Recently, an executive in transition, a $150,000+ earner, was referred to me by a fellow professional service provider. Let me call this person Paul. Paul came to me with no less than 50 pages of contacts, resume material and logs from his nine month job search online and offline. As he recounted the many in person networking hours and literally countless hours sending resumes, posting blogs and using social media channels I realized that his activity was quite fruitless. Of course I didn't tell him that but it was apparent. Instead of being closer to his goal of securing similar employment as a financial professional he seemed farther away.
In essence, his efforts really led to much activity and evidence of work without purpose. It reminded me of what I often see in ineffective searches. It reminded me of the book I read by Albert Camus when I was 15 years old – The Myth of Sisyphus.
In Camus essay, he compares the absurdity of man's life with Sisypus from Greek Mythology who was condemned to repeat forever the same, ultimately meaningless task of pushing a boulder up a mountain, only to see it roll down again. Just like Sisyphus, my consultation with the executive jobseeker reminded me of the foreign, strange and seemingly inhuman place it is to be out of your purpose and element. The recent recession has led many executives in transition to become busy but ineffective. The truth is that although job search at the six-figure level can be hard and complicated the experience should not be fruitless and defeating especially when it comes to social media.
In working with many six-figure earners and executives in transition I find that their efforts on social media look confused, disjointed and purposeless. Some executives in transition harness channels like Linked in and others for good purpose and find some productivity but they do not maximize their experiences or have a social media plan. I see an epidemic of wasted time, countless hours being busy with social media.
To fight the epidemic of wasted productive time here are some foundational tips for executives and social media:
Focus on Outstanding Content Not Exposure
Decide in Advance What You Want to Accomplish with Social Media Before You Star
Know That How You Conduct Yourself Online is How You Will Conduct Yourself in Person
A Weak Online Profile Equals a Weak Executive
Your Online Profile Must Be Adjusted to the Media Channels You Choose to Utilize
Understand the Foundation – Keywords, Bio and Resume Information Must Create the Compelling Brand Focused on a Productive Purpose
Concentrate on One or Just a Few Social Networking Opportunities (and Leave the Others Behind)
Know That Social Media May Require a New Degree of Transparency and Originality
To learn how to do these things right it requires a customized, powerful and trusted search solution provider and insight. Or you can conduct your own trial and error experiment. If your work is productive and you are doing none of these things right then more power to you. But if what you are doing is not working be open to changing your tactics. What is your experience with social media? What has your experience in transition taught you? Are you open to learning how to apply these social media goals to a productive search, powerful branding and empowering career advancement? Then stop pushing that boulder up the hill and do something about it.
Titian – 1549's Sisyphus