My career in technology

Archive for the ‘Social Media’ 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.

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You Don’t Have To Be Crazy To Be A SharePoint Expert, But Sometimes It Helps

Just for fun.

SharePoint folks (at least the ones I know) tend to have a sense of humor and are entertaining to be around. Perhaps it is the intelligence needed to work with the complexity of SharePoint (a quality you share, of course), or maybe SharePoint drives people who work with it too much a bit nuts.

As Exhibit A, I give you SharePint. By dropping the “o” in SharePoint, we have a social event to follow the technically focused events like the user group meetings, SharePoint Saturdays, and other conferences. And while “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas“, what happens at SharePint ususally ends up posted all over Twitter. This year’s SharePoint Saturday San Antonio was followed by a particularly raucous SharePint. Fun times.

By contrast, Exhibit B can be experienced in the privacy of your own home (or wherever you are browsing from). (more…)

New Post at SharePointTherapist.com!

I started SharePointTherapist.com at the end of January with a lot of fanfare and enthusiasm, and then life pulled me in other directions for a while.  Now I’ve finally posted the next question, “How do we get started with SharePoint governance?”

Head on over to SharePointTherapist and give it a read, then weigh in with your opinion in the comments!

Three Years Ago Today

I started Working It Out three years ago today.

This is true in both the literal sense (starting a blog named Working It Out) and the metaphorical sense as well (for more information on that, see my recent post Don’t Just Get A Job, Build A Career (Lessons Learned Building a Career, Part Three of Infinity)).

My third year of blogging has been an exciting time. 37 new posts and pages, bringing my total to 125. Over 45,000 page views, bringing my total to 67,701 (not including the over 1000 spam clicks). A lot of great stuff happened to make those numbers happen. My series on SharePoint Governance debuted and was republished on NothingButSharePoint. The success of that series led to the creation of SharePointTherapist.com, by way of my SharePoint Group Therapy sessions at SharePoint Saturday Austin and SharePoint Saturday Houston. I did quite a bit of other public speaking, both on SharePoint and career management, and I wrote a lot about my presentations. The success of the Year Two post Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List led to two follow-up posts.  And a couple of run-ins with malware yielded two surprisingly popular posts.

When Year Two ended, only one page had over 1000 hits. Now 15 are on that list, and one of those has over 10,000 hits.  Three of those 15 were written during Year Three.  Here are those top 15 posts: (more…)

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?

Speaking at #SPSHou, and a Status Update

While things here at Working It Out have been quiet on the surface for the last month or so, it has only been because things have been so very busy everywhere else.

SharePoint Saturday Houston & SharePoint Group Therapy

First of all, I will be speaking at SharePoint Saturday Houston this coming Saturday.  I’ll be running my SharePoint Governance workshop, “SharePoint Group Therapy“, like I did at SharePoint Saturday Austin earlier this year.  If you are in Houston and have SharePoint governance questions you want answered, or issues you want some help resolving, or you feel like helping others with their issues or questions, be sure to attend my session.

My Career Journey

Second, after interviewing several potential candidates for the role, I have selected my new employer.  While all of my suitors were desirable places to work and I hope to be able to work with them later in my career, a combination of timing, the challenges offered, and the chance to work with some folks I know and some I have worked with in the past all contributed to my choice.  I appreciate the time and effort over the last several months that each of the other companies put into working with me to match their needs, my talents, and their opportunities!

As you might imagine, between wrapping up my previous projects and evaluating my next opportunities and challenges, I have fallen behind in posting new content for you.  Over the next several weeks, I will be posting new content, including material I have been puttering around with for a while, but as you can imagine, jumping into a new environment also presents challenges to my schedule, so please bear with me as I acclimate to my new environment.

Other Speaking Engagements

I did get an opportunity to indulge one of my other passions during the past month – speaking to the Austin North-by-Northwest job club about some of the investments that are key to long-term career management.  As per my new M.O., the presentation was extemporaneous, without PowerPoint slides, and as always hammering home some of my favorite advice about your job search.  I used examples of things that I had done that had paid off in making this job transition a matter of choice rather than one of panic and desperation, which I think made the points a little clearer.

Site Traffic

It has been so busy this year that I never got around to doing a 2011 year-end wrap-up, and here we are over a quarter of the way through 2012, so I guess that point is moot.  In the time since, several milestones were hit and went by unremarked because of how busy things have been.  In February, I completed my first 1000 days of blogging with my biggest month so far.  March blew the doors off February, with 6,809 page views, more page views than I got during my first 365 days of blogging.  Naturally, this period included my biggest week to date, by a huge margin, thanks in part to some malware that I learned how to exterminate the hard way.  But my difficulties made the lives of others easier, so, even though malware hunting isn’t my primary role, I feel justified in taking some pride.

Naturally, a post that contributes so much to the bog’s bottom line has its own laurels, as the post that reached 1000 page views the quickest – 12 days.  Three other posts joined the 1k+ page views club, and the leader of the pack, Add a Unique Auto-Incrementing Column to a SharePoint List surpassed twelve thousand page views.

Those are the highlights of the recent developments, and since I am coming up on the end of my third year of blogging, I’ll have more detailed coverage then for those who are interested.

Announcing the Launch of SharePointTherapist.com!

This past weekend was SharePoint Saturday Austin for 2012, Austin’s first SharePoint Saturday.

There is no doubt there will be one for 2013, given that this was rated to be one of the best SharePoint Saturday events ever.  Many thanks to Jim Bob and Matt who did a stellar job of putting together a real classy event and setting the bar for other events.

My part in this production went very well also.  My session, SharePoint Group Therapy (A SharePoint Governance Workshop), while lightly attended (hey, I was up against Bill English, and if I hadn’t been speaking I would have been in his session too!) was highly regarded by the attendees present.  So much so that I have decided to launch SharePointTherapist.com.

The idea is to replicate, as best as possible on the web, the collaborative environment of the workshop where anyone can bring their SharePoint issues and questions and get answers from myself and anyone else in the community who wants to participate.  Unlike other existing venues, this will be focused around governance issues rather than technical ones. 

So if you have problems in your current environment, fears about implementing governance, or fears about implementing SharePoint, bring them to the SharePoint Therapist.

I’m also planning on taking my session on the road to other SharePoint Saturdays and other SharePoint events.

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