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In the last decade, social media has become increasingly pivotal to our daily lives. From staying in touch with family and friends; to catching up with happenings around the world; and keeping up with the latest trends. Social media is indeed here to stay.

Depending how you have been utilizing social media, you might have hit the jackpot. Your life might have been changed by a stroke of luck. But for the rest of us, how have we tapped into the power of social media particularly in our personal lives? It’s so easy to get carried away with the glitz, glamor and the perfectly curated Instagram feeds that we forget to improve our daily lives.

Career wise, how has social media made a difference? We’re quick to relegate career discussions to LinkedIn, but ask yourself, when was the last time you checked your LinkedIn feed or even updated your account?  Has social media made any significant improvement in your career? Has a tweet inspired you to take a major career decision lately?

While you’re mulling over those questions, here are 5 ways you can actually utilize social media for career development:

Stay informed and keep up with industry trends

The best thing about social media is real time information. Search engines are generally flooded with tons of information from a million websites. But with social media, you can decide the kind of relevant and valuable content you want to see. If you are lucky, your industry has a consistent social media presence that you can keep up with to stay informed.

 

Connect with virtual and potential mentors

The importance of having mentors at different stages of our careers cannot be overemphasized. Some of us still don’t have one for various reasons. But the beauty of social media is that we don’t have any excuse anymore. We can connect with them virtually until we’re ready to approach them.

 

Get inspiration and motivation on a daily basis

I don’t know about you, but there are times when I wake with zero motivation to work, but then I log into my Instagram and a quote jumps at me and changes the course of my morning. So, anytime you’re feeling generally unmotivated or lethargic, social media can be the perfect pick-me-up.

 

Network with thought-leaders

This is probably a no-brainer, but if you are a solo worker/entrepreneur or you have a very demanding job which takes literally all your time, social media can be a good place to network with your peers in and outside your industry. Just decide to strategically follow people you would like you cultivate a relationship with, and engage them. You never know where it might lead.
PRO TIP: Most people tend to remember the most engaging handles on their feed. So, if you meet them offline, chances are, they will remember you and you can kick off right where you stopped.

Get ideas and identify business opportunities

I cannot count how many ideas I’ve had since I became fully active on social media. On a daily basis there are ideas flowing right, left and center. It takes a lot of courage, determination and foresight to identify the idea, act on it and execute it. If you are lucky, that idea might become a profitable business.


How has social media helped your career development?

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