The Art of Standing Out in 2011

Posted by Lady Mel On Monday, January 24, 2011 2 comments

This is my New Years Resolution. Please ignore the last post. It did not happen. Here is what I've been dying for you guys to read. Enjoy!

I've done some extraordinary things last year. I've gotten a volunteer gig in April. I went to a Smith College networking event in October. I'm networking with people at my volunteer gig. I am learning what it takes to be a leader and trailblazer. But those were just small steps to my plan of world domination. I am still not financially stable. I am still looking for a job. I still don't have my own place. Yet these things will come in due time.

2011 is the breaking point of my post-college career . If I don't elevate myself to new heights, I am pretty much screwed. So my 2011 motto is standing out in the world. I believe in the power of good karma and doing good deeds. I believe that if I help more people through my talents, I can prove to myself and to others that I am someone worthy of their time, energy, and commitment. I did not do enough last year to get companies and recruiters to notice me and this year I will.

Yeah Time Magazine. Mark Zuckerberg was a good choice, but I would have made a better one! Anyway to achieve this goal, I have to do better. Speak louder. Move quicker. Work smarter and harder than I have even worked before. How will I do these things? By these three simple principles:

1. Network: Networking will become an even more pivotal part of my life in 2011. It is who you know that will take you to the top of your industry or field. I plan on finding a job, but I will not use networking to get me a job directly and I say this with brute honesty because people will see me as desperate. Networking will improve my self-esteem and leadership skills and give my contacts enough optimism and trust in me to possibly connect me to others, which can lead me to job prospects. Big difference. 2010 was all about  online job hunting which resulted in possible online frauds, dead ins, and ineffective recruiting. My New Years Resolution is about building my connections and knowledge of schmoozing and marketing. This is how I am going to network in 2011:

Offline Networking:
- Network with people I know through my volunteer gig, college, networking events,etc.
- Use, Twitter, and the Smith College Club of New York as resources to attend networking events and connect with individuals there.

Online Networking:
- Revisit my favorite Twitter chats weekly and get my name and brand out there from the grassroots level.
   - #GenYChat
   - #ForbesChat
   - #u30pro
   - #jobhuntchat

 2. Travel: I thought long and hard about this. I currently don't have a lot of money, but I want to travel the world and see new places and cultures. By the summer of 2011, I hope to save enough money to take part in an AmeriCorp or PeaceCorp fellowship. I know basic Spanish, French, and Japanese and it would be fitting to actually relearn these languages and others in their natural environments than in classrooms. I do not know where I would like to go but I am thinking of heading down to Asia first, particularly China or Japan.

World travel has its benefits. It fuels creativity and new ideas. Currently my creativity is running dry. Not in the sense that I am losing my genius, but the energy and thought process are at a standstill at the moment. One of the major ways that I can fuel more creativity is to travel outside my comfort zone.

3.  Acquire New Skills: Earlier I said that I know basic Spanish, French, and Japanese. I've taken language classes during most of my academic life. The problem? I have not been to France, Japan, or any of the Spanish speaking countries to improve my language skills. That is why I want to travel outside the U.S. I will continue to use LiveMocha and possibly Rosetta Stone for the time being to broaden and strengthen my skills. But hopefully by this year, I will actually visit these places. I am also at a disadvantage. I'm interested in pursuing a career in marketing and new media. Pursuing a MBA degree and start-up later down the road are also dreams of mine. If I ever want to work at a place like Google or Apple for example, I have to learn more technical skills. I am in the process of searching for affordable Adobe Dreamweaver and Photoshop courses this spring. With these new skills, I hope to stand out from the rest of the applicant pool. Do you see the connections here?

Through the power of networking, travel, and education, I will create new ideas and spread those ideas to the world. As Seth Godin said, the only way you will get noticed by others, especially in this day in age, is to be heard. As I retrospect on the times I applied to jobs, I should have pushed myself harder to get that extra phone call or email from the employer. I cannot just send a resume and cover letter and hope that someone will contact me. I cannot do that anymore. I must charge and make things happen. A new job. A new place to live. A way to pay back my loans. You see those things are the ends, not the means of hard work. Patience is a virtue, but being a go-getter triumphs all. 

What are your New Year's resolutions this year? How will you stay committed to your goals? 


Anonymous said...

Many of my goals are the same as yours because I am about to be a college grad and I have no job lined up and I am definitely not financially stable. I really want to travel and have the wedding of my dreams... still waiting.

Lady Mel said...

@Lynn Same here. Patience is a virtue but when we do start saying to ourselves, "When does the waiting stop?". Now its unpredictable which is good and bad. I hope you achieve your goals this year! :D