My career in technology

It was a year ago today that I started on the road to creating this blog. 

Jason Alba, creator of, came to Austin on April 27, 2009 as a special guest speaker for Launchpad Job Club.  His presentation was full of great tips and advice, and opened my eyes to a new way of managing my career.  It was his presentation that pushed me into creating this blog. 

As part of my impending anniversary “celebration”, I thought I would present the notes I took that evening (cleaned up to include actual sentences and fully-written words!).

Career Management 2.0 – Strategies and tactics

In the old way of doing things, the goal was “job security”, and you got there using a “job search”.  With the changes in our employment culture, the goal is now “income security”, and to do that you use “career management 2.0”.

The current trend of having a career transition every 3-5 years is just the way things are and will be for the foreseeable future.  Managing those transitions and trying to maintain income over time requires using new ways of doing things.   One of those new ways is taking advantage of social media tools.

Why social media tools?

  1. Create “personal branding”
  2. Grow your network
  3. Nurture relationships

Personal Branding

The first step in creating a personal brand is figuring out what that brand is.   Are you mis-branding yourself?  Your elevator speech and how you present yourself –  are they representing the value you bring?  make sure your message is succinct and accurately reflects your value proposition.  Make sure the message is clear and understandable.  Make sure it is memorable.

Use an e-mail signature block to help brand yourself.  For those who haven’t been exposed to your branding, it an opportunity for a first impression.  For those you have already made your value proposition to, the signature block is a reinforcement of that message.  Keep it simple, make sure it provides ways for the reader to find out more about you (links to your LinkedIn profile, your blog, your website, etc).

It is important to brand yourself as a subject matter expert (SME) or thought leader in your field.  How do you do that?   Use a comprehensive social strategy using as any of these tools as possible:

  1. Blogs
  2. Twitter
  3. Facebook
  4. LinkedIn
  5. Newsletter (monthly)
  6. Articles
  7. Book(s)
  8. Jibberjobber
  9. Yahoo groups

Write about what you know.  Write blog posts, a newsletter, articles for trade journals, and books.  Publish your own e-book if you can’t find a publisher.  Use Twitter, your blog, Facebook, and LinkedIn to promote what you have written in your newsletter, article, blog post or book.  Participate in Yahoo groups and answer questions on LinkedIn.

Alba calls Linked in Answers the “most powerful tool”, and suggests you should answer questions not less frequently than monthly, and to ask questions not more frequently than monthly.  Ask questions of your network that further your branding as SME.

Grow Your Network

Your goal is growth of your network – growth in your geography, profession and industry.  Join LinkedIn groups, and have a couple of “power connectors” in your network.  “Power connectors” are people who act as social hubs and have more than 500 connections.  They are key to connecting you to people who would normally be outside your network.

Get recommendations from connections, about 8, or 5-10% for a large network.  Best way to do this is by giving unsolicited recommendations to others without asking for reciprocation… they will anyway!  Try to do one or two recommendations a week.

Nurture relationships

Once you have a network, stay in touch with the people in it.  Send out an update to your connections, about once a month.  Make sure to mention that you are willing to make sure that anyone who doesn’t want to get your updates can opt out – and then make sure you keep them off the list.  Ask for feedback – the point is to turn the connections into relationships and maintain those relationships.  Make the communications interactive.


It is important to use your value proposition in your LinkedIn headline and your e-mail signature.  Be consistent and concise.

Participate in LinkedIn Answers – Ask and answer (try to ask only about monthly).

Be sure to export your LinkedIn contact list regularly!  Do this as a backup, as well as to import into Jibberjobber.

Other lessons learned:

SWAT teams – search with a team.  Don’t go it alone!  These provide both support and accountability.

Do your own monthly job search newsletter to your contacts.

Use an accountability coach – this person can be a professional or a volunteer.

Substantiate Yourself!  Get out and volunteer your abilities.  This will show people what you are capable of and that you are motivated.


Book – Never Eat Alone

Jobsearch Bootcamp

Tech Crunch (for techies)  >>  Deb Dib >> LinkedIn for Executives – online profile/resume (“emurse” = “resume” scrambled)

Book – Brag : How to toot your own horn without blowing it

Jim Adcock is Vice President of Launch Pad Job Club, an organization in Austin, Texas, whose mission is help people who have lost their jobs to get the skills they need to land their next job, and to help them cope with the interim between jobs. Check out other career-related entries.


Comments on: "One Year Later – Jason Alba, Distinguished Speaker at LPJC" (2)

  1. […] Nearly two years ago I attended a presentation by Jason Alba, creator of It was that presentation that launched my blog. I learned sever things there, and the one I’m going to talk about today is professional presentation in social media. […]

  2. […] finally did reach their conclusion.  I’ve talked about all of these things before, and they aren’t even ideas original to me, but I think it is helpful to look at these long-term strategies from the perspective of things […]

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