The Mid-Career GPS Podcast

Elevate Your Career This Summer: 5 Essential Steps

June 27, 2023 John Neral Season 3 Episode 163
The Mid-Career GPS Podcast
Elevate Your Career This Summer: 5 Essential Steps
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Epl Ready to make the most of your summer by focusing on personal and professional growth? Let me guide you through five simple yet powerful tips to build a solid mid-career GPS and prepare for whatever comes next in your career journey. Discover the importance of updating your resume, being active on LinkedIn, attending professional development events, reading industry publications, and networking.

With summer in full swing and the Fourth of July holiday upon us, now's the perfect time to invest in your development. Break it down into manageable chunks and enjoy the process – and if you're looking for more guidance, don't forget to check out our free guide, "Five Mistakes Mid-Career Professionals Make and Need to Stop Doing." So grab your favorite summer read, connect with new people on LinkedIn, and let's make this season a productive and fulfilling one for your career. And as always, stay safe during your travels this holiday season, and be sure to follow us on your favorite listening platform and connect with us on LinkedIn @johnneralcoaching.

Listen to these episodes for additional tips and strategies:

Ep. 122 - Resume Tips for Mid-Career Professionals with Porschia Parker-Griffin

Ep. 96 - Why You Need to Write More LinkedIn Recommendations

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John Neral:

