Never before in history have we had access to so much data. Thanks to the internet, we have the answers to every possible question at our fingertips – or do we?
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It's true that the internet has changed our world. No more visits to the library – now we can just Google it or ask Siri. But how accurate is the information we receive from these sources? There are many so-called "experts" out there – can you trust that they are all in fact who they say they are and that they do indeed have the expertise to be giving you advice?
When it comes to careers – and bear in mind that this is something you'll probably be doing for the rest of your life – you can easily do a quick search for the "best" advice out there. However, when it comes to the usefulness of the results you receive, that will depend on what you're looking for.
Are you just searching for a bit of "quick fix" advice, or are you looking for a long-term career strategy? If you're looking for expert advice on how to get that dream job, how to protect yourself against future redundancy, or how to get companies headhunting you, then realistically, you're probably not going to find that advice on the internet. And even if you do, it is unlikely that you'll be able to implement it effectively.
When you're looking at a long-term career strategy, you need to talk directly to an expert so that they can understand your needs, goals, and motivations and provide you with the support and inspiration that you need to achieve success.
This may sound like hard work, but the fact is there are no quick fixes when it comes to your career – and even if there were, I wouldn't recommended them! Quick fixes just don't work!
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Take dieting, for example: Why are people still overweight when there is so much information about healthy eating online and elsewhere? As I said previously, the difficult part is not finding the information – it's knowing how to execute it effectively.
One of the reasons that people find it so hard to put what they have read into action is that there is now so much information out there that it is virtually impossible for people to decipher what's accurate, relevant, and applicable to them.
Are You Looking for Information or Transformation?
There is a big difference. Transformation is what happens when you take all the information you've gathered and successfully implement it. The key to a long-term successful career is building a strategy – a list of future goals that you want to see yourself achieve.
Consistently and effectively maintaining and progressing a long-term plan might require support and input from somebody who knows more about the topic than you do – and not in the form of Google search results.
So, how do you work out what kind of strategy is right for you?
Easy. You work out why a company hires you in the first place.
You only get hired for one reason, and it's a pretty simple one: The company has a problem, and it expects you to be the solution to that problem. You need to work out your unique selling point (USP) – that's what will differentiate you from everyone else!
So, when applying for any job, your first question should be: What might this company's issues be, and how can I solve them?
The fact is, progressing your career and getting companies to chase you is about common sense – with a little guidance thrown in. You are unlikely to find the answers on the internet; they need to come from inside you, based on your own experience, creativity, and problem-solving capacity.
So, to summarize, when you're trying to decide whether or not to use Google as your career coach, you need to consider whether you're looking for information or transformation.
Transformation is more likely to happen when you take accountability for your actions and consistently and effectively take control of and manage your own career.
As Always: Get Noticed, Get Hired.