Technology is an exponentially growing evolution and it’s not going away any time soon. Maybe you haven't had time to keep up with the latest software or you’re currently working in a position that doesn’t require the latest technology. But when you think past your current job and into the future, who knows where you’re headed? If you work hard, you could advance your career to something that might involve a new skillset. With the pandemic pushing society virtual, communicating via technology is more a part of our lives than ever before. So, how do we build our skillsets and adapt?
Regardless of the complexity of your job description, communication will always be fundamental. Without good communication, teamwork and collaboration could not exist. Nowadays, being the best speaker in the room is not the priority, but having the ability to be understood and build rapport in multiple ways is necessary. Good communication, like technology, is versatile and everywhere; and its evolution begins with you.
Four forms of communication worth building for future-forward career planning are:
Social media is a great way to connect and share with the world. That being said, everything you post, share or comment never goes away permanently. When using social media to connect with a company, don’t expect immediate gratification. Consider your public interactions with a company as a form of an in-person interview that can be archived and found at a later date. What you leave on their page is the same as a first and lasting impression, so make it a good one.
Your job may not be virtual, but the virtual or phone hiring process is becoming more common. When you pick up the phone, what comes out of your mouth? Shorthand words like ‘hey’ or ‘sup’ are great for people you with whom you are familiar, but don't show a recruiter you are taking the hiring opportunity seriously. Before you answer the phone, take a deep breath, slow down, and enunciate. Both sides will have an easier and smoother phone interview if communication is clear and no one has to repeat themselves. If you practice clear speaking over time, it will become a habit.
Spell-check is your best friend. When constructing an email, you want to have a clear subject line and ensure you address the correct person. Keep it simple and to the point. Use a professional sign-off, like: regards, thank you, best, etc. Words like ‘love’ or ‘sincerely’ convey too much emotion for a professional email. You want to show that you appreciate the recipient’s time and are also someone serious enough to be worth a decent response. Emails are also archivable and can be brought up at a later date for consideration, so don't hit send until you're sure that email can't come back to haunt you.
Body language is important in-person and virtually. Proper posture can affect the tone of your voice and your confidence on-screen. In-person, proper posture can convey confidence, enthusiasm about a job, as well as professionalism. If you are on a video interview, it is especially important you look directly into the camera and avoid using the screen as a personal mirror. If the job offers the opportunity for career advancement, you want your first impression to be a good one that will stick with your potential employer all the way up the ladder.