Apr 23, 2010

Question:  “So, how’s work going?”

Response:  “Same story, different day…”

How often do you get that or a similar response when asking your colleagues and co-workers how their day is?  How boring of an answer is that?  Does it fill you with energy and excitement that’s going to help create motion that will make your day fly by?  No… and some days, it’s kind of nice to have a more mellowed out, robotic sort of day, but having heard it enough myself, I know that a coworker who answers that way every day is not usually a very engaged person and is not someone who I’m going to learn a whole heck of a lot from after I’ve heard everything they can tell me.

We’re in a new year, a new decade, with a whole new style of sourcing emerging in the social media sphere, and everyone should be excited and engaged.  That being said: if you were a sourcing manager and had to hire a new sourcer for your team, would you hire them if they didn’t know basic Boolean, or at the very least willing to learn?  What if they didn’t have a LinkedIn profile, or weren’t willing to make one and try to use it for candidate outreach?  Even for a phone sourcer, I think that these two very simple skills can lead to great opening points of contact from which to network.

Now what if you interviewed a recruiting or sourcing candidate who didn’t know about Twitter? I would hire someone who had both Boolean and LinkedIn knowledge, but lacked in the Twitter. Reason being, Twitter is NEW, the other two should have been learned a long time ago. Social media being the new craze, I don’t expect a lot of people to know yet, especially when I see so many people and organizations struggling to pick up the older stuff.  In fact, I only got on board with Twitter myself a few months ago, dove head first in, and it would seem the farther I travel, the more distance there is to go.  It’s a very large space, and very easy to get lost in it.

Things are changing and evolving so rapidly that it’s nearly impossible to stay with the curve, let alone get ahead of it.  With so much going on, you should really have something new almost every day to talk about with your colleagues and co-workers.  If each person in your team spent 15 minutes a day reading up on new trends and chose to talk about it with the others, it would certainly make for an innovative day almost every day of the week.  Now, I know what some of you change-defiant individuals are thinking; “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it!” – I’m not advocating an entire change in your daily routine or corporate structure.  Realistically however, if you continue to do the same thing day in and day out, you’re going to hit a point where you can’t go any higher without trying something new.

If you’re satisfied with a status quo career and no desire for advancement, then at the very least, don’t complain about it or scoff at others who are experimenting w/ new ideas.  And if it’s your company holding you back, maybe it’s time to think about moving on.  Life may seem like it revolves around the almighty dollar, but I have to say, quality of life and how much you actually enjoy your work really makes your days much more pleasant than any flat screen TV can.  If you’re “comfortable” and too lazy to move, don’t be jealous when your colleague winds up with your dream contract.  We all have a mortgage to pay, and staying employed is of the utmost importance, but don’t feel trapped because of it.  Always keep your options open until you find a position that feels like home.  Confucius says, “Find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”.

I’ve spoken to several companies in the last few months who don’t even know what LinkedIn is, want nothing to do with Twitter, and don’t have a clue when it comes to Boolean.  I understand that time is such a valuable commodity these days, and implementing new things takes time, but if you take 1 hour out of your day and learn something that has the potential to double and triple your pipeline, or save 20 minutes off your day, in the end, it’s worth it’s weight in dollar bills.  Change is coming faster than ever, and the candidates we source are adapting… so ask yourself – are you as well?

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