Step out into the light.

By Ross Wade, Elon School of COMM Career Guy

Not to toot my own horn, but over the past couple of weeks I have received some really nice emails from colleagues and students about my interview in the National Association of Colleges and Employer’s (NACE) Spotlight Online (an e-newsletter received by career professionals all over the nation). During a career counseling session yesterday, a student brought up the NACE article, and mentioned how impressed she was. I was a bit shocked. This student is a leader in Elon’s School of Communications, runs a student organization and has incredible ideas all the time (much better ideas than mine – ha!). In that moment something occurred to me…many people have great ideas all the time and never get noticed for them, the only difference between them and me is that I’m a little bit better at marketing myself. There is a lyric in Daniel Johnston’s True Love will Find you in the End, that goes “…how can it find you unless you step out into the light…”. Well, this song is talking about love, but I think the same applies to recognition or success.

I had an idea that was pretty cool. I used it with my students and they liked it too. I figured other career development professionals would dig it as well, so I posted it to the NACE LinkedIn group. A few weeks later I get an email from NACE asking for an interview. That is it. All I did was share an idea…put it out there so other folks could see it.

So many professionals don’t do this, and it is a great marketing tool. The iMedia students just got back from a killer “fly-in” experience abroad where they assisted non-profits in bolstering their PR and outreach needs via video, web and other media. GREAT STUFF! So now what should they do? Post it on their social media outlets, send it to their colleagues, add it to their resume…you never know who is watching that may find your idea or work extraordinary or meaningful. Don’t think of it as bragging or being conceited (it’s not!). Think of it as sharing information or soliciting feedback.

Consider this tip when you are job searching. Share your thoughts and contribute to the ideas of others (via blogs, Twitter, etc.). How can employers find you unless you step out into the light.


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