How to Invest in Your Future

August 7, 2012

By: Meaghan Glassett
My takeaway from Reid Hoffman and Ben Casnocha's book “The Start-up of You” is a better understanding of how careers are always in “permanent Beta.” Hoffman and Casnocha's explanation of permanent Beta is:

  1. To always be starting
  2. To forever be a work in progress

This book focuses on several well-known start-ups and the individuals who run them. Reid and Casnocha explain how these people took steps to build their professional networks and took intelligent risks.
No matter what your profession is, Reid and Casnocha say you need to know how to:

  • Be competitive when seeking a job or new opportunity
  • Adapt your career plans
  • Build your professional network
  • Seek opportunities for career growth
  • Take proactive risks

In addition to focusing on steps to establish a competitive edge, readers will learn how to strengthen and maintain professional networks. What matters is the information and resources within the network, the span of your ties and how you can reach your second- or third-degree links.
According to Reid and Casnocha, no matter what your priorities are, you should nurture the network you are building. They write, “Your professional life depends on your being smart and generous with the people you care about.”
Here are a few networking tips to remember:

  • Stay top of mind. Don't send an email out of the blue. Keep in touch with your contacts.
  • Always try to add value. Touch base with someone when you can offer more than a greeting or update.
  • Face-to-face meetings are the most effective. This creates a greater bond than one that may have otherwise taken several emails or calls.
  • Stay in touch through social media. There is no obligation for anyone to respond, but it is a way to keep your connections updated.

Although one of the authors is the co-founder of LinkedIN, the book avoids obviously promotional content, and instead focuses on start-ups in Silicon Valley and the factors that lead to their founders' success.
What techniques have you used to escalate your career?

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