I’m really not in to this social media stuff

“I am not really into this social media stuff”, “I can’t understand this texting thing, just give me a call”. 

We create our own image with our words and action.  Whatever we think of our brand it may be totally different as to how we are perceived.

I have heard all these statements before from mid-career professionals who insanely feel that this mindset is OK.  Maybe he is thinking that it is cool to not be a part of the changing nature of our existence. 

Folks it is not OK.  If you are not aware of what is going on around you, you will be left in the shuffle.  There is no badge of honor for this outdated thinking.  If you can’t aptly describe the issues that are going through your area of expertise or industry, you are sadly behind all of the people you are competing against for either the next promotion or your next job.

How would you answer these questions?

There is no way around this today with change at warp speed.  I had someone that reached out to me on LinkedIn the other day.  As I reviewed their profile, I realized that they had a total of 3 connections with me being one of them.  Meanwhile upon further inspection they have been in the workforce for 15+ years.

I felt compelled to reach out to him and ask a few probing questions. 

  1. How many business cards do you have in your workspace at this time?  I asked him to literally count them.  Total was 53.
  2. I asked him how many industry associations he belongs to.  Total was 4.
  3. When was the last time he updated his resume.  His answer was, “I really can’t remember”
  4. When was the last time he attended an industry function or convention? “ Years ago”
  5. What are the top 3 issues affecting your industry that is changing the landscape? “That one I have to think about”

Career suicide by willing participant

By then I was done.  He was committing career suicide and did not even realize it.  Here are a few key points to be aware of in these turbulent times.  It is extremely important that we stay in the game and let our activity show it.

  • Refuse to participate in social media – LinkedIn and Twitter are 2 platforms that all professionals should be a part of.  85% of recruiters use LinkedIn as the first stop to spot talent. Does your profile mirror your brand as a top person in your field?  My current C-Level role came about because the recruiter saw my profile online.
  • Coasting along with the status quo.   Are you comfortable with where you are?  What would happen if on Monday morning you walked in and were let go.  Always be prepared.
  • No goals other than just working.  If you are here you are not alone.  So many professionals are at this stage and are putting their career in jeopardy.  What would you do if you could not fail?
  • Postpone making career decisions.  When is the right time?  Now is the right time.  Sooner or later you will have to decide where you are going.  Why not do it when you have had more than enough time to think about it.
  • Quit acquiring new skills. Have you given up with your skill set?  Has your skill set become dated?  This will show up in a heartbeat in an interview.
  • Do you look your age –If you were to go back to your college reunion, would they even know who you are?  If you have let yourself go, you have to get back in control.  Appearance is important.  When you meet someone or walk in for that interview, does you appearance send a message.
  • Resume neglect.  Your resume is a living document.  Everything that happens in your career that is positive should be documented.  Just finished a new course, list it.  Just got a promotion, document it.  Speaking at a convention or professional setting, update it.  Every time you add to your profile it should be updated on your resume as well as your social media platforms.
  • Networking events.  Do you look for reasons not to go to industry functions or professional settings?  It is imperative that we all expand our circle of influences.  Every interaction is an opportunity to expand your setting.  Follow this step: Meet, Connect and stay connected.  A business card today is LinkedIn.

All these points highlight areas where we can improve your brand, whether you agree with the brand metaphor or not, you are one.  We all are.

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