My career in technology

Archive for the ‘Career’ Category

Inappropriate Congratulations – The New LinkedIn Feature

LinkedIn has started to push interactivity to its users beyond just checking in weekly on the new connections that your connections have added.

LinkedIn is now encouraging you to say “Congratulations” within 24 hours of when your connections make a change to their current job or job title.  But congratulations are not always in order.

Sometimes, your connection has just gotten around to updating their profile – they have had the job for two years and are prepping their profile to make the jump to a less miserable environment.  (Hmmm, maybe that is a reason for congratulations, anyway!)

Other times, their change in status is prompted by a job loss, and their new role as “Consultant” is what they are doing to scrape by until they find their next “real job”.

LinkedIn also encourages you to congratulate your connections on their work anniversaries.  One of my connections hasn’t updated his profile in a while, so his “work anniversary” was for an employer he hadn’t been at for years.

I think there is great value in interacting with your network over job changes, and to a lesser extent over work anniversaries.  Every contact, however small, reinforces the connections you have made, making your network just a little stronger, a little more valuable (to yourself and the rest of your network, too!).  It shows you are paying attention, and gives an indication that you care.  For those of my connections who have put their birthday on their profiles, I have taken the step of sending them a short note saying “Happy birthday”,  wishing them well on a day that means more to them than a work anniversary.

However, in order for these kinds of interactions to provide value, in order to prevent yourself from looking stupid, rubbing salt in a fresh wound, or otherwise committing a social faux pas, you have to PAY ATTENTION.  You need to be aware of where the people in your network are, and check to see whether the change is something to congratulate them on, or to ask them how you can help.

The Only Job You’ll Ever Have

The secret to prevailing in a job interview is to remember one simple fact.

There is only one job.  You have only ever had one job, and (as far as I can tell) you’ll only ever have one job.

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The Business Card As A Career Tool

After talking with a job seeker the other day, I asked for his card so I could keep in touch with him. He replied that his company didn’t give its employees business cards. He didn’t have a personal business card either.

I was asking for his card because I had spoken with him a couple of months before, and he took my card and said he would contact me so I could pass job leads to him. But I didn’t hear from him, and I had no way to initiate contact with him, so he missed a couple of good leads.

I realized that not everyone has been taught the value of a business card – their own personal business card – to their career.

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Say Yes – A Success Story

Another success story, again about stepping out of our comfort zones: I heard from one of my readers, Stephanie, that she just got a new job. Yay!

Even better is the story of how she got the job. I’ll let her tell the story… (more…)

Get Out Of That Comfort Zone – A Success Story

I have a success story to share with you.  While I played a role in this story, it was Brigitta that made it happen.

She wrote this to Launch Pad Job Club:

I wanted to share a truly amazing success story!  I am still pinching myself and find this story quite unbelievable… (more…)

Join the Conversation!

 I’ve been invited to participate as a panelist on SharePoint ShopTalk, a live, weekly interactive online discussion about all things SharePoint.  Most of the panelists are MVPs, people I respect greatly, so I take it as a great honor to be invited to join the panel.

 Come join the conversation every Thursday, from 12:30pm – 1:30pm EST.

You can also follow @SPShopTalk and join the Linkedin group.

I’ll be facilitating SharePoint Group Therapy on June 28th, and I’ll be available on the panel to answer questions as often as possible.

More posts about SharePoint.

Center of the Universe

Not surprisingly, I tend to write about what I happen to be focused on.  Recently, my focus has been more on career management, so naturally I’m posting more about that subject at the moment.

I got my new job as a direct result of the long-term investments I have made in my career.  Specifically, the networking aspect played a big role in making this happen.

Last week, Ted, someone I knew through my networking, referred a recruiter to me.  The recruiter was looking to fill a specific position, and Ted told him to contact me because I was someone who knows people.  I helped the recruiter identify a couple of people who might be good candidates.   Hopefully we’ll find a good match, making the skills holder, the recruiter, and the client company all happy – a win, win, win, win, win scenario.  The fourth and fifth wins?  That’s me!  I get that great feeling from having helped someone (several someones!), and I have people who are grateful to me for helping them and are willing to help back.

Maybe that will pay off directly, maybe it won’t, but that doesn’t really matter.  because these people will come away from our interaction with the knowledge that I am someone to go to when they need help locating a candidate or finding a job.  And maybe that future interaction will lead to a contact that directly leads to a personal benefit, or maybe it will just help the world to be a better, happier place.

And just to demonstrate that you see what you are looking for, last week also saw a posting to the LinkedIn group for Launch Pad Job Club pointing to a little feature from LinkedIn Labs that maps your connections and their interconnectedness.  Here is my map:

My Network - Click for larger image

Mapping your connections probably won’t directly benefit you at all.  Even its indirect utility is not obvious, even to me.

Even so, I found the perspective it gave me interesting.  Looking at the map, I can’t help but see it in terms of where I am in all of this.  Obviously, since the map is about me, there I am in the center of the universe, the height of hubris.  And yet, the muddled mass on the right represents Austinites who network, and the other groups are connected to that region by… me.  I am the connector, at the center of that universe.  Or, at the very least, there is an opportunity to make myself the center.

I choose to put myself at the center by utilizing my network to help others, making it about them instead of me.  I recommend that you reach out to your network and see what help you can offer.

What do you see when you visualize your network?  Do you get value from the visualization besides perspective?

How can I help you reach your goals?

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