You have a job. As far as you’re aware, you’re not in danger of being made redundant. Maybe you even have a career, or a career path, in front of you. Whatever your situation, you’re absolutely sure about one thing. You’re an unhappy employee.
At times like this, when there are lots of people unemployed and looking for a job, and thousands of people who are under-employed, you probably feel a bit guilty about the way you view your job. After all, many people would love to have your job and the job security you enjoy.
However, that doesn’t make any difference to you. If you’re an unhappy employee, you’re an unhappy employee. That’s how you feel, so be honest with yourself. However, there are things you can do to lessen that sense of unhappiness, so take action, too.
Take LinkedIn Seriously
There are 11 million people in the UK who are on LinkedIn. If you’re not one of them, sign up now. If you are already on LinkedIn, commit to updating your profile.
The very fact that you’re starting to think seriously about your career is a step forward. You’ll immediately think about the shape of your career to date, what you have achieved and what you would like to do. This is an important change to your frame of mind.
You’ll also start to think about how to present yourself and your achievements to the world.
Update Your LinkedIn Profile
Now that you’ve started to think about your whole career, take a look at your current LinkedIn profile. Consider how you can improve it. Most profiles are either incomplete, poorly written or both. You may be an unhappy employee, but you can present yourself and your successes positively.
Before you begin with the actual updating process, find five positive things to say about yourself. Start by remembering what you have achieved in your career and what you are really proud of having done.
You may be an unhappy employee today, but:
- You have won an award for ………….
- You gained an additional qualification in …………
- You are one of the people responsible for …………….(specific achievement).
Look for examples of the positive contribution you are making. Demonstrate to yourself that you are an asset to your employer.
Use the information you gather to help you to write the overview/summary to your profile and to decide on your professional headline.
Focus On Your Skills
As a result of thinking about your experience identify some additional skills that you know you have. Then place them in the skills and endorsements section of your profile. Try to use industry specific terms where you can. Try to use terms that will differentiate you from others. Take your time to get this right. It will help your profile to be found more often via LinkedIn search.
You may be an expert in change management in the NHS.
You might be a financial services risk management specialist.
Be specific about what you can do. Encapsulate your success in the skills you define. You can nominate a long list so get to work.
Then go and get some endorsements for your expertise. Find people who agree that you have these talents.
Write a note to each person you would like to endorse you. Don’t use group e-mails or the LinkedIn messaging function that allows you to contact fifty people at once. Write to individuals and craft each e-mail so that it is clear that it has been written with only one recipient in mind. Remind the person about how you have demonstrated the expertise you are asking him or her to endorse. Then ask politely for the endorsement.
You will probably identify some additional achievements as you think more about your expertise. Go back and revise what you have written earlier in your profile and remember that an unhappy employee can still feel good about his or her achievements.
An Unhappy Employee Looks Ahead
Many people in employment forget that they are on a journey.
The past is theirs to review.
The present is what they are experiencing now.
The future is waiting to be shaped.
If you are an unhappy employee today, there is no reason to believe that you will be unhappy in the future, too.
Think about the changes you would like to make to your working life in order to stop being an unhappy employee. Don’t just focus on getting a new job. Think about what your role needs to encompass in order for you to be happy at work.
Now go back to your LinkedIn summary and write a short paragraph about your ambitions.
(Name) is currently working in …………. (type of role) and hopes to …………. (aspiration)
(Name) looks to continue to make a contribution to …………. in …………… (type of organisation)
(Name) is keen to develop ……….. (aspiration)
Statements like these are coded messages that hint at what you want to do. Practise writing such statements.
The Value Of LinkedIn To Employees
If you are an unhappy employee – or any other type of employee – LinkedIn is a showcase for your talents and a pointer to your ambitions and aspirations. As an employed person you are unlikely to have a personal website to help you to advance your career, although more people are starting to use the web in this way. This means that you need to use LinkedIn to draw attention to your achievements and indicate how you would like to progress your career.
Update your profile. After that things will start to happen.
- Your colleagues may see how you summarise yourself. They may not have thought of you in that way before.
- Your employer may see your profile and possibly recognise the value you add at work.
- Your professional community may see your profile. They just might remember what you do and introduce you to another professional colleague or to a potential employee.
- Third parties may see your profile. That group includes recruiters.
The people above will be pleased to read a LinkedIn profile that is clearly focused. Your LinkedIn profile will add value to you as an employee in lots of ways.
Every one endures spells of unhappiness at work. It is an inevitable part of working life. You can take control of the present and plan your future by using LinkedIn to show the world just how successful you have been and what you aspire to do now.