Over at Tough Questions, Great Answers, Darlene McDaniel has been working through a technology month where the blog posts have been about using technology for a variety of “getting the job” situations.
Darlene asked me to guest post about a couple of tools that I use for Career Management: Jibber Jobber and LinkedIn.
I’m not going to talk about the specific tools here; check that out over at Technology for Career Management.
But, what I didn’t cover in the article is why we should be using a tool for career management in the first place. It’s an important subject.
The world has changed from twenty — or five — years ago. How people make and keep relationships has changed. Where twenty years ago a person was expected to stay with the same company for a very long time, if not life, today we are constantly moving between companies to perform our work. Or countries.
This dramatic change in the workplace has meant that relationships have become much more transactional than in the past. We interact with our neighbors — until me move. We interact with parents at our children’s school — until we change schools. We interact with our co-workers — until we change companies through voluntarily moving or being laid off.
We have become relationship transients at the very time we need to build and maintain strong networks in our life — because corporations are no longer responsible for our career management.
Here are five reasons to use technology for our career management:
- Develop our personal brand. There is a lot of chatter about personal brands and how to build them being published right now, but the critical thing is to know your core strengths and be able to express those strengths to others. Career management tools can help you do this.
- Target companies to work. Companies come and go and the work goes along with them. One day a Microsoft is the cool place to work and the next day it is Google. As you understand your work and what you like to do, certain companies will stand out as a place to work. A career management tool should help us focus on particular companies to work.
- People are geographically disbursed. This means you won’t run into your old mentor at that other company at the grocery store and have a few minutes to catch up. It means your mentor at the other company is now working in a different country. So how do you remember to keep in contact? Through technology.
- Job campaigns are harder. While it used to be you could find out about jobs at other places through your personal, physical social network, you now have job web sites, recruiters, company job sites — and nothing to keep track of what you have done or not done with a particular company relating to a job search. Technology should help with this tracking.
- Unfocused tasks don’t get done. By having a technology tool to help you manage your career, you will have to maintain the information (and be reminded of things to do based upon tasks you enter). While this is work, the deal is that this is work that now needs to be done by you to help your career. No one else will do this for you. Consequently, managing through a tool is an effective method for career management.
You still need to do the work, of course. You still need to perform. But no one is watching out for you except you. So build — and manage — your network for all the right reasons. Your network will have great rewards far beyond those associated with finding a job.