Believe it or not, you can actually build your career (your dream career even) while you are couch surfing. As in when you are snuggling with your laptop or your smart phone on the couch on lazy days.
How? Couch surfing is a great time to…
- …build social bridges.The power of social media in job or project acquisition is undeniable. In fact, a lot of freelancers are dependent on social media when it comes to closing in on deals. Those who want to go a level up on the corporate ladder are the same.Skills, experience and even education are good. However, in this digital era, you need to be proactive in building connections.Social media can take you places where a shining yet stand-alone CV can’t.Lucky, for you building and managing your social networks can be done right on your couch.If LinkedIn in all its air of professionalism is too much for you, then Twitter is a good place to get started too. You can join Twitter parties where you can interact with people who share the same interests like you do. Some attendees may even be looking to hire or to find someone to found a kick starter with.Do not think little of 140 characters. Remember Nina Mufleh? The San Francisco girl who caught the attention and impressed Airbnb’s CEO on Twitter?
You never know who you’ll rub your digital elbows with.
- …burn social bridges.Just as it is important to build social networks, it is equally important to eradicate “certain” online associations. These can be accounts you follow on Twitter, pages you like on Facebook, groups you belong to and even social networks you have an account on that might take a toll on the career you are building.If you are not that keen to go the delete route, then at least be keen to put everything you are not particularly proud of on private mode.
Be wary, however. Employers, head hunters and HR managers have developed massive internet digging skills. In fact, there are services and tools that will help them perform deep background checks on the internet when deciding between candidates. So again, be wary.
The repercussions may not be as massive as the infamous Ashley Madison hack but it is always better to be safe (and clean) than sorry.
- …revamp your reading list.Puns, cat pictures and all that are fun. We love them too! However, if you want to get your smarts up, couch surfing time is the best time to look around for sites and eBooks that will do just that.Because you are primarily on chill-mode you are conditioned to find info-packed resources around the web that are easy on the eyes and easy on the brains too. When you are relaxed, like when you are couch surfing, your brain is more conditioned to absorb and process information.Reading can take you a long way. Whether you are reading something on your subject matter or not, it develops your vocabulary, stimulates your brain, ups your analytical skills, and develops your focus. All these together, will make you “marketable.”Finding good reads over the internet will also get you something substantial to share about on your social networks.
- …get inspired.Need a moral pick-me-up a la Pursuit of Happiness, Castaway or A Beautiful Mind? Sure there is Netflix for that or your old stack of DVDs.However, if you want something fresh, current & real, Youtube is your perfect inspiration avenue.Entrepreneur Alex Ikonn produces short peptalks on life, business, self -improvement & travels with his lovely life Mimi every week. Globetrotter and film-maker Louis Cole vlogs about his adventures regularly too. Or maybe you are a Michelle Phan fan at heart. Talk about a beauty hustling like a boss. That girl has the Midas touch, doesn’t she?Of course, there are TedTalks too. It is quite easy to find talks just about any area of your life that you need to work on. If you really want to go full-on chill during couch time, you may like this TedTalk by Maz Jobrani.
- Hit your reboot button.*Queue Bruno Mars’ Lazy Song*Let’s face it – couches are best for lazy days.Your career is built not only by the work you do on your desk at the office. Your career is built by balancing hard work and downtimes. Downtimes are good for your soul. Take the time to savor the moments when you enjoy the company of yourself after a long week hard at work.
Not only are downtimes good for your soul, they are also good for your brain. And whatever is good for your brain is great for your career.
Naps, for instance, are known to sky-rocket productivity and concentration even on hectic days. So the next time you couch surf, press that reboot button and take yourself to dream land. Snooze!
Empires are not built overnight. This is the same when it comes to your career. The little things that you constantly do, however, will add up to something great. So despise not the five little things you can do to build your career while you are on your couch surfing sprees, one lazy moment at a time.