How To Create Your SEO Career Path
Christina LeVasseur joins the SEO Rant Podcast to discuss what it means to create your own path and identity in SEO.
How to create a unique SEO career
Why self-reflection and awareness is critical to creating a unique SEO career trajectory
The stress of evaluating and reevaluating your SEO career choices
SEO is in more demand than ever and accordingly, there are more SEOs than ever. Standing out from the crowd and having a unique persona within the industry can give your career a boost. Instead of giving you a set of top-level and relatively meaningless tips on how to create a unique SEO career path... we're diving deep into the mindset that helps foster an upwards career trajectory.
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Making Yourself Standout as an SEO: Creating Your Own Unique Career Path
As the years progress SEO becomes increasingly more established. While not the focal point of any digital marketing program, universities do include search engine optimization as a topic to cover in their curriculums. SEOs have branched out to take on top roles and major companies and the SEO community itself has exploded. Simply, there are a lot more SEOs out there these days. While the job market does not seem to be saturated at this point, it's still a really good idea to make yourself stand out from the crowd.
Of course, that's easier said than done - especially if you want to genuinely have something unique to offer.
How Being Self Aware Can Drive Your SEO Career
How can you advance your SEO career?
Instead of simply thinking about it as standing out from the crowd so that you can advance your career take it from a more genuine place. Consider what aspects of SEO do and don't speak to you and the like.
Being self-aware and understanding who you are is the foundation of being able to carve your own niche out within the wider world of SEO. If you can tap into not just your interests per se, but your deeper personality traits and the uniqueness of those traits you can really differentiate yourself. For example, if you're a conceptual thinker and like solving broad and thematic problems then maybe specializing in the nitty-gritty of site audit reporting is not going to be a place where you shine above the rest. Sure, you might be good at it - but in order to really carve a space out for yourself, you're probably going to want to align who you are as a person with what you're doing as an SEO.
How do you do this? How do you understand who you are and apply that to SEO?
The truth is, for some people this will be more natural and for others, this might be more difficult. Those who are self-reflective by nature generally have an understanding (if not entirely conscious) of who they are and how they see themselves. That's a good starting point and once you get into SEO it's a matter of finding the opportunities and taking the initiative to align yourself with your SEO work. (For example, if you're a knowledge-sharer by nature you can start a blog or a podcast, etc.).
For those who are not as inclined to be naturally reflective, I don't think you need to worry about "going too deep" into yourself. Even considering things like the type of work environment you thrive in can help set you up to be in a situation where you can thrive.
The point is, you don't have necessarily have all of the answers. It's a combination of being reflective, giving yourself a chance by taking the right opportunities, and seeing where your SEO life goes and how you can adjust course along the way.
Evaluating and Reevaluating Your SEO Path
SEO is not a concrete science. It's one of those things that lends itself to many outlooks and there are many ways to achieve success. As you grow in your SEO practice and as your take bigger risks in putting yourself out there you're going to find sometimes things work and sometimes they don't.
You never know if things are going to work out. You never fully understand what's involved in whatever SEO path you take at the onset. You can do whatever research or take whatever advice before making a career move or building up a certain public persona. However, at the end of the day, you have to be prepared to adjust. If things don't go as planned, that's OK. It's a learning experience. Think about what you could have done differently and what might you try in the future instead. And this applies to all things SEO whether it be your SEO practice per SEO or the career path you take.
It's worthwhile to remember that sometimes you couldn't have done anything differently. In some cases even if something doesn't work out it doesn't mean you shouldn't give it another go.
That said, there is a natural anxiety and rumination that comes with being a bit bold and taking a unique path. You're naturally going to ask yourself: Am I going down the right path? Are my thoughts and theories about SEO correct? Is my outlook on SEO correct?
Don't be afraid of this. The anxiety, in small doses, can be a good thing. It can force you thoroughly think through things and dig deeper into your decisions. And that's a good thing (in moderation).
Creating Your Own SEO Self
There are a lot of ways to create your own "SEO self." For some people, it's about having control over their career trajectory while for other folks it's about taking a public role in the community, and still, for others, it's about having their own unique ideas about SEO. The point is, don't pigeonhole what it means to carve an "SEO path and career" for yourself. It can mean a lot of different things to different people!
For more of the SEO Rant Podcast check out our previous episode on learning SEO for others.
Learn more about SEO Rant Podcast's host, Mordy Oberstein.