Today’s Work It Daily Challenge is to identify three virtual mentors. Mentors are important influencers in your life. They are people who inspire you, shape you, and coach you. While mentors could be family members, bosses, colleagues, professional acquaintances, or friends, you don’t necessarily have to know someone in person for them to be a mentor to you. We call these people “virtual mentors.” They’re people who inspire you from afar. Whether they’re celebrities, successful business people, authors, or something else, keep them “nearby.” You don’t have to know someone personally in order for them to have a positive effect on your life. These people can inspire, shape, and coach you through their books, actions, values, missions, talks, videos, quotes, and more. As long as you look up to them, it doesn’t matter if you meet them for coffee once a month or not. One of my virtual mentors is Marie Forleo. She’s a successful business coach and entrepreneur, and she is someone who has “encouraged” me to look outside the box when it comes to business. Even though I only connect with her once a week through her email newsletter and videos, she still has had a great influence on my career. Everyone has different virtual mentors depending on their personality, goals, and personal preference. Some people will connect with you and others will not. You can have all kinds of different virtual mentors - they don’t all have to be in the same category (i.e., business coach). For example, your virtual mentors could include people like:
1. Digital dirtA resume can’t clean up digital dirt. If you’ve had negative things posted about you online, you need to bury it. A well-written LinkedIn (and Google Plus) profile will help. So will blogging, press releases, and article publishing. But, a resume won’t do you a bit of good if an employer Googles you and finds a blemish you’d rather they not hold against you.
2. Being let goA resume alone can’t help you answer the question, “Have you ever been fired?” You need coaching to craft a concise script and answer this with your best poker face. Staying calm only comes with practice and preparation, which a resume can’t do for you.
3. Barriers to employmentA resume can’t help you with your in-person image. If you think you’re being overlooked due to a disability, ageism (old or young), or any other serious discriminatory practice, you need a coach. Or perhaps you’re just struggling to look or feel the part. You need a solid strategy to deal with these obstacles that a resume can’t help you with.
4. Moving upIf you’re vying for a promotion, wanting to achieve an executive-level position, or just transitioning to a new field, a resume alone might not cut it. You need a portfolio of documents and writing to reflect how savvy you are as a communicator. A coach can help you know how and when to use an executive bio, cover letter, reference dossier, and LinkedIn profile. Also, you’ll need insider information to know what the company’s real struggles are. Finding out what the job ad isn’t saying by interviewing your network with targeted questions you go over with your coach can give you the advantage over your competition.
5. NetworkingAll of these challenges necessitate developing a relationships with people that will advocate for you. Relying on a resume alone will just lengthen your search. You can apply for years to posted positions and get nowhere because people really do tend to hire people they know, like, and trust. If you are not working on “Digging your well before you need it,” as the title of the famous book by that name recommends, you may end up struggling for years. A coach can help you build your network, learn to do informational interviews, and make progress faster. A resume is tough for the best of candidates to write for themselves. But, throw in one of the above stumbling blocks, and you can end up in an endless cycle of obsessing over how to deal with it. Avoid this stress by getting some fries with that. Coaching is one add-on my clients never regret. Need help? Contact with me through my website, or connect with me on LinkedIn to stay in touch. This post was originally published at an earlier date.
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About the authorKristin S. Johnson is a TORI award-winning, 6-times certified resume writer, job search coach, and social media consultant. Her approach is cutting-edge, creative, and kind. As owner of Profession Direction, LLC, she works with professionals and aspiring executives across the country. Disclosure: This post is sponsored by a CAREEREALISM-approved expert. You can learn more about expert posts here. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
Performance coaching isn't just for businesses hoping to increase their bottom dollar. Individual coaching is available to anyone that wants to further their career in order to reach their ultimate goals. Related: Don’t Be Afraid Of Changing Your Job Goals Whether you are fresh out of college, just starting a new job or are a seasoned professional, performance coaching can take you to the next level with your career and give it the jump start it needs to get onto the right track.