Did you know LinkedIn is the most underutilized social media platform compared to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok? It is the best search engine businesses, corporations and companies use daily. People wrongly assume that LinkedIn is only for job seekers. However, it provides a rich opportunity to make professional connections. As a result of this myth people assume they don’t have to develop and manage their profile as long as it’s there and the job info is accurate.
But when someone searches for you online your LinkedIn profile comes up first the majority of the time. If it is not updated, no active engagements and few connections, then you are missing important opportunities and don’t even know it.
Hosted LinkedIn Webinar
This is why I was excited to host a webinar titled “Level Up Your Career with an Eye Catching Profile on LinkedIn. It was held earlier this month to recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It was sponsored by Bold, Blind Beauty, a platform to demystify blindness through rich storytelling. The presentation focused on 6 sections of your LinkedIn profile: the Header, photo, contact info, summary, work experience and education. Although, there are more sections of your LinkedIn profile, I decided to spotlight these 6 because they are the most important for visibility and connection.
Webinar Mission and Focus
During the webinar I explained what LinkedIn is compared to other social media. Next, I discussed the 6 profile sections. And last I gave challenges to move you to the next level.
To learn more, listen to my presentation at this YouTube link.
As a blogger, I have plenty to do. Continuously coming up with creative ideas and content. Doing research. Reading news articles. Listening to relevant podcasts, and all to stay abreast of current and trending topics. Then there is the content on the written craft itself. Sometimes I feel disorganized and scatter-brained. Sometimes, I wonder how I get it all done? I mean, I haven’t even written the piece yet and I got a full plate. Well, I have a couple of tricks up my sleeve that help me to write better, faster and save time.
Well Organized Writer
Many of you know I am a well organized person. This includes my personal and professional life. Thank God for parents who drove this principle home when I was a child because it has served me well. Admittedly, I get a little anal and when I do I try to stop, slow down and breathe. The world won’t end if I don’t get it all done today.
However, strongly leaning toward organization helps me be a happier and more fulfill writer. So, I am passing on knowledge because it brings power. If you can get a little organized in your writing you will be more productive. You will write better, faster and save time. Now, let’s go!
1. Create an editorial calendar.
When I started professional blogging in 2013, I created a calendar. I got the idea from when I was a former freelance writer and pitched to magazines. Many publications had an editorial calendar for topics and themes coming up they were going to publish. You could read this calendar and know what story ideas to pitch.
So, I took that same concept and applied it here. I was writing a weekly blog post for my employer and I jotted down ideas for about a month or two. This method kept me organized, my mind clear and writing effective.
2. Keep track of updates, news and trends in your niche.
Reading articles, newsletters and other blog post will give you fresh ideas to write about. They will also keep you current so when you write, your stories have relevance.
For example, I checkout the National Holiday Calendar. I got the idea to write this post because Thursday, Oct. 20 is The National Day on Writing®. This day celebrates writing—and the many places, reasons and ways we write each day—as an essential component of literacy. Since 2009, #WhyIWrite has encouraged thousands of people to lift their voices to the things that matter most to them.
I also subscribe to Google Alerts. I made a list of key words in my industry and everyday Google sends me an email with current news items on that topic. I use all of these resources to keep a running list of blog ideas. Having this list will ensure you don’t dry out. Or if an idea doesn’t work your list will provide a plethora to choose from.
3. Get on a schedule.
This is not a hard and fast rule. What I mean is look at your day or week and plan things out. Keep in mind life happens and stuff comes up. But if you have a schedule you are more likely to get your writing done and not be so distracted. Each day I make a mini list of things to do for the next day. I try hard to stay on track and leave any extras for after I have met my daily goals.
4. Use non writing time to think.
My best ideas come to me at three o’clock in the morning. But now that my sleeping is slowly improving I am not always awake that early. However, I have other moments I can call on for inspiration. Traveling on the bus to run errands are times when my mind wanders and ideas germinate. Walking on my treadmill and doing household chores are two other times in my day when writing ideas magically appear. Now, the challenge is to quickly jot those ideas down because I am usually not at my computer. I have relied on the recording app on my smartphone to dictate an idea or two before it permanently leaves.
5. Go offline.
This is a real battle. So many of us are addicted to our devices. And we gotta check social media or emails to maintain that fix. But to be a better, faster writer that saves time you must do it. So, turn off emails and social media while writing. Plus, you will be less distracted and more energized.
6. Set a timer
This is a new thing I recently tried. Do you know what? It actually worked. Having the clock ticking adds a little positive pressure to push and soldier through a writing project. I want to get done by the time the bell rings so I don’t let my mind wonder as much and I stay focused.
Now with that being said, I use the timer method for actual writing not for major editing, preparation or research. Although, now that I am thinking about it as I write this post, it might be good for that too. When I research I can go down a rabbit hole. Before I know it, time has passed and I’m still not done.
7. Create an outline.
An outline will help you know how to start and end. It will help your piece stay on course. Have you written an article or blog post only to recognize you are rambling and all over the place? I will be the first to raise my hand and say yes. But writing a little outline helps me avoid that pitfall.
