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by Patti Wilson
Nov 4 2016
Many executives think the professional promotion they put online will jeopardize their employment with their current company. They don’t want their employer to think they are actively looking for a job. Thus, they deliberately withhold information on LinkedIn (and other social sites), refuse to get recommendations and expand their social networks with new contacts.
Any career transition requires making your professional competencies visible online, as that’s where search firms and employers look. Though there is no avoiding visibility, you can approach it without risk by blogging in any language. Making a career transition can take the most advantage of a blog with least risk of your employer’s retribution.
Because a transition requires building your reputation and thought leadership in a new field or industry, a social profile focused on past accomplishments will not be as helpful in making the move. To be considered as a viable candidate in new sectors means developing a new online track-record of knowledge and credibility. Expressing opinions, providing information, and offering advice online creates thought leadership and a blog is the platform to broadcast it for you.
Transitioning into a New Industry, Sector or Field
Establishing thought leadership starts with preparation and even total immersion in the new sector. Here is a list of topic categories for an industry or sector that you should be able to fluently address when approaching your career transitions. Ironically, many professionals cannot speak to those categories in their current fields and sectors. With thorough research on each topic, in the process you will uncover fertile data, information and news to blog about.
Here are topics to research in the process of your transition:
- Outlook and growth trends
- Financial and media buzz
- Vulnerability to take-over or bankruptcy
- Reputations in the industry
- Growth rate and profitability
- Key management players
- Thought leaders/academia
- Big dogs and emerging companies
- New products or innovations
- Customer base and market channels
- The dish and noise on the street
When you have completed the research, you should have copious amounts of data and resources to start blogging with that will begin to lay down your reputation in the new sector. Needless to say, the minute you consider making a transition, you should start doing this, even before updating your resume and social profiles. This takes longer to lay the groundwork but the payoff will be substantial as it reflects on everything else you do to make the transition.
Next are basic strategies and tactics to maximize your blogging payoff while minimizing your time and work. Because writing your own original ideas and thoughts on a new sector or field is the most time-consuming and difficult, starting with current, accessible information will expedite the process. After you make the career transition and establish yourself in the sector, then you can write your own original material based on your actual experience.
Blogging on Articles
The easiest, fastest and best way to start sounding knowledgeable in a field or sector you are transitioning into is to make observations and throw out your opinions on published articles. Insert part of the article into your blog, add a link at the end to the rest of the article and precede it with your brief but astute opinion.
That’s all it takes to sound credible for starters. Look for articles in your new targeted sector in the process of doing the above research in niche publications, journals and magazines.
Commenting on Blogs
Do a Google search on blogs and bloggers who write on the sector you are transitioning into, follow them and comment on their posts. In addition, link to their blog’s posts and write your opinions about them on your own blog. In this way, you will get double visibility on two blogs, not just one. Make the bloggers you follow into networking contacts as well.
Interview Experts and Professionals in the Sector
The traditional way to make a career transition is to do informational interviews in the new field or sector. But they are so over-used due to the many seeking new employment that they have become signals to anyone you approach that you are doing a job search. Often times you will be refused or given just perfunctory time and attention as a favor.
When you are asking for information about a sector and a company for yourself, then it is not an equal exchange or a quid pro quo. When you ask for information for a blog posting that others will read then you are both equally giving and getting value.
You can write up the interview and post it or you can record it. If you record the audio, then it is a podcast inserted into your blog. If you record audio and video via a webcam, then you have a videocast.
Most importantly, by interviewing someone expert in the field, your blog will attract the attention of others in the sector and build your network there as well.
Spread the Word about Your Thought Leadership
Once you have posted about 12 backdated blogs – one for every month – then you can start promoting them via Twitter to LinkedIn and Facebook. Both Linkedin and Facebook offer Twitter connections that will facilitate that endeavor. Announcing the titles of each new blog post will enable you to gain more visibility and followers/friends/connections in the sector you are transitioning into. Announcing your blog post titles to relevant LinkedIn Groups in the new field or sector will also enhance your credibility and potentially open doors for you.
As you make the transition, your assimilation into the new sector will be easier as you will already be fluent in the new territory. Gaining respect will be easier with customers, colleagues, and management because you will put a link to your blog in your online/email signature. You can let your thoughts precede your meetings with people.
Whatever you do for your blogging, be consistent and stay the course. Don’t give up on it because quick results are not forthcoming. Any transition takes a lot of time, work, and perseverance.