September 21, 2011

Use Social Media Effectively

I don't know about you, but I sometimes feel like it can be so hard to keep up with social media.  Even if I login everyday, I have 300+ Facebook news feeds and 50+ tweets to look at.  And that's not it.  Then, I have to keep track of Linkedin, Google+, YouTube, Google Reader, Foursquare, Yelp, and so much more.  On top of this, I have e-mails, text messages, and phone calls to deal with too.  Then, once I feel like I get a handle on everything, Facebook goes and changes their home screen, and I have to relearn how to use it effectively!  Come on!  Sometimes, I just feel like giving up and throwing in the towel!

Recently, PricewaterhouseCoopers (now PwC) highlighted the need for young professionals to embrace social media in order to effectively build their networks.  I found two parts of their presentation particularly interesting:  making over your online image and developing your personal brand.  Take a look at the thoughts they have to share:

Online Image Make-Over
  • Study profiles of people you admire in order to understand what, where, and how they post
  • Beef up your Linkedin profile with a headline, specialties, experience, apps, and recommendations
  • Make Facebook more professional by adding work experience, incorporate professional pages and events into your account, and remove inappropriate material
  • Use Twitter appropriately and connect it with Linkedin or add it to your e-mail signature
    • Follow companies and people you admire in the professional world
    • Tweet professional events you are attending and books you are reading

Develop Your Personal Brand
The people in your personal and professional networks can have a large impact on the way other people see you (especially potential clients and employers).
  • Spend as much effort (if not more) on building relationships than skills
    • Don't just look toward your network when you need something; make sure you develop genuine relationships
  • Make sure you have an accurate, up-to-date database of people in your network
    • Keep track of important information about the people (birthdays, hobbies, connections, etc.)
  • Connect with your network on multiple social media sites
    • Share short hellos and interesting articles to show interest in your network
  • Join groups in addition to connecting with people
    • Groups show dedication and interest in your field
  • Go the extra mile and be thoughtful
    • Send "happy birthday" and holiday messages with a personal touch
    • Reach out to connections to ask if there is something you can do for them
  • Share what you are doing in your life
    • Update at least once a week about books you're reading and events you're attending
    • Invite people to support events and organizations your involved with

Well, there you go.  A quick summary of why we can't just through in the towel and give up on social media.  Networking is becoming more important in succeeding as a young professional, and social media is a component of networking that isn't going anywhere.  I'd like to finish with an experiment, and I could use you're help...

This is where you come in (ACTION REQUIRED)
If you have come across this blog post via a social media sites, add a comment below by clicking where it says "comments" and let me know how you got here(Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin, etc.).

Also, if you liked what PwC and I have to say, share it with your own social media network.

Let's see how many people we can get to comment!!!

September 19, 2011

Business Consulting

When you first look at the list of the top three careers highlighted in my last post, you may think to yourself.  "Jason, these are all over the place.  This process didn't help at all."  My friend, I respectfully disagree.  If we look closer at the three careers, I see some very common threads.  Lets start from the bottom and work our way up.

First, we have "Sales Engineer".  I've been saying all along that I am an analytical, problem-solver that likes to work with people.  Boom!  Sales - working with people.  Engineer - analytical.  Enough said?

Next, we find "Human Resources Manager".  I have to be honest.  I mostly just like the "Manager" part.  In fact, I like the manager part a lot!  Don't get me wrong - human resources is a wonderful profession.  You get to work with people constantly and develop structures to allow them to do their job.  But, the real reason this career ended number 2 is because of the "Manager".

Finally, we get to the big dog on the list - Management Consultant.  Let's see.  "Management" is the first word, so it's instantly on par with number 2 on the list.  Next we come to "Consultant", which is someone that works with people to analyze their problems and come up with a solution.  Doesn't that sound familiar? It should.  It's exactly the explanation of why Sales Engineer was so great.

In summary, a Management Consultant does the same job as a Sales Engineer, but he focuses on management structures instead of engineering products and services.  There we have it.  Connections between the top three careers as I see them, and a number one spot that appears to be the clear leader.  Winner.  Winner.  Chicken dinner!

With this said, I've put some more thought into getting into the Management Consulting industry.  I know that it is projected to be one of the fastest growing industry in the next 10 years, but I don't have much experience.  However, I have found that there are more business consulting areas that may be useful.

  • IT Consulting
  • Strategy Consulting
  • Technology Consulting
I am excited about what Management Consulting has to offer, but the industries listed above may have a very valuable role in getting me to that point.  Next, I need to take what I have learned from this reflection and apply it to my job searching efforts.  Wish me luck!