Posted on December 14th, 2009 by Colin and is posted in Career
This is a guest post by Daniel Spira
(Part One of a three-part series)
Switching career paths after two or more decades can be daunting for some people… almost as daunting as the flood of information that’s now available through social media, including blogs, LinkedIn, Twitter, and the like. So, what about combining these two things – what about using social media to facilitate your career change? Will this make things easier for you? Or will you get a case of career-change-information-overload, and find yourself curled up under your desk in the fetal position, chanting “there’s no place like home… there’s no place like home..?”
As with many other things, the key to success is to focus on just a few, simple immediate steps to get yourself going. This series of posts contains some helpful hints – immediate actions items – that you can take right after reading this article:
STEP ONE: Build Your Awareness – Start Listening and Collecting
“First seek to understand, then to be understood.” This quotation by Steven Covey, which is based on a portion of the famous Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi, provides the perfect advice for anyone simultaneously dipping their toes into online social media whilst changing careers.
Use social media to build awareness of who’s-who and what’s-what in your intended new career area. Ask yourself:
- Who are the most important thinkers, writers and bloggers (aka “thought leaders”) in this space I want to get into?
- What organizations and news sources should I be keeping tabs on?
- Are there any local networking events or conferences that I should be attending?
Wait! Before you go off Googling those things, you’ll want a way to manage the stream of information and keep it handy for use later. Set up an account with a social bookmarking service such as Delicious or Reddit, and tag everything you think you may want to refer back to later.
If you’re already on Twitter, stop following all those celebrities, and start following the active bloggers/twitterers in the field you are interested in. If you’re not on Twitter yet, set up a “listening post” there. And remember to use your bookmarking tool.
Stay tuned for
STEP TWO: Make your LinkedIn Profile More Aspirational
Dan Spira is a consultant, coach and trainer at rogenSi. Working with some of the world’s top tier organizations — the largest and best known financial, technology, media and life sciences companies – Dan is passionate about helping executives, heads of business units and their teams get even better at what they do, developing winning skills, attitudes, and processes. Prior to joining rogenSi, Dan was a serial entrepreneur and independent consultant, with a focus on e-commerce and online marketing.