“The Twitter stream can become the equivalent of an online university … . Once you connect with the right community of professionals and colleagues, the amount of information available to you is limited only by your ability to process it.”
This snippet, drawn from Miriam Salpeter’s new book, Social Networking for Career Success, is worth reading twice. Processing what she is saying is crucial to understanding the immense VALUE of social networking and social media.
When I joined my favorite social networking venue, Twitter, nearly three years ago, I had no idea the impact it would have on my professional life. It virtually turned my career upside down.
In fact, Miriam and I met on Twitter, and from there a professional and personal friendship flourished. She, in Atlanta, and I, at the time in Kansas City, swapped tweets and direct messages that led to co-presenting at a careers conference on the topic of Twitter, the creation and launch of a monthly career blogging consortium and other regular interactions that include daily updates on professional and personal goals, phone calls and ideation sessions. My relationship with Miriam has become a staple in my daily activity.
However, I venture to say I likely ‘never’ would have met Miriam had it not been for Twitter. And I could share several stories of special other colleagues, collaborators and clients I likely never would have met should I have not broken through my own comfort zone and merged into the somewhat dizzying traffic of Twitter.
The good thing is that what may appear to be speeding traffic and confusing intersections can, like the zeroing in on a specific target in job search, be managed simply by spotlighting and focusing in on your area(s) of interest, and simply tootling around in a less congested area. Meet and wave at a few folks talking about ABC widgets or DEF technology—for me the topics often center on career writing, leadership and business—and before you know it, the traffic flow intuitively becomes more manageable. As mentioned above, the information highway is limitless, and your ability to process the data is tested.
In her book, however, Miriam offers hundreds (if not thousands) of ways to manage the social media challenge; she offers new and experienced social networking users a plethora of tools, ideas, case studies and the like to help you successfully – and easily – navigate your career and professional travels along the social media channels.
The tapestry of social networking is woven with thousands of colorful threads, and Miriam covers virtually all of them. In a digestible fashion, she starts with social media basics and then shepherds you through to personal brand creation; using and making the most of LinkedIn; describing why and how to Tweet, as well as maximizing the use of Twitter; explaining how to make the most of Facebook; and espousing the benefits of blogging.
By the way, who knew that authoring a blog was considered social media? Well, initially I did not, and now I feel my career sails filling up with more wind as I consider the value proposition that someone like me has perpetuated with the initial simple click of a mouse, setting out on a voyage into uncharted waters and effectively managing the occasional jibing and course adjustments along the way.
My life, my clients’ lives and many, MANY other folks’ lives transformed; it all began with a puff of wind, which led to full-blown career adventuring, propelling ourselves into the social media sea. You can do the same.
If you haven’t already, you really must invest in Social Networking for Career Success. It’s a 355-page goldmine of stories from social networking users (many of them experts in their own right) who can attest to the rich value, both in broad, relationship terms, as well as bottom-line impact they’ve netted from charting their social networking course.
Set sail today! Your horizons will immediately expand. I promise you.