Do you remember summer reading? Okay, maybe the better question is did you like doing summer reading? I remember spending an entire summer trying to get through James Michener's Hawaii. The book had over 1,100 pages and I cannot tell you anything about that book today, other than the fact I didn't like reading it. And summer reading Well, it wasn't really my thing. But after all my years in school and spending 25 years as a teacher and educational administrator, there truly is something special about summer. It's that chance to recharge and take care of yourself for a couple of months before welcoming that new group of students into your classroom or building. And for those of you who are corporate professionals, summer can be a welcome time, or it's filled with client meetings and work trips and the next thing you know, summer's come and gone. Well, in this episode, i am going to help you build a fun and easy summer professional development plan that will build your mid-career GPS to whatever is next for you and your career, and it's not going to take up a lot of your time. Let's get started. Hello, my friends, this is episode 163 of the mid-career GPS podcast. I'm your host, john Narrell. I help mid-career professionals who feel stuck, undervalued and underutilized show up to find a job they love, or love the job they have, by using my proven four-step formula. If you haven't done so already, kindly remember to follow or subscribe to this podcast wherever you're listening to it right now, and you could do me a huge favor by sharing this show link with someone in your network who you believe would really benefit from subscribing or following to this podcast. Now, since this episode is all about your professional development, i want to remind you that I have a free guide on my website. It's called Five Mistakes Mid-Career Professionals Make and Need to Stop Doing. You're going to get that free guide by going to my website, johnneral. com, and it's got five powerful tips to help you reset and move forward as you build your mid-career GPS. I will keep today's episode short as we head into next week's Fourth of July holiday, but over the next 60 days, i want to offer that this is a prime opportunity for you to do a few simple things to develop yourself professionally. I've got five suggestions for you And as you listen to these five, know that I'm challenging you to do at least one, but if you can do all five, more power to you, my friend. So the first tip is updating your resume. You might hear that and think well, john, how is that really professional development? I want you to consider that a lot has happened since the last time you updated your resume. Maybe you've held multiple positions. Maybe there have been several significant accomplishments or achievements, leadership opportunities, projects you've led results you've gotten that aren't on your resume and should be Taking time to update your resume helps you be ready when the time comes for you to apply for an internal promotion or you unexpectedly find yourself outside of the organization looking for new employment. As an active job seeker, whether now or later, you know that having a resume that is ready to go is going to save you a lot of time. I don't want you to feel like you have to rush in getting your resume done. I am certainly an advocate for getting your resume professionally written, and I'll link up in the show notes to an episode that I did with Porschia Parker- Griffin from Fly High Coaching, who talked all about getting your resume professionally written. Let's be serious. You're not a professional resume writer And because you're not, what that means is that you're going to end up spending a lot of time trying to do something you're not really good at. So you may want to consider hiring somebody to update your resume, but before you can do that, you are going to have to give them a list of those accomplishments or achievements you've done so they can format your resume accordingly. So imagine if you just took 30 minutes this summer and brain dumped all the things that you've done on your job or in various positions you've held since the last time you've updated your resume and then handed that off to a professional resume writer. It'll save you a lot of time and you will get an amazing resume back that you can be proud of. So if we're talking about resumes, tip number two leans itself very nicely into this, which is your LinkedIn profile. What I want to offer you here is to be more active on LinkedIn as part of your professional development. That means engage with content that's already out there. Don't just hit the reaction button, but think of a thoughtful comment that you can tag the author of that post in your comment and let them know what you liked about their article or what you liked about that tip. Find a way to engage. Ask an open-ended question to see if the author of that post will engage with you. The other thing is find ways to grow your network. Act with people who are in fields you're currently working in or fields you desire to be in. If you really want to stretch yourself, then by all means post. Post some content, be it motivational, inspirational, informative. Post content that you believe people in your network will like to see and they'll be more engaged with. Now maybe you're sitting here and you're saying, well, john, that's great, i know I need to be more engaging and I need to maybe publish some content, but I don't really like where my LinkedIn profile is right now and I don't like how it looks. Well, i hear that from a lot of mid-career professionals. Let's acknowledge that your LinkedIn profile is never going to be perfect, but it does need to be something you're proud of, as it is your professional business card on the platform. There are a few things you can do to optimize your LinkedIn profile. Write a more engaging about section. Write it in the first person. Share something personal about who you are, something of interest. Maybe it's a place you've always wanted to travel to. Or maybe it's a place you have traveled or you played or excelled at a particular sport that people might be curious to know about. Maybe you sung the national anthem at a major sporting event, whatever that is. Use that as a way to build that no-likes and trust factor we hear all the time on social media. Update your headshot, update your banner behind your headshot. Then the other thing is get more recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. I've got another great episode about why we need to be writing more LinkedIn recommendations. I'll link that up in the show notes as well. Here's one other thing I want to offer you about your LinkedIn. If you're taking the time to go through your resume and update your significant accomplishments and achievements, you need to make sure that your experience section on LinkedIn reflects that as well. Don't just have your job title at whatever organization you work at and nothing beyond that. People want to know what you do and, more importantly, from a networking perspective, people want to know how well you do what you do. So that's where