How do I stand out from the crowd?
As an early career professional or career changer, this question has probably come up more than once during your job search. Typically, it pops up whenever you feel like a small fish in a large ocean with thousands of other fishes vying for the same food (career opportunities). This dilemma leaves you wondering if there is something more you can do.
The answer is yes! All you have to do is create content online.
By creating content online, important stakeholders at your dream companies get to notice you. Content creation drives the much-needed visibility that will help you land your dream job without actively applying.
Fears of content creation can, sadly, hinder you from achieving those benefits. But not anymore.
We share five common content creation fears and actionable steps on how to crush them.
This fear occurs when you are fixated on the content itself rather than the process. It leads to a block that stops you from kickstarting your online content creation journey. The first step to overcoming this obstacle is to discover your preferred content format.
Deciding which format best highlights your expertise, knowledge, and personality allows you to produce content consistently without a struggle.
So, ask yourself this question:
Which content format do I feel most comfortable creating?
Once you figure that out, research and study content creators who produce your chosen content format.
For example, the COO of Wonsulting, Jerry Lee, writes his posts daily on LinkedIn. If you analyze his posts, you will find a mix of anecdotal storytelling, informative statistics, and the occasional Twitter re-share accompanied with his thoughts on the tweet.
And let's not forget the classic saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words."
You can take a page from Gary Vaynerchuk's playbook. He uses images on his post to make an impactful statement. The image could be a picture you took or a graphic you made on Canva. Just make sure that it tells a story or informs the viewer.
You may think people may not find your content interesting because your life details are boring, but don't be so quick to make that judgment call.
People are attracted to different types of stories:
A person from the other side of the world might find your experiences fascinating. Your content might even resonate with someone from your town or city.
If you're unsure what story to tell, here are some prompts to help you get started:
You might be scared of putting your thoughts publicly online because of possible condemnation and judgment from strangers. But more often than not, these fears are only thoughts, not based on truth or reality.
So how do you get rid of these thoughts?
The first step entails asking yourself why you think other people's opinion of you matters.
Also, probe to know if your fear of judgment stems from either the need to look perfect or a lack of self-belief.
Once you know the root cause of your fear, give yourself the grace to experience imperfect moments. Permit yourself to grow within such discomforting moments. See failure as an opportunity to learn, not an avenue for your detractors to have the last laugh.
Try doing something new every day for a month. Ex. karaoke singing, rollerblading or learning a new language.
Take this further by grabbing an accountability partner (a friend, lover, family, or colleague) and sharing the challenge details with them. Ask them to hold you accountable for the month-long challenge.
What if no one engages or likes my post?
The fear of investing so much time into creating a post only to get crickets makes many scared out of their wits.
To conquer that fear, you first need to swallow this bitter pill:
Some of your posts (particularly your early posts) will get little to zero likes. No one is immune to this phase.
In those low points, try to remember why you are creating content in the first place— to become more visible to decision makers at your dream company. Remembering your purpose keeps you going on days when you want to give up. More than this, consider low engagement as a way to learn. If your post doesn't garner high engagement, don't beat yourself about it. Instead, ask yourself:
Why didn't this post do well as my highly engaged ones? What didn't I do right? What can I learn from this?
Remember: Low engagement isn't necessarily a sign of poor value or irrelevance. It could be due to poor timing or wrong caption.
This isn't so much of fear but can be a paralyzing situation. Panicking about how and where to create content leads to an overwhelm that eventually prevents you from sharing your thoughts.
We don't have a complex answer to this conundrum because the solution is pretty simple:
You can post your content on other platforms, but we suggest starting with LinkedIn because the goal is to get noticed by recruiters and 87% of recruiters use LinkedIn.
You are not alone when it comes to the fears of creating content, but you can't let your fears get in the way of landing your dream job or company.
Valerie Mekki is a freelance SEO writer and blogger for Oh, hello work life- a blog dedicated to helping professionals create their own opportunities at work or with a side hustle business.
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The year was 2020. We met Gary Pierre during our Wonsulting Project 2020, an initiative we launched to help thousands of job-seekers land internships and offers during the pandemic.