Chat with us, powered by LiveChat
The UK Careers Fair logo
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
HOMEABOUTEVENTSNEWSJOBS
exhibit with usget a ticket
CONTACT US

How Thought Leadership Can Boost Your Career

by
Matthew Williams

At some point in your career, you’re likely to see the term “thought leadership” or hear someone referred to as a “thought leader.” While the terms sound like jargon or buzzwords, the concepts involved are quite useful and simply bring to the surface some of the skills that we already intuitively recognise.

Grasping the idea behind thought leadership can help you not only identify thought leaders in your respective field but move towards becoming one yourself, reaping the benefits as a result.

In this article, we’re going to ask exactly what is thought leadership and how it can benefit your career, as well as identify some tips on becoming a thought leader yourself.

What is thought leadership?

Thought leadership is when an individual, group, or organisation has an established reputation for being an authority on something. This could be an industry sector, field of expertise, or even a non-career-based niche. People look to thought leaders for insights and analysis, ideas, advice, and guidance.

Simply put, thought leaders are seen as useful experts and can be found within companies, social groups, sectors, industries, and even within online trends. Thought leaders can be found everywhere and are people who have the ability to not only contribute insightfully to matters of today but use experience and reflection to consider what may be important tomorrow.

You may even have a low-key thought leader sitting around your meeting table at work. This could be a manager, team leader, or even a rising star within your company. You can recognise them by their valuable contributions to discussions, their ability to understand which direction is best for projects and the company as a whole, and their fearlessness about expressing their point of view.

Organisations and businesses can also establish themselves as thought leaders and typically rely on content marketing and social media efforts.

How thought leadership helps careers

There are 2 ways thought leadership can help your career:

  1. Listen and learn from established thought leaders
  2. Benefit from becoming seen as a thought leader yourself

Listening to established thought leaders is a great way to boost your career prospects. Whether it’s a person within your office, a company’s blog, someone on LinkedIn, or a well-known figure, absorbing their content and getting a feel for how they think and operate can leave a lasting impression on you. Learning from thought leaders introduces you to new ideas in your field, keeping you at the forefront of your field.

Content is typically books, podcasts, social media posts, blog posts, videos, lectures, industry journals, or, in the case of thought leaders in the workplace, simple everyday discussions and strategy meetings.

As your career progresses, aiming to be seen as a thought leader yourself can open up a world of opportunities. While a reputation as a go-to expert or reliable authority is a boon in itself, learning and relearning what works and doesn’t - as well as keeping abreast of industry goings-on - will mean you are always investing in yourself.

This means your skills, insights, and personal development doesn’t stagnate but evolve at the same pace as your career field. As you apply for new positions, jobs, and promotions, being recognised as a thought leader is often enough to give you the edge over the competition.

How to find inspiring thought leaders

Tapping into the insights and ideas of thought leaders is a matter of finding where they express themselves and deliver content.

Most thought leaders will use one or more of the following as an outlet:

●      Twitter

●      Personal blogs

●      Company blogs

●      Podcasts

●      Books

●      Videos

●      Debates

●      Speeches

●      Talks

●      Industry magazines

●      LinkedIn

Platform algorithms generally do a good job of identifying engaging content, so searching for relevant hashtags or looking for accounts with a lot of engagement can help narrow down your search. You may also already know the thought leaders within your field, industry, or workplace.

Note: thought leaders aren’t simply influencers. While influencers may have a lot of followers and produce engaging content, they are not necessarily seen as authorities that would be necessary to qualify as thought leadership.

Tips to become a thought leader

While your career aspirations may not be as lofty as wanting worldwide fame and notoriety, being a thought leader within your field or industry can be a worthwhile career goal that can help leave your mark.

Becoming a thought leader is a gradual process and won’t happen overnight. As it is more a matter of opinion, thought leadership involves convincing others of your authority on a subject and this can take time.

To get started, try the following:

1.     Be interested and engaged with your field: Keep abreast of new information and the latest developments. All industries and specialities change over time so absorbing the latest news and happenings regularly is important to know the current state of your industry.

2.     Use LinkedIn: Share your thoughts and insights through status updates, group discussions, and well-researched and planned article posts. Considered and thoughtful posts like these can help get you noticed amongst your peers.

3.     Network: Use every networking opportunity that comes your way and actively seek them out. By knowing a lot of people, you slowly develop a reputation and develop your knowledge base through association with people on similar career paths.

4.     Take speaking opportunities: While nerve-wracking, dive in and take speaking opportunities. Always ensure you give your audience value through keen insights and observations that they may not have otherwise been exposed to.

Being a thought leader is a responsibility that is not for everyone. People will look to you in the workplace and elsewhere for your input that could influence some big decisions. While not everyone will want to put themselves into the spotlight, those who do can expect better career opportunities as a result.

Looking for more on Careers Advice? The UK Careers Fair is the UK's #1 Platform for Face-to-Face Recruitment Events, Job Fairs and Career Fairs throughout the UK. Attend an event and kick-start your career search today.

Upcoming Events

Check out our full and comprehensive list of upcoming events.

Manchester Careers Fair
February 3, 2023
Exeter Careers Fair
February 8, 2023
Bristol Careers Fair
February 9, 2023
Southampton Careers Fair
February 10, 2023
Brighton Careers Fair
February 15, 2023
Middlesbrough Careers Fair
February 16, 2023
Reading Careers Fair
February 16, 2023
Liverpool Careers Fair
February 17, 2023
Newcastle Careers Fair
February 22, 2023
York Careers Fair
February 23, 2023
Northampton Careers Fair
February 24, 2023
Truro Careers Fair
March 1, 2023
Taunton Careers Fair
March 2, 2023
Cambridge Careers Fair
March 8, 2023
Newport Careers Fair
March 8, 2023
Wrexham Careers Fair
March 9, 2023
Bath Careers Fair
March 10, 2023
Belfast Careers Fair
March 10, 2023
Lincoln Careers Fair
March 15, 2023
Colchester Careers Fair
March 16, 2023
Edinburgh Careers Fair
March 16, 2023
Glasgow Careers Fair
March 17, 2023
Swansea Careers Fair
March 23, 2023
Cardiff Careers Fair
March 24, 2023
Portsmouth Careers Fair
March 24, 2023
Bolton Careers Fair
March 29, 2023
Swindon Careers Fair
March 29, 2023
 TAKE ME THERE