Today, I spoke with Emily Bennington, college-to-career expert and coauthor of Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job. Emily is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, a frequent speaker to college students and organizations, and the host of www.ProfessionalStudio365.com
Mohammed: How has technology changed your life on a personal and professional level?
Emily: Technology, and social media in particular, have really leveled the playing field. It’s so easy to identify like-minds and connect with them now in ways that simply wouldn’t have been possible just a few years ago. For example, through Twitter alone, I’ve met the co-author of my next book, the designer of my website, and had the opportunity to ask one of my idols Tom Peters a leadership question directly. And guess what? He answered!
Mohammed: Mark Zuckerberg said “the age of privacy is over”, should our online identity be completely transparent as offline character to have a remarkable personal brand?
Emily: I do believe that, in order to have a remarkable personal brand, you MUST be highly-visible on the web. Keeping up with a blog, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. is simply not optional for anyone who wants to position themselves as an expert in their field. That said, I believe we must also be very intentional about the messages we send, both online and off. I tell students that, in the workforce, they have to have their “game face” on at all times. In other words, they may be fighting with their girlfriend or concerned about their rent, but they have to maintain a completely professional exterior. The same is true with your “Web 2.0” presence, so, in that regard, I don’t believe in 100% transparency.
Mohammed: What advice would you give to someone who is depressed because of the current economic situation? What jobseekers should do if they complete one year without finding a job?
Emily: Be prepared to take a position that’s lower on the food chain. A lot of young professionals in particular have been told for years to “follow their passion” and “refuse to settle.” While I’m obviously a believer in big dreams, I also think people should be practical enough to “seek cover” if needed under a job with a steady paycheck until the market improves. And who knows? If you give 100% to a “small” job, it could ultimately morph into a “big” opportunity in the long-run. When I entered the workforce, I couldn’t even find a job at a restaurant, so I started working as a temp in a marketing agency. Temping isn’t glamorous by any stretch but I saw the potential and ended up working at that company for more than six years. In that time, I doubled my salary and went from basically being the receptionist to being their marketing director.
Brand Word: My favorite quote is:
Spotlight: Emily’s latest book Effective Immediately: How to Fit In, Stand Out, and Move Up at Your First Real Job