having some significant accomplishments you can put in your experience section would be extremely beneficial. Now you might sit here and go oh my gosh, that's going to take a tremendous amount of time. I'm going to tell you you could do all of this in an hour, and you don't have to do it all in one sitting. You could break it up into three 20-minute segments over a given week and boom, you've got a LinkedIn profile that you feel much better about and you can start going and connecting with people. All right. so number three is I want to offer that, for your professional development, read one book this summer, but instead of it being a book that your teacher assigns to you, read one book that's of interest to you, and I'm also going to offer that it doesn't have to be a business book. So if there's anything on your tablet, your Kindle, your bookshelf that you've been meaning to read, i want you to consider picking that book back up and reading it for the sheer enjoyment of reading a book. There are many outstanding books that are out there, and I want you to read something that's important to you, but then take something from that book and implement it. This is something a little different than Netflix and Shell, which can be a lot of fun sometimes, i'm not going to deny, but having a book that you're going to be able to talk about is a way for you to now have a different type of conversation with somebody. I'm going to recommend three books to you here. The one is Becky Fraser's Coach You the Introverted Skeptics Guide to Leadership. She was in episode 150. I'll link up to that one as well. There's another book by a coach, colleague and friend of mine, david Dio, called The Umbrella, which is another fascinating, self-reflective type journey book. And then the other book which I'm going to be reading this summer is called Free to Focus by Michael Hyatt. So, having an opportunity to be more laser focused in work and to move a little more beyond some of the tactical day-to-day things, to be more strategic, that's the book that I'm going to be digging into this summer. So, whatever it is, imagine going back and talking to somebody and saying, hey, I read this interesting book over the summer. Have you ever read it? And more than likely they may not have. So if that's the case, have three critical points from that book or takeaways that you can share with them. Be amazed where that conversation can go. So pick one book and have a good read. Ok. Number four to professionally develop yourself. My tip for you here is to grow your network. You already have one, but you may not be engaged with them, or there's people in your network whom you haven't talked to in a while. So this is an opportunity for you to warm up your network, reach out, ask them a question, invite them to a virtual coffee. If you're local to each other, see about maybe meeting in person for lunch or a drink or a cup of coffee, whatever that might be But additionally, take some time to invite people into your network. Let's say there's 60 days in the summer We know there's more than that, but let's just say July and August. We're looking at about 62 days. We'll make 60 to make it easier. This is where my math brain kicks in and feels like it has to be precise. Let's just say 60 days. Even if you made one new connection a day on LinkedIn And these were people whom you were excited to have in your network and be a part of theirs, you've got 60 new connections that if you spend reaching out to one of them a week over the next year, imagine how much more robust your network is. Imagine who they could connect you to and, more importantly, who you could connect them to. Growing your network is one of those things that I find we often overlook when it comes to professional development, because we feel like it has to be something we read or we attend to training. I want you to be doing something with your professional development this summer. Growing your network is a great way to do it Now. Additionally, you could find a virtual networking event to attend or an in-person networking event. Maybe there's a local chapter at your Chamber of Commerce or a business organization or a professional chapter or organization you belong to that you could attend an event in person. Think about ways to grow your network and be more intentional about doing it Now. The last one is one which you're going to need to take a few minutes, and this is some deep work to do. My last tip for you today about your professional development is to write a note to yourself about where you want your career to be by January 1st 2024. I know I said it. I already started talking about the new year. Where do you want your career to be essentially in six months? Do you want the new job? Do you want to be out from under a toxic boss? Do you want to be in a different organization? Do you want to be making more money? Do you want more responsibility? Do you want to scale back on your responsibilities? Whatever that is, i want you to write a note to yourself I'm going to offer. Handwrite it, handwrite it, put it in an envelope, seal it, put it somewhere that on January 1st 2024, you can go back and look at, think about all the things that you've done to get yourself there or maybe some of the things that you missed. Having an exercise where you write things down engages the brain very differently. It actually slows it down. You're going to be more conscious about what you're writing and thinking and being more intentional. Where do you want your career to be in six months? Set those benchmarks or milestones and take the time right now to be more intentional about your career. The five tips that we talked about today were updating your resume, optimizing your LinkedIn profile, reading one book, growing your network and writing a note to yourself about where you want your career to be by January 1, 2024. I'd love to hear from you about which one stood out and which one you're committed to doing this summer. You can do it by either emailing me at john at johnnarrellcom, or direct message me on LinkedIn, or you can DM me on Instagram or Facebook at JohnnarrellCoaching. But in the meantime, remember this we build our mid-career GPS one mile or one step at a time, and how we show up matters. If you're traveling for the 4th of July holiday. May you have safe travels. Be mindful of everybody else around you on the road in the skies. Be nice to people. I will be back with you next week with another episode. Until then, take care. Thank you for listening to the Mid-Career GPS podcast. Make sure to follow on your favorite listening platform And, if you have a moment, i'd love to hear your comments on Apple podcasts. Visit johnnarrellcom for more information about how I can help you build your mid-career GPS or how I can help you in your organization with your next workshop or public speaking event, and don't forget to connect with me on LinkedIn and follow me on social at JohnnarrellCoaching. I look forward to being back with you next week. Until then, take care and remember how we show up matters.

Mid-Career Summer Professional Development Plan
Safe Travels and Gratitude