Career Success in the “Thank You” Economy

Businesspeople having a lunch break.Has it ever seemed to you like running your career is same old same old?

Certainly, it seems like that to me, especially with so many people believing career management is the same as it ever was. Frankly, as I’m sure you realize, there’s been a social media revolution, but are you really clear on how much that changes how you now need to manage your career?

One significant new reality is that career sucess increasingly requires always-on engagement with trusted members of your professional community. We’ve entered a time where social media is quickly reshaping expectations for how we engage with others whether on line or face to face. It’s a relationship economy, or as Gary Vaynerchuck has dubbed it, The Thank You Economy.

So, how is this economy different? Here’s Vaynerchuk’s view:

“[Business] … happens in the small, personal interactions that allow us to prove to each other who we are and what we believe in, honest moments that promote good feelings and build trust and loyalty.  When given the choice, people will always spend their time around people they like. When it’s expedient and practical, they’d also rather do business …[with]… people they like.”

So, how does this change things? To successfully manage your career today, you need to:

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BelongingI don’t know how you see it, but when it comes to careers, I think most people are overly focused on finding, getting, and having. Sure, doing, connecting, and serving are seen as important too. But almost always as an afterthought. The logic, it seems, is that after you get and have work, you then focus on what you can do for the people you need to connect with and serve.

Yet, what if we were to turn that logic on its head?

What if we made career choices not about getting and having work that pays the best or brings the most prestige? What if we stepped outside the logic, and first considered how we could use our talents to make a difference to the community we are naturally connected to?

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