BOLD.” The logo worked at the time but it didn’t capture any meaning or brand story.

Our old logo
The old logo

20/20 Vision

Fast forward to the year 2020 and I realized it was time for the cobbler to start caring about her shoes. Funny how that works. I spend my days strategizing and consulting with individuals and companies about their brand and I ignored my own.

20/20 represents the perfect vision and now it is time to focus on Vision Board Media.

I set out to develop a logo that truly symbolizes and represents the value we provide to our clients. This time, the spec doc was much more thoughtfully constructed. Regardless, the Graphic Designer sent me back a slew of logos containing eyes… it looked like logos for an Optometrist. Back and forth we went. I kept repeating, “transformation– I want the logo to showcase transformation.” It took many iterations and the work of a different Graphic Designer to refine and perfect it but we finally came upon a logo that worked. When I saw it, I immediately knew it was perfect:

Our new logo

Looking at the image, it symbolizes so much to me:

  • spotlight  showing how we help people step into the spotlight and embrace their strengths and let them shine.
  • A sun — rising on a new day, a new chapter… a new life. After working with us, our clients embark upon something different for themselves.
  • Transformation — Like the red squares changing to gray lines, expanding outward, growing bigger, our clients emerge out of the boxes they are stuck in, aligning to a bigger, better future.
  • A network of people — standing together in solidarity to help and support each other. Your network is your net worth. It’s important to have partners invested in you.

The Future & Beyond

Seeing this new logo, I am excited about the future. Right now, as I am writing this blog, my family and I are practicing social distancing because we are in the second week of the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s an unprecedented time and I know many people are scared.

Over the last decade, working with over 6,000 professionals, executives, entrepreneurs, and companies, I know one thing — people are resilient. It’s a tough time right now but all things pass. A new chapter is unfolding and I am excited to see what it holds.

We remain here to help you refine, craft, develop, and articulate your brand and professional story.

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COVID-19 Business Updatehttps://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/16/covid-19-business-update/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/16/covid-19-business-update/#respondMon, 16 Mar 2020 19:51:00 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=13031We are upon an unprecedented and stressful time. Here in the Greater Philadelphia area, schools are closed, many businesses are shuttering, and most people are hunkering down. Your first priority should be to take care of yourself and your family. Social distancing and working from home, when possible, are some options to keep this virus contained. Our business has always been conducted remotely, over the phone, via video conference, and email. We remain open and ready to provide professional empowerment and career branding services. Should you have questions or need assistance, give us a call: 215-839-0008 --Donna Serdula Sitting at my desk

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We are upon an unprecedented and stressful time.

Here in the Greater Philadelphia area, schools are closed, many businesses are shuttering, and most people are hunkering down.

Your first priority should be to take care of yourself and your family. Social distancing and working from home, when possible, are some options to keep this virus contained.

Our business has always been conducted remotely, over the phone, via video conference, and email. We remain open and ready to provide professional empowerment and career branding services.

Should you have questions or need assistance, give us a call: 215-839-0008

Donna

–Donna Serdula

Donna Serdula at desk
Sitting at my desk

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LEVEL UP! Career Branding & Empowerment Self-Assessment Part 3https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/11/career-branding-empowerment-self-assessment-part-3/https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/2020/03/11/career-branding-empowerment-self-assessment-part-3/#commentsWed, 11 Mar 2020 15:11:25 +0000https://www.linkedin-makeover.com/?p=12939Career Goals Self-Assessment When you look at your career to date, are you fully satisfied with where you are—meaning, have you already accomplished all of your dreams? For those not nearing retirement, are you ready to plateau and stay where you are? The answer for many professionals is a resounding “no.” If you’re in that group, then the next question is, “What do you want to become?” When you’ve become crystal clear about that goal, then what’s left is to create and follow a plan to get there—which is exactly what this post is designed to help you accomplish. We’re all in a different place on that journey. So, first: If your resume and LinkedIn profile—and other professional documents and profiles—are not up-to-the-minute updated, start with post #1 in this series. If you haven’t yet established a system to record your accomplishments as they happen, start with post #1 in this series. If you’ve already updated your professional documents and profiles AND are regularly recording your accomplishments—and you’re ready to create and/or refine your elevator pitch—start with post #2 in this series. If you’re good to go with all of the career clarity items listed in the bullet points above, just keep reading! Long-Term Career Goals After you’re clear about what you’ve achieved in the past and what you’re currently accomplishing in your career, it’s time to think about the bigger picture, to consider your future. After all, the more clarity you have about where you want to go, the more likely it is that you’ll get there! So, here are questions for you to consider (feel free to use the digital journal we talked about in Part 1 to record your answers): What are five goals you would like to accomplish in the next five years? How thoroughly can you describe them, both quantitatively and qualitatively? What are five goals you’d like to accomplish in the next ten years? Are they an extension of your five-year goals or are they additional ones? For each of your goals, what do you need to do today and in the future to lay the groundwork? What skills do you need to keep current and relevant to achieve your goals? How are you doing that? What new skills are you currently developing? How? What new skills do you still need to start developing? What’s the plan and timeline for those? What is unique about how you do your job? How does that uniquely position you for the future? How are you investing in yourself? Interacting with Others Also envision the ways you’re interacting and plan to interact with others in the future. Here are questions to consider about that: Who are your mentors? In what areas of life are each of them mentoring you? Are they good fits for you going forward? How are you forging a stronger network? What else can you do? Whom are you mentoring? Is this a productive relationship for both of you? Does this invigorate you? Drain you? If the relationship is draining but you believe it has value, how can you make healthy and productive changes? Outside of mentoring, how are you helping others? How are you improving the world?   Create Your Own Focus Group As you make your plans for the future, it can help to reach out to trusted friends and colleagues to see how they perceive you. This can help you to uncover strengths and capabilities that you’d never considered when making your five- and ten-year career plans. Questions can include: What do you see as my strengths? What sets me apart? When have you seen me go above and beyond what was required? What do you think I should know about myself that I may not be aware of? What can you imagine my doing in the future? Create Your Not-to-Do List Professional people often take on significant responsibilities, both at work and outside of it, including but not limited to volunteer positions. Which ones no longer serve you well? In other words, what do you need to take off your list? Perhaps, as just one example, you’ve been mentoring someone for a period of time and it’s no longer satisfying. It may be, as mentioned above, that you need to change up what you’re doing together. Or it could be that your mentee is ready to move on to someone else who can guide him or her in different skill sets. Or, maybe that person is now ready to soar! Or, you may belong to a group that is no longer benefiting you and perhaps it’s time to thank the organization and its members for all you’ve received while also sharing it’s time for you to put your focus elsewhere in the future. Or, maybe you’ve been an officer in that organization and, although you’ve like to stay in the group, you’re ready for someone else to take that leadership role. Again, each situation is unique. But, nearly every busy professional has things that most likely should be put on their not-to-do list. Motivating Yourself to Accomplish Big Goals No two people are motivated in the exact same way, although it often involves setting targets and a reward for accomplishing them. Some people may decide to treat themselves to a get-away after achieving key goals, while others may make a desired purchase. To help, here are two ways that clients of ours have creatively motivated themselves. One professional, whenever he’s embarking upon a new challenge, purchases an expensive bottle of champagne. He then describes the accomplishment he wants to achieve directly on the bottle’s label. Each day, he opens his refrigerator to look at the champagne to remind himself of what he needs to do. Sometimes, a particular bottle of champagne will sit on the refrigerator shelf for weeks. Other times, it’s months. A few times, it’s even been years! But, when the time finally arrives, when that goal is finally achieved, our client pops the cork and celebrates his sweet

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