Over the past year, a number of people who I know lost their jobs. Some were prepared; some were not. Some were young; some were not. Some took it well; some not so well. A few of them have moved on; the others continue to search. In relative terms, the economy appears to be booming. And yet, many around us fall prey to corporate restructuring, right-sizing, and optimization. In these days of connectedness, how can you leverage your social media contacts when looking for a job? Here are some of my thoughts on this.
With access to social networks like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and self-promotion platforms like blogs and You Tube, many of us feel that we are more connected than we were a few years ago. The pundits will tell you that it is as fundamental as “ABC – Always Be Connecting.” No doubt that this is true. But, how reliable are your connections? The general belief is that your social media networks include a small number of strong ties and a larger number of weak ties. Most of us focus on our closer ties vs. our extended connections. However, there is the collective wisdom out there that suggests that harnessing the power of your weak links is the way to go when you are trying to extend your reach. This post by Jill Hurst-Wahl, an associate professor at Syracuse University, explores this idea in more detail.
So, do you have a mechanism to identify and list the contact information for all your LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers, and Facebook friends? Exporting LinkedIn connections is relatively straight forward. You can use the exporting your LinkedIn connections link to download and filter your contacts as needed. As for Twitter, I used a free trial offer from Simply Measured to generate a list of my followers and download it into an excel file. The level of detail that I was able to capture surprised me. Downloading the list of my Facebook friends into an excel spreadsheet was a little bit more complicated. The steps to do that is listed in this You Tube video.
If you really are in search of a job, you may want to pause and think about it. Does it have to be in your current line of work? I know people who have been brave enough to switch their careers from white-collar corporate credit management to truck driving; from IT to interior design! How about thinking outside your comfort zone? If the ex-CEO of Boloco, the famous burritos chain, can become a part-time Uber driver, why not you?
Finally, would you look for a head hunter or a recruiter? Depending on your situation, an aggressive head hunter may be what you need. If you don’t have a public profile already, you may want to start building one. After all, if someone is looking for your skill sets, you will want to be found!
So, should you plan for job loss? Yes, because it can happen to you!