Social media networking has fulfilled many different roles in my life. In my early teens, it was a way to rebel. After high school graduation, it was a gateway to the world of college. Recently, it has helped me keep in touch with friends and family around the world. For the past few years, social media networking has flowed along with my pace of life. A few weeks ago, I signed up with LinkedIn, and all of that changed.
For the first time, I’m intimidated by social media networking. It’s new, unknown, and different. Instead of following my pace, it pushes me as hard as I push it. It’s a tool, not a hobby. And I’m still learning how to use it. When is it ok to connect with someone? How often do people check this stuff? How much of my resume should be on my profile? I’m still trying to work out how comfortable I feel with my professional information out for the internet to see.
In March, my office at the State Department held a seminar for government employees that were preparing to retire (just one of the many perks that come with Government work that I’m learning about). One seminar focused on Job Searches, mainly for people that know they have to get another job because they have kids in college or a mandatory retirement age that is just too low to live off of. In the classes, job seekers learn how to take advantage of social media networking, and specifically LinkedIn.
Even though I’m supposed to be the tech-savvy Intern offering administrative support, I took every chance I could to stand at the back of the lecture room and take notes. I told myself all week, if the retired Government Employees, so can I. By the end of the course, some of them even “linked” with me!
Other classes included resumes, business cards, developing a brand, and other job search tools that are helpful to everyone from government employees with 30 years of experience, to interns thinking about what will happen in a year when they graduate. I think I struck gold on the internship front!