What’s Next in Your Career?

Meg in wedding dress in shop sitting in a chair, checking her phone

This month, our longtime partner Squarespace let us know that they’d just released new templates for the summer. And new templates are always great for a portfolio website refresh, if you’re looking to keep your online professional presence up to date (which you should be). So this summer, I decided that I would try to practice what I preach to all the women around me, and update my professional portfolio website.

What… Is On My Professional Website?

That meant, that I opened my website to… see what was on it. Because as it turns out, I have a rather big website that I have to keep up to date every day (hi, APW), so I tend to be somewhat neglectful of my namesake, megkeene.com. But this time, I was in for a nice surprise. It turns out, before my life got hit by a professional windstorm in January, I updated my photos and some basic information, which past-me should clearly get some sort of award for.

Meg's website using Squarespace Marquee TemplateMeg’s Website | Marquee Template

So I started poking around to see what else was actually on my site. And it wasn’t the worst! That lead photo I updated in December is cute and on brand. Holding a disco ball while wearing false eyelashes? That’s pretty much what my professional life is about. And tag line? Got it on lock. I picked, “A diva is a female version of a hustler,” back when I was first drafting fake copy, and then I refused to kill it, because I liked it so much. And on your personal website, you should have at least one thing that you really, really like, amiright? And the of-the-moment single scroll feature—which is the absolute worst when used on the wrong kind of website—works well on portfolio sites, and shows that I know what’s hot on the web right now. (If you’re setting up a portfolio website, I outlined my best tips on what should be on it, back when I was building mine.)

Dress for the job you want

But the real issue is that your personal website (or resume, or wardrobe, you name it) should be reflecting the job you want, not the job you have. In other words, the image we choose to project to the world should reflect a future iteration of ourself. It should be the self that we’re trying to create, not the way that we view ourselves right this second.

TL;DR: Your personal website (or any other outward reflection of your professional life) should feel a little like it’s batting above your league. Fake it till you make it, and all that.

And of course, that means you have to know what you want. You have to figure out what your goals are and how you want the world to see you (even if you’re still battling imposter syndrome just a little bit).

So all of this has led me to some self-reflection. I’m aiming to do a full refresh of my Squarespace portfolio website in the fall (because yes, it may actually be time to change my template and style, and Squarespace makes that really easy). I played around with some of the new templates and fresh images, like the Margot template shown below, to see what I would want my refresh to look like. But first I have to figure out what vision of myself I want to present to the world, and sadly Squarespace does not offer an easy feature for that.

Meg's website mocked up on Squarespace Margot TemplateMargot Template

What Is The Job you Want?

Like so many women I know, I hate self-promotion. I was taught not to brag about myself. And not bragging about our actual accomplishments puts women at a real disadvantage with their male peers, who generally LOVE to brag about things they haven’t even started yet. So when I work with other women, I’m always pushing them to be louder and prouder about their very real accomplishments and skills, and to dress for/reach for/resume write for what they want next in the world… even (particularly) when it’s something they’re scared to ask the world for.

But it turns out that advice is always hard to apply when it comes to yourself, no matter how much you believe in it. Because not only do you have to do some serious bragging, you also have to figure out what you want next in your life, and how you want to (and even deserve to) be seen. And then you have to ask the world to afford you that respect.

And that’s goddamn hard, ladies.

So while I spend my summer trying to get over my phobia of the words “personal branding” and plot my website refresh, I’m also going to have to sit down and do some serious thinking about what I want next in my professional career (and life) and how I can present myself to ask for exactly that. I know I need to update my professional website (and you all do too, whether that website is literal or metaphysical), but that means I have to figure out what I want to put on it… and what I want to put out into the world.

Which brings me to y’all. Because I know I’m far from alone on this.

Where are you in your professional life? What have you done recently to step up your career game a little bit? And do you even know what you want next? How scary is it to ask for that next big promotion, or to be seen in a different light? What baby steps are you taking to get over that fear, or what baby steps can you take today?

This post was sponsored by Squarespace. We are thrilled to be partnering with Squarespace again this year to talk about what it means to be a woman with hustle in 2017. If you’re looking to make a career change or kickstart one on the side, one of the best things you can do for yourself is create a home online where you can show off your work in the form of a portfolio site, an online resume, or another hub where you can display just how awesome you are. Squarespace provides the creative tools that make it easy to build your online home beautifully, even if you’ve never made a website before and have no idea where to start. Squarespace is offering APWers a 10% discount on your first purchase when you use the code APW17 at checkout. Click here to get your website started today with a free 14-day trial from Squarespace. 

The post What’s Next in Your Career? appeared first on A Practical Wedding: We're Your Wedding Planner. Wedding Ideas for Brides, Bridesmaids, Grooms, and More.

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