In order to write that well-crafted or soon to be award- winning piece you got to be organized. This will lead to writing better, faster and save tons of time.
Several years ago, I had a nice corporate job. The pay was good. Commute wasn’t too bad and I had excellent benefits. While there, I was slowly losing my vision. Initially I was using low vision aids and devices like hand-held magnifiers, dark lined notebook paper, magnification software and a CC-TV device. However, my vision continue to worsen and I took a year off to attend classes at a vision rehabilitation center.
Considered Leaving Job
But when I returned the company climate had changed. Granted I had changed too. A disability will do that to you. Nevertheless, the office was different. Yet, my supervisor was the same. My co-workers were the same. I finally put a finger on it. Although I was happy to return to the workplace I was dissatisfied with my actual work. I mentioned this to my vision rehabilitation counselor. I told her I was thinking about leaving because the work was no longer exciting or challenging. Her reaction was quick and not encouraging. She shared with me all the work and effort others put into me returning to work. I was a great example of a successful disabled person reentering the workforce. How could I just up and leave?
I was surprised by her reaction. It communicated to me a certain mindset. I told her I was only thinking about it and wouldn’t leave unless I had another job to go to. But this made me think. The unemployment rate for the disabled in America is pretty awful. Only about 21% of us are working. So, when we get a job we stay. We have been marketed as loyal and committed employees.
I soon realized I was a part of this working disabled community. How dare I leave this good job? People like me can’t be picky. I am blind and positions are scarce and options are limited. Whether I like the job or not I needed to stay. I needed to grin and bare it.
Hard to Find a Job
As we honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month I am going to flip the script. This is not a post about how important it is to hire us. Or how much value we bring to the job. Or how much we want to work. No, this is about quiet quitting. This term is trending right now but It is not new. People leave jobs all the time when they are not happy. Or they stay and do the bare minimum. But can the disabled do the same? Can we walk off the job and just leave when we are not being fulfilled? Or when we don’t get a raise or promotion? Well, the answer is no and here’s why.
As I said before a lot of work and effort go into employing a disabled person. We have to figure out transportation. We have to request and sometimes advocate for reasonable accommodations. We have extra barriers to overcome. Some physical and others attitudinal. So, we don’t quiet quit because the stakes are too high.
Employers want to feel comfortable hiring a disabled person. Unfortunately, a lot of employers do not and we don’t get the job whether we are qualified or not. This is not new info for people who are disabled. So, after much job searching and preparation when the job finally comes we grab it. We make real efforts to do our very best and try not to complain too much. We don’t quietly quit.
Employers Have Low Expectations
There is this attitude that people with disabilities should be ever so grateful for these opportunities. But I push back on that mentality. If I come to a workplace with the required skills and talents why should I be grateful? You are not hiring me because you feel sorry but because I can do the job and do it excellently.
However, over my 20+ years in the workforce I have learned this doesn’t always apply to the disabled community. I have come to realize employers will have low expectations regardless of my qualifications. They are only seeing a blind person in front of them and not much else.
So, when we get hired sometimes we are underemployed. Meaning we are working in jobs where are true talents and skills are not fully utilized. We are not challenged and called higher in our positions like able bodied people. Why is this? It is because people have a low expectation of our capabilities; thinking we can only do the bare minimum . This is not true. With the right motivation and supports we can go above and beyond what is expected.
Quiet Quitting Verses Quiet Firing
I was Working in a job where my employer saw my talents and skills. I was given challenging work and excelled in it. But management changed and I was relegated to a lower position. It impacted my morale and self-esteem. I continued to work the job because my prospects were limited. I didn’t quietly quit.
I realized years later this experience was quiet firing. LinkedIn News says quiet firing is going years without a raise or promotion, shifting responsibilities toward tasks that require less experience or a deliberate withdrawal of development and leadership opportunities.” Meaning, employees who are quietly fired might feel pushed out or set up to fail. Their employer is making their job feel like a thankless, unpleasant dead end.
Additionally, what on the surface may look like quiet quitting can actually be quiet firing. A disabled employee may exhibit lack of job enthusiasm or poorly preform their basic job duties. But in actuality it could be lack of reasonable accommodations to complete their tasks. I have witness disabled colleagues advocating and requesting accommodations only to get radio silence resulting in actual quitting or dismissal.
More Scrutiny and Consequences
Disabled employees can be scrutinized more than abled body colleagues. We sometimes feel we have to work twice as hard for half as much. So quiet quitting is more of a luxury . There are more consequences for us. For example, in all of my positions I have maintained a professional dress and wardrobe. I have taken extra time to properly groom myself. I know that because I am blind, people will focus more on my appearance than a sighted co-worker. I remember, at one job we had casual dress days but I still wore my professional attire.
What Do You Think?
When I think about all of this, I don’t see where quiet quitting is a real option for the disabled. I have given my perspective, but what are your thoughts? Do you believe the disabled can quietly quit? Have you experienced quiet quitting or even quiet firing? Share your thoughts and experiences with me.