Many years ago, I read a business book (the exact title I cannot remember) from Tom Peters, the business management guru and co-author of In Search of Excellence (first published in 1982). The golden nugget from that book that stuck with me all these years is that you need to add something significant to your resume every three months, or you are not worth your job. Perhaps this idea was born out of the “what have you done for me lately” management style. This may seem a little harsh, but it’s certainly motivating!
This simple passage from Tom Peters’ book planted a seed in me to purposefully seek out noteworthy additions to my professional biography by way of achievements and new credentials. I believe this attitude not only keeps you growing and going, but it makes you a more interesting and credible person.
Years in the making
This weekend I am proud to say that I added something cool to my professional biography. I was awarded my second Dan Black Belt in the martial art of Tae Kwon Do. My husband and several of my TKD friends were also awarded high belts. This award has taken me ten years to accomplish. It’s been a journey that has seen me through all sorts of challenges, including injury, cancer and aging. Still I persisted and did my best. Now I am able to celebrate my achievement.
Today my 2nd degree black belt was officially included my professional biography, including my LinkedIn profile, my speaker introduction and my resume on line and event sent it out to one prospective client. This may not have anything to do with my skill as an executive presentation coach and professional speaker, but it certainly has the “Oooohh” factor.
What would you like to add to your professional bio this year?
It’s the start of a brand new year and the perfect time to be planning for personal and professional growth opportunities. You may be in the middle of that accomplishment, but you’ll need to push yourself to complete it, as January is already slipping by.
I hope to add a second published book to my professional biography in 2013. That will be a ton of work, but when I visualize it on my professional bio, I get motivated to take action and push forward towards the goal line. Here’s one of my favorite quotes:
“A year from now, you may wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb
What can you do to enrich yourself this year? It doesn’t have to be monumental. But you do need to push yourself out of your comfort zone and daily routine to strive for higher achievement. Here are a few ideas that you might want to consider:
- Publish an article in a trade journal or online blog;
- Start a blog and keep it going strong through 2013. Build your list of readers and followers. Create content and share your thought-leadership;
- Publish an ebook on-line;
- Submit your idea of interest in a book proposal to a publishing company for their consideration (need help – read this how-to book on the subject by Michael Larsen);
- Join a board of directors of a nonprofit organization or other service organization. Get active in helping your community through volunteer leadership;
- Complete your college degree (it’s never too late in your career to get this done!);
- Enroll in and complete an entrepreneurial course. Write a business plan for the business idea you’ve been dreaming about for years;
- Earn a certification in your professional field (coaching certificate, Six Sigma certificate, Project Management certification, etc.);
- Get certified to teach yoga or other exercise classes. Enroll in the martial arts;
- Learn a second (or third) language. Use your vacation time to travel to a country where you can practice your new language and experience the culture;
- Make progress on your goal to visit every continent;
- Read one non-fiction book or more per month. That’s 12 books you will finish in 2013. Select books that will enhance your professional knowledge and skill set. Romance novels and murder mysteries don’t count on this goal. Share what you learn with others in your network. Post reviews of these books online. Keep a record of the books you have finished.
- Compete in something: a Toastmasters International public speaking competition, a Triathlon, a singing/dancing contest, tennis tournament, a photo contest, juried art show. How about entering your giant pumpkin or plum jam in this year’s country fair?;
- Design and offer a workshop, class, or public seminar and teach others what you know. Contact your local colleges and schools and find out what they need. Add “adjunct professor” to your biography.
- Create a YouTube video that showcases your expertise and offers solid value to others;
- Sponsor something or someone. Become a Big Brother or Big Sister;
- Sign up to be chair person for a major fund raising event. Leverage your leadership skills to benefit a worthy organization;
- Take an officer position with your local chamber of commerce or other business networking group or industry association. Yes, you too can be president or vice president (but be prepared to do some real work. It’s more than just a title!);
- Get certified as a Reiki massage therapist. Volunteer at your local cancer center;
- Get promoted and take on an exciting new job responsibility this year!
Your Networking Goal for the Week
This is the week to set your sights on something concrete and impressive that you can accomplish in 2013. Think deeply about it. Visualize how you would showcase it on your professional biography and LinkedIn profile. How would it add value to your personal brand and professional life? How much more interesting, experienced, and diversified can you be as a human being a year from now?
Write down the one thing you would like to start and finish in 2013. Break down that goal into actionable steps that you must take in order to be successful. If you are not sure of the next steps, then meet with someone in your network who has done something similar. Understand what process they used and what steps they took.
Remember, nothing happens unless you take action. Dreaming starts the process; but action makes it happen.
Now, tell someone who is willing to hold you accountable for this goal.