Time off: TED and How to find a job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter & other social networks
I have never felt miserable as I have felt over the last few days. Influenza is definitely not something to be inflicted with. In fact I hope never to be inflicted with any kind of virus. But I know it’s a fools hope. On the flip side, I have never had so much time to myself for a very long time. At times like these you need to get some rest; let your body and brain rest. Considering serious professional work requiring concentration and creativity acted as a catalyst to worsen my symptoms. So I took this opportunity to (sleep, yes) and also catch up on expanding my horizons. I endeavored to undertake those activities that involved no physical labor, I let my fingers do the walking during the waking moments.
TED - Technology, Entertainment, Design
Whether it is Shashi Tharoor espousing the soft-power of India, Pranav Mistry’s vision on merging the physical world to the digital world, Hans Rosling’s predictions on when Asia will overtake the West, Mallika Sarabhai’s dance to change the world, Eric Giler’s untangling of our wired lives by using wireless electricity or Andrea Ghez’s mission to convince a skeptical world that supermassive black holes exist in space, TED, through its speakers, is a powerhouse of knowledge. It is also a space where the word “passion” can be seen in action. So I spent a considerable amount of time recuperating with TED.
How mythology shapes the business world
This being a business blog, I would like to single out Devdutt Pattanaik’s talk on TED. I do not care much for mythology. I think they are just that - myths - with no more purpose than to tell a story with a message. The message got lost over the centuries while just the myth remained. However, Devdutt (his designation is “Chief Belief Officer” at one of the largest retail chains in India) very eloquently explains the difference between “my world” and “the world”. If you, in Atlantic Canada, plan to do business in India add this presentation to your arsenal of culture shock absorber. Whether we like it or not, each of us conducts business with certain beliefs. Understanding and empathizing beliefs in contradiction to your own will go a long way to help you with your overseas expansion dreams.
How to find a job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites
As part of my healing process, I also devoured Brad and Debra Schepp’s How to find a job on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites, along with those bitter pills. The folks at McGraw Hill were kind enough to send me a review copy. About a year ago, I received a request from our HR folks to explore the potential use of Facebook for recruiting. At time time, I suggested LinkedIn instead of Facebook for its quality and professionalism. I feel vindicated.
One of the individuals I follow on Twitter (@dewaldp) sent a link to The Huffington Post article titled “The funniest Facebook snafus of all times“. I am not convinced that the snafus mentioned are all real, but the examples go to show how your online actions can come back and haunt you in the offline world. Build a brand online that complements your offline world. Do not lead double lives. Recruiters are “Googling” you. If you have not heard, Google is going to include Twitter in its search results. So if it’s online and public you are fair game for employer background search.
Note to employers: You spend a considerable amount of time and money in your recruitment efforts. Use social networking tools to vet your potential candidates. Use what you find as a guide. Unless its immoral or does not fit in with your company culture, do you use social media as a decision making tool. Your current employees may not exactly be as righteous as you would like to believe, so why would you make a decision solely based on picture of a candidate in a pub? Just use some common sense.
No, I am not looking for a job. I am also not looking for sales leads. But if you are, the book has some interesting examples on LinkedIn that you might try to emulate in your job search. I do not consider Facebook or Myspace professional enough for my time. So I confine my brand building and networking to LinkedIn and Twitter. But if you are a B2C company and are not using Facebook and Twitter as part of your online marketing arsenal, you need to rethink your marketing strategy. Back to LinkedIn. Why use LinkedIn and why read the book?
- Brad and Debra would concur with some of my observations. 146 pages out of 233 pages in the book are devoted to LinkedIn and the rest of the pages divided among the other social networking sites. Additionally, if your network is not working for you, then you are doing something wrong and need help. I did find it rather strange that I was unable to find a blog or a website for the book maintained by the authors.
- Every single job or contract I have worked in my life is a result of networking. Sending out resumes in response to ads is a waste of time. If you know there is a vacancy that you are a fit, then work your network to land an interview. LinkedIn makes it easy to find and talk to decision makers in your company of choice.
- Build your band. These are turbulent times. We will see 2010 over the ruins of some respected and reputable businesses. “Job security” has become an oxymoron. So it is necessary for you to continuously build your brand. There is no other tool that boasts of millions of users who have instant access to your profile. Helps others on LinkedIn - answer questions, ask intelligent ones, share, help and build the knowledge. It will pay back dividends when you are in need.
- For businesses: Look-up and connect with potential vendors and customers. Keep in touch with customers and strengthen those existing relationship. Keep an eye on the competition. Recruit talent from competitors.
If you are already following these strategies and more, of course the book is not for you. “How to find a job…” is intended for those individuals who are overwhelmed with the plethora of social networking sites and are unsure of how to harness it. It is also for those individuals who rather foolishly believe their online escapades will remain anonymous. If Pranav Mistry has his way, very soon the divide between the digital world and the physical world will cease to exist and you do not want to be caught with your pants down.Human Resource, Marketing categories.