These days, it doesn’t take long before I refer to social media in my career coaching sessions.
Yesterday, I met a client who was researching artificial intelligence as a potential career option. Inspired by a Social Media Career Cafe session I organised with Natalie Sisson, aka the Suitcase Entreprenuer (that’s me with Natalie below), and attending her BYOB (Build Your Online Business) workshop in Melbourne last week, I suggested he create a blog, and post his progress.
I couldn’t have dreamt about such advice, when I started career transition consulting in 2008.
Social media is a career catalyst…it let’s you accomplish a lifetimes worth of work in a short period of time. – Dan Schwabel
Just four years ago, my only exposure to social media was via LinkedIn. Despite just about everyone I know being on Facebook, I refused to join. Then in late 2010, for some reason Twitter piqued my interest, and I began tweeting on careers and leadership as @careersheila.
Then, I was asked to run LinkedIn workshops. This spurred me into action to learn more about social media. I wasn’t all that tech savvy, and knew there would be some whippet-smart people in the room. I needed to work out how to give them value from the session. I started following a few social media mavens, and digital nomads such as Natalie Sisson. Twitter gave me access to everything that I needed to know, and so much more.
It wasn’t long before I tippy-toed into blogging, and last year, despite my resistance, I finally plunged into Facebook, and created a page for Career Sheila. Now the LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and WordPress quadrella is part of my daily routine. It’s fair to say that I’m a little smitten with social media.
So why do I bring social media into my career conversations with professionals?
Social media offers the tools to empower and energise your career in the following ways:
- Researching and following prospective employers & people you admire
- Keeping abreast of ideas & developments in your area of expertise
- Exploring potential options & pathways, in advance of any career leap
- Developing thought leadership, and cultivating an online personal brand
- Presenting a portfolio of your work = a complete picture of your expertise
- Seeking advice from others, to assist with career challenges, choices & decisions
- Accessing inexpensive learning & development opportunities
- Building & extending networks within your profession, and those you’d like to explore
- Undertaking due diligence for a business, virtual career or self-employment.
These strategies will not only give you an edge during job search and career transition, they’ll help develop your overall Career Fitness – for wherever you’re heading.