Sunday, July 17, 2005

Your private career army

If you were CEO of a corporation, perhaps this picture could reflect your power and, indeed, command over troops neatly organized into battalions.

But as a user of LinkedIn, even if you have 100+ connections, this picture would not accurately reflect your network.

First and most obviously, you don't hold any power over your connections, although you may wield a certain influence. Also, your connections cannot be organized as neatly as orderly troops.

However, I think there is a way to organize ALL your connections without actually having formal authority over them.

It all starts with having a clear positioning, a marketing term that refers to "owning a unique place in the customer's mind."

In the case of a careerist, a positioning refers to what he/she does best.

So if you wanted all your connections to think about you IN THE SAME WAY, then a good idea would be to clearly state your positioning.

This way, all your connections will talk about you and act uniformly to help you advance in your career.

Without a clear positioning, some of your connections may think of you, say, as "a good software engineer" while others might think of you as "a solid, well-educated software programmer."

Perhaps more than anything else, a positioning should be original. Perhaps in my case, I could say that "I think like an MBA, I type like a secretary." This creatively constructed positioning could be used endlessly to remind my friends and connections that I think strategically while also being able to capture knowledge fast.