Some people think selfies, pictures that focus on you, are vain. But to advance your career, you need to pay attention to yourself to get yourself to the next level. To position yourself for opportunities, capture select moments in your life that allow people to know what you are doing, to realize the value you offer and to keep you at the top of their thoughts. Take these five steps, and make selfies work for your career:
1. Give a sneak peak of you as a person.
Selfies are casual pictures, pictures that are usually not staged or produced. On a moment’s notice, you might decide to take a picture at arm’s length of yourself with your smartphone camera. You could be on your way to the evening leadership class you take or running a race on the weekend.
Capture moments that are personal, but not inappropriate. Capture life’s moments that help people see what makes you a great professional and as a way to connect with colleagues on other levels.
People are interested in people. Take advantage of the casual nature of selfies, and let people in to your life. People say they want work life integration. Show them what they want, and lead by example.
2. Show what you are doing as a professional.
Think about capturing moments that show, for example, that you are learning, working with a team (“selfies” can include people other than you) or getting ready to give a presentation. Snap photos of everyday situations or special moments that don’t disclose confidential or sensitive information.
Keeping your head down and getting the work done is not going to help you advance your career. Pick your head up, and get a picture so people can see the work you are doing and the value you bring.
3. Increase engagement and tap into other networks.
Social media posts with images increase engagement. What also helps to increase engagement is when you include others. Bring other people into the conversation by including them in the selfie or mentioning them by way of showing appreciation of something they did for you.
When you get other people involved, they are more likely to engage and share the post with their networks. When other networks of people see your post, you expand your reach. The more people know what you are doing, the greater your impact.
Research suggests that people who don’t know you well could be even more helpful to your career than your friends or colleagues. The people you don’t know well have access to networks that you have not yet tapped, which can open other doors for you. Be inclusive to increase engagement. Increase engagement to expand your opportunities.
4. Stay top of mind for opportunities.
To be considered for opportunities, people have to think of you. To be thought of, you have to stay-top-of-mind. Your career is your business. Market yourself like any other company that publicizes their products or service. Once each weak, share a moment or selfie you have captured. Regularly share content so people think of you when they come across opportunities. Make people think of you.
5. Develop and further your professional brand.
Take advantage of the opportunity to craft the narrative and profile that you want colleagues and prospective employers to know about you. Think about the words you use with your picture and the moment you capture. Does your picture convey your values, mission and passion? Does your picture align with the type of work and organizations you want to be connected with in the future?
Don’t depend on a resume alone to help you achieve your next career move. Put a face to a name. Add a dimension and a human element to your professional accomplishments. Enhance your brand to steer your career in the direction where you want to go.
Prioritizing yourself is an investment. It’s not vain. It’s not selfish. It’s smart. When you have opportunities to showcase the moments that make you a great professional, take advantage of them.