I BRAG DIFFERENT
First things first, I am a lawyer.
Warning I will never let you forget this fact. In fact no let’s get this right, I am an Advocate of the High Court of Kenya.
Now on to more serious matters, the age of social media has paved the way for more and more people to make money by leveraging their influence. If anyone has figured out how to make money online it is Millennials and Generation Z. And they are making thousands of dollars annually, for what it seems doing nothing but pose for the camera and tagging brands. Instagram being the biggest platform that makes the most money for influencers with a whooping $12.9M in brand sponsorships in 2017. But social media has got to be more than just double-tapping on derrieres and storying your lituation from the weekend.
We literally do not come online, we live online. The average internet user spends 6 hours online daily most of this time we are scrolling through other people’s posts, stalking them and sharing externally to WhatsApp groups or just mindlessly thumbing through our feeds. Some of us have figured out how these different spaces work for us socially, but how do we leverage on them professionally? If you are going to be online 6 hours you might as well develop yourself personally or progress your career right? Sure you have been toying around with switching jobs but how will you beat the crowds on that open call, better yet how do you get in the door before the door is even opened.
Have you heard of LinkedIn?
Go on, you need to blow the dust off yours first or set up an account while we try to figure it out. As a professional this social platform is not optional for you, its the most public secret society for career climbers there is.
How is it beneficial you ask?
First of all, there is less noise, on LinkedIn we only talk about professional accolades. You have been spared from unsightly tags of feeling excited with 55 others or this here is my vacation, look at me in a bikini. Our photos are from memorable moments in our career, events we attended and their significance to global matters, our professional stances, talks we have held, causes we have led and famous people handshakes. Yes, yes there are cool points for meeting President Obama. Forget all the personal stuff, where you interact with like-minded individuals and gain to interact with professional mentors in a way you may not have.
How do you find them?
Aside from physically entering their names in the search bar and sending a request to Connect, the way you fill in your profile matters. It speaks to your personal brand and the opportunities that LinkedIn will avail to you. You update your skills page and the network maps you with people in similar fields. Not only that but should you opt there is a mentoring platform available where you can discuss career development with your senior. Sometimes you might just like someone’s opinion on a post and it develops further interest into the person. It is all you and how you choose to build relationships.
So what is all this to me?
LinkedIn first of all sends you job alerts whose skill match yours, so it is a good headway to start. Recruiters often plough through LinkedIn first looking for skilled individuals from whom to recruit rather than plough through massive CV’s sent in by people who do not meet the minimum qualifications. You could also get poached based on the content you create, which is basically how you talk about your achievements or contributions to the platform. Thought leadership, look it up, I can’t do everything for you guys. There is an opportunity to write articles based on your expertise kind of sort of like blogging and Facebook notes, which increases your discoverability. You build your brand personality and create opportunities even for speaking engagements or more publicity opinions for yourself, your public professional worth counts for something.
Look at it this way, Sharon Mundia, created her persona online that earned her a self-hosted prime TV show, Living With Ess on NTV in the morning without any prior training in journalism. There’s a lot to do with how you carve out your niche, express yourself and who is watching. Brag different.
Are there any rules?
Of course, this is not wildlife! Portraits only… like we started off saying this is a professional site. Take it the same way you would an interview, a potential employer should not find it hard to focus on your profile because your chest is hanging out of your profile picture. Just like every other social networking platform you can slide into the DM’s of most people whether or not you are connected. A cautionary thought, “Hey” “How’s you” “You are beautiful” just won’t cut it. This is not why we are here, the CEO of that organisation you want to work for does not have time for all this flattery. Do not also just barge in and ask for a job, who are you? Get to the point, “I am… I do… I was hoping to pick your brain on… I read your piece on and I wanted to share my thoughts…” This person could be your boss or the path to your next boss. Your main aim should be to start a connection and build a network, add value to the relationship rather than take take take.
But that’s for next time, this was just a taste, let me know if we should discuss more career stuff, particularly in connection in digital.
Location: Supreme Court of Kenya
With the Chief Justice of Kenya, David Maraga and my family during my Admission to the Bar