Leveraging Social Media for Professional Development and Career Growth

We are all familiar with social media and its imprint that it has left on us, especially in today’s quick-paced, technology savvy society. From documenting our locations, posting status updates, uploading photos, and even photographing a meal that we are about to consume. It is pretty easy to stay on top of the latest celebrity sightings and even know about what our friends and family are doing at any given moment of the day.

What if I told you that you could leverage social media for more than just socializing in your personal life? That social media is the new way to enhance your professional and networking skills, so that you can build a clear pathway to meet your career goals. Here are numerous ways you can take your social media usage to the next level, whilst creating a pathway for professional development and career success!

Creating a professional presence on social media

To begin, pick one or two platforms. That is it. You want to focus on figuring out how to grow a platform, so limiting it to just a couple platforms is essential. Once you have gotten that down, you can add more later. To pick the right starter platforms, think about three things: where your audience is hanging out, which platforms you actually like using, and which platforms support the kind of content you want to post. Two of the more popular professional networking platforms are LinkedIn and Facebook.

Follow industry leaders and innovative thinkers on your social media

Start networking and finding influencers who are working, or knowledgeable, in the field of work that you are interested in. Some examples of people to follow include journalists, news entities, leaders in your industry, athletes, and professional organizations. Start slow, and then grow your network little by little, so that it remains manageable.

Immerse yourself in content related to your field

Start reading and researching blogs, professional timelines, articles, stories, and business journals that relate to the latest trends happening in your field. In doing so, you enhance your skills and overall knowledge. By continually familiarizing yourself with the most current updates, you open endless possibilities to grow professionally and reach your career goals.

Take in what you are learning and apply that to real life

Get involved! Take ownership of your social media presence and personal brand. Observe what other brands and professionals are doing, and figure out how you can mold it into something of your own. You can also share your knowledge with your organization, so others can learn and apply it to their own respective situations and life experiences.

Social Media is a very powerful tool that we have at the palms of our hands. At times, our use of social media could be deemed reckless. However, if we own our personal brand and develop a strategic approach to leveraging social media, it can be extremely helpful in optimizing career development and enhancing future opportunities.

Are you looking to advance your career? Goodwill provides no-cost career services for anyone seeking employment or a higher-paying job. We offer job seekers the tools and resources to feel confident, purpose-driven, and successful. Goodwill’s My Career Advisor is the best place to start if you’re planning for the future. Signing up is quick, easy, and free.


Author Bio:

Andrea is a Sr. Learning Consultant for Goodwill of Central & Northern Arizona’s Learning and Development Team. She has been with Goodwill for 2.5 years, and has experience in Instructional Design, Project Management, Leadership and Consultation. Andrea loves working for Goodwill because she is committed to serving others and enhancing the lives of people in the community through education and learning experiences. Goodwill’s mission allows her to leverage her talents and experience to better the communities we serve.

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