Dan English's BI Blog

Welcome to my random thoughts in regards to Business Intelligence, databases, and other technologies

Making yourself marketable

Posted by denglishbi on March 12, 2009

Back in November I did a posting about Contributing to the Technical Community where I stated “There is nothing I enjoy more than helping out the technical community and my colleagues.  There are different ways that I do this.  I talk to people about technology to share my excitement and knowledge about what I know, have read, or done.  Besides talking to colleagues, clients, and people that I meet I have been involved in local user groups (PASSMN and BI-SIG), made screencasts (YouTube and Soapbox – because of YouTube 10 minute limit some videos are posted on Soapbox), and actively contribute in the forums (MSDN SQL Server, TechNet PerformancePoint, SQL Server Central, and internally at Magenic).”

Well now during this economic downward spiral this is extremely important.  It is very important to make sure you are marketing yourself properly and providing visibility to yourself.  I would encourage you to find a user group to participate in, help out in a forum area responding to questions, and networking with others. 

One of the great networking tools that you can get setup on is LinkedIn.  Here you can create a profile, Dan English, put in your experience (basically an online resume) and connect with colleagues, classmates, friends, and groups (like Microsoft Business Intelligence, PASS, SQL Server Central, TWDI, etc.).  You can also setup different types of applications and share presentations.  LinkedIn is really nice because it gives you another option for people to contact you and to network with people either locally or worldwide.

You also need to make sure you are keeping your skill set current.  If you are in technical areas then you can utilize webcasts, podcasts, virtual labs, online books, blogs, wikipedia, attend user group meetings, read forums, etc. to keep yourself up-to-date.  There is tons of information that is completely free along with the tools that you can download to train yourself.  Here are some Microsoft links that you can reference as examples:

So my recommendations for everyone right now are the following:

  • Contribute to communities – through forums, blogging, user groups, writing articles, screencasts
  • Training – need to stay current; use webcasts, podcasts, virtual labs, attend user group meetings
  • Network – extremely important; get your name out there and connect with people (LinkedIn)

By contributing you will not only make yourself more visible to others, but also will build on your writing and presentation skills.  This also allows a way for you to network with others both locally and worldwide.  Training is critical with our ever changing world and make sure that your skills do not get outdated and that you are well rounded.  If you are specialized in just a single area I would recommend checking out some webcasts or virtual labs in a different area.  Like if you specialize in Reporting Services or Integration Services (ETL) then pickup a book, watch a webcast, or do some virtual labs on Analysis Services, MDX, SharePoint, LINQ, or Azure.  Lastly, networking is critical and being connected to others provides a great opportunity for you to market yourself and open the doors to new options.

So what are you waiting for?  Get started now and start marketing yourself today.

UPDATE (3/14/2009): seems to be a popular topic lately.  Just found another really nice posting here in regards to this – Before The Interview: Job Search Techniques.

One Response to “Making yourself marketable”

  1. Dan said

    Your posts are excellent. Keep up the good work and thanks for making the effort.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: