For the third year in a row, I am thrilled to be invited to participate in QuintCareers’ Job Action Day, when many career professionals write about the selected, timely topic. QuintCareers explains, “The theme for Job Action Day 2010 is “Creating Opportunity.” At a time when traditional full-time jobs with benefits are giving way to temp jobs, contract/project work, and part-time jobs with limited or no benefits, job-seekers must be both open to nontraditional twists on jobs and creative ways — such as through submitting job proposals to employers — to land positions.”
I write a lot about using social media and other “non-traditional” approaches to job search. I believe in social networking tools, and know that entrepreneurs can win business using them and job seekers can land opportunities. I particularly love Twitter, and have often waxed poetic about how useful it is for job seekers. (See this post for links to my thoughts about using Twitter for job hunting.)
Attending several conferences recently (Career Directors International, a career coaches’ and resume writers’ convention and Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), Atlanta, an organization dedicated to recruiting and HR issues) inspired me to go a little retro for this post.Â I’d suggest that to create opportunity, you need to think about being a connector (someone who enjoys introducing people, for personal or professional benefit).
Wikipedia defines “connector,” a term Malcolm Gladwell popularized in his 2000 book The Tipping Point:
Connectors are said…to be people in a community who know large numbers of people and who are in the habit of making introductions. A connector is essentially the social equivalent of a computer network hub. Connectors usually know people across an array of social, cultural, professional, and economic circles, and make a habit of introducing people who work or live in different circles.
Although connectors are rare — only one in several thousand people might be thought of as a true connector — they are…very important in the healthy function of civil society and business. Connectors are also important in trendsetting.
My friend, Jenny DeVaughn, is the best example of being a connector that I know. Jenny is the Director, Social Strategy at Bernard Hodes Group, where she is “responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of social media strategies for clients, including ongoing training.” She is an expert regarding recruiting for today and develops and implements social media recruitment strategies for clients, including Fortune 500 organizations. She also has her own blog, Social Precision, where she shares tips and up-to-date ideas relevant to both the hiring side and job seekers.
I had a chance to see Jenny speak to a packed room at SHRM-Atlanta. (Read some of her adviceÂ HERE.) She’s clearly way ahead of the curve when it comes to technology and connecting online. She shared that she is one of the top three most connected women on LinkedIn! You may assume someone so focused on online connecting might not be a skilled in-person networker, but the opposite is true when it comes to Jenny.
Jenny creates opportunity wherever she is. I have never stood next to her without watching Jenny introduce someone to another person, suggest some potential business or personal commonalities, make a connection or offer an idea. It amazes me how focused she is on helping other people succeed and what an awesome link she provides by letting each person know how the other person might relate to what he or she is doing.
Creating opportunity is an important and relevant topic, and one that job seekers need to think about in an environment when jobs are few and far between. Take a lesson from a connector — Jenny sees opportunity just by looking around and by thinking ahead. She obviously makes it a point to know what people do, what skills they have and makes the most of this information by sharing it and introducing people.
Think about it — how can you make opportunity by looking around? Who might you be able to introduce to someone else for a potential opportunity? How can you help those around you? When you are in that mindset of being a connector and serving as a hub of information and resources, it will also help you identify opportunities that may be available to you.
Stay tuned for a post about my friend Laura Labovich’s tips for how to introduce yourself effectively and for impact when meeting in person!
Please check out these blog posts that are joining mine in supporting Job Action Day 2010:
- Quintessential Careers Blog, Third annual Job Action Day arrives with job-seekers struggling with a new and more challenging future of work, future of job-hunting.
- Career Doctor Blog
- Quintessential Resume and Cover Letter Tips Blog, Career Experts Offer Tips for New Job-Search Realities: Job Action Day 2010.
- A Storied Career, Job Action Day 2010: Stories of Creating Opportunity Through LinkedIn.
- Susan Guarneri, New World of Work: Job Action Day 2010 Career Assessment Goddess.
- Wendy Terwelp, Job Action Day: Create Your Own Opportunity, Rock Your Career.
- Laura Labovich, Give-to-Get in the Protean Workplace!, Aspire! Empower!
- David Couper, Job Action: what can you do to help, David Couper Blog.
- Barbara Safani, Job Action Day-Opportunities Knock Harder When You Use Social Media, Career Solvers Blog.
- Maggie Mistal, Job Action Day: Soul Search, Research & Job Search To Create Real Opportunity, Career Advice Blog.
- Steven Rothberg, On Job Action Day 2010, Focus on Your Competencies, Interests, and values, CollegeRecruiter.com Blog
- Miriam Salpeter, Job Action Day — how to create job opportunities by being a connector, Keppie Careers.
- The Career Management Alliance Blog [multiple posts].
- Stephen Hinton, Focus On Certifications: How Can a Certification Help My Green Job Search?, Hinton Human Capital Blog.
You can also find Job Action Day 2010 posts on these blogs:
- Heather Krasna, Heather Krasna’s Public Service Career Blog.
- Meg Guiseppi, Executive Career Branding.
- Willy Franzen, One Day One Job.
- Deborah Shane, Deborah Shane Toolbox,
- Debra Wheatman, Careers Done Write Blog.
- Darrell Gurney, Career Guy Blog.
- Jason Alba, JibberJobber Blog.
- Rich Milgram, EmploymentMetrix Blog.
- Hannah Morgan, Career Sherpa.