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A-Ha Moments

Differentiating Yourself in a Downturn (and Beyond)

Written by: Bill Sherman on Wednesday, 9 July 2008, 8:57 AM

If you ask a classroom full children, they will tell you that they are special. If you ask college students, few will say they want to spend their careers as “just another cog” in a corporate machine. Yet, so many of us become caught in the day-to-day challenges of our jobs. Instead of feeling that we’re doing something special, we struggle to stay competitive. We’re swamped with deadlines. We wonder why we feel like we’ve fallen behind.

If you feel that you’re career has stagnated, there’s no quick fix. You need to increase either your human capital (skills, education, and experience) or your social capital (your ability to access and leverage resources within your network).

Human Capital: You could go back to school and gain new skills or a degree.

Social Capital:You could connect to more people or create deeper connections with the people you already¬† know. In either case, you want to make relevant connections. Frantic shotgun LinkedIn requests to “connect me” won’t work. It takes time to build smart, high-value connections.

If you want to increase the value of your time, you have to make investments–either in your human or social capital. If you’ve already made investments, you can leverage these investments to weather a downturn and even prosper.

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