The Savviest Way A Career Woman Can Spend $15
Sometimes the best things also require the least amount of thought. Great crusty bread. Do-nothing Sundays. Sweatpants...
We've recently applied this principle to careers, making suggestions about how you can set aside savings without thinking, revamp your professional path in 5 days, or, on a bad day, keep yourself from getting fired in one click.
Today, we've got another suggestion for you: we want you to invest $15 into a forward-thinking strategy. Specifically, we want you to buy a placeholder for the next stage of your career.
THE PLACEHOLDER CONCEPT
Listen up: the internet is a holding ground for all your big accomplishments. You've got your resume on Dropbox, your photos in the Cloud. And you've got accounts on everything: a LinkedIn profile, an Instagram feed, maybe even an embarrassing archived Myspace page.
All those social media accounts (with the exception of Myspace) are great platforms for getting your personal brand out there. But you're missing a major digital opportunity in this list—and that's where that $15 comes in.
We want you to buy a placeholder for the next stage of your career.
You need a website—but that comes later. Today may not be the day you actually build out a portfolio dedicated to your work or launch a blog to house all those great ideas you have about interior design. But it is the day you register your domain name.
WHY YOU NEED A DOMAIN NAME, LIKE, YESTERDAY
We'll bet you're wondering: Why buy a URL when you don't have plans (at the moment) to use it?
We appreciate your savvy hesitance about spending money on something you're not actually "using," but this isn't like canceling the subscription to Audible that you forgot about. Buying a domain here and now—right now—makes complete sense, mainly because you don't want someone else to beat you to it.
A real experience motivated us to write this piece:
A few months back, a friend who works as a dialect coach (you know, teaching actors Scandinavian accents, etc) had a chance to land a big gig through a major production house. When they asked her to send them her digital portfolio, she found herself scrambling to throw one together last-minute (this is another career lesson we'll cover some other day). And when the time came to buy her domain, she knew exactly what she wanted to use because it was obvious: hername.com.
Except she couldn't. Because it was already gone.
Buying a domain here and now—right now—makes complete sense, mainly because you don't want someone else to beat you to it.
If you're lucky and have a unique name (like mine), chances are your desired domain (i.e., kitwarchol.com) will be there waiting for you. But try looking up laurenmcgoodwin.com. No chance. It's a big world out there with countless Jessicas and Erins—but also plenty of Annikas, Anjalis, and Adelaides, too. Why risk it?
HOW TO GET ONE
Consider what URL you'd like to use for your personal brand and buy it today. Typically, they run anywhere from $12-$20 annually, and you can buy them from any company that sells them (we tend to use GoDaddy if you're completely unsure, but request quotes from a couple companies to make sure you get the best deal).
And don't worry: you can hook up your domain to any hosting platform later (so even if you're not sure whether you're going to create your site on Wordpress, Cargo Collective, or Squarespace, you can still register—when it comes to domains, it's all the same).
WHAT SHOULD YOU BUY?
A PERSONAL URL
For sure, snag yourname.com. If you discover it's already taken, brainstorm some other options and choose the next best one.
If you've got more than $15 to spend, consider buying any other variations you might want as well (think: yourname.co, yournamestudio.com or yournameproductions.com). Eventually, you can point all these addresses to the same site or use them for different purposes (maybe a portfolio and online store or a portfolio and blog).
A BUSINESS URL
There's a reason why American Apparel's URL is americanapparel.net, and it's a major branding bummer. If you have an idea for a solopreneur venture that you hope to launch in the next few years, buy the company URL immediately. Those suckers go fast.
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So that's it. It'll take you 5 minutes and cost less than drinks out tonight. Yes, you'll need to embark on building an actual website eventually, but feel free to hit the snooze on that until next week. If you can take care of this to-do, you've done good today.
BTW: careercontessa.com is taken.
Got another idea for how to spend $15 on your career? Get at us in the comments.