Like many people, I always considered online tools and resources as something I used to stay in touch with my friends and family: Facebook – a tool to gather information – visiting different websites and subscribing to newsfeeds or following journals or people; and also as something that I used in class with my students to help and direct them through the learning process using Google drive or Wikispaces. Besides, putting yourself out there has never been a strong suit of mine, it felt and still feels uncomfortable and dare I say pushy, especially for someone who values their privacy and the privacy of others as much as I do.
If someone had asked me a week ago “So are you on Linkedin or Twitter? I would have replied, “No, so what? What do I need that for? It’s only for bankers and marketing executives!”
So, what will I take with me from this course beside the incredible wealth of information and tips that it provided?
My realization is probably on three levels:
1. On a personal level I have come to realize that online tools such as Linkedin and Twitter (and all their friends) do have value and provide a platform from which I can, if I wish to do so, connect with people and expand my professional network.
2. On a professional level, Linkedin may not just be for bankers and marketing executives and can add value to anyone’s job search. I learned that an online presence can help clients find jobs as it seems to be used by prospective employers as a form of “vetting”. Going one step further, in this digital age not having a profile could potentially hurt you as much as having a bad one, at least it seems that way.
3. Finally, jobs seekers come from all age groups and being able to help clients who are already into creating an online presence more efficiently is certainly a great plus for a future career practitioner.
What else? Well, this has reminded me, if I needed reminding, that keeping an open mind and being ready to try out and possibly embrace new ideas however “uncharted or uncomfortable” remains the best policy for me. Staying open to possibilities…Krumboltz would be proud.