A man named Terry sat next to me on a recent flight. He was one of those extremely chatty individuals and, being a generally polite person, I responded in kind.
Upon hearing that I have an interest in social media, he shared with me his story. Several years ago, Terry quit his job and went on a four-month sailing trip around Central America. When he got back from his hiatus, he found seven serious job leads on his LinkedIn account; he found one to his liking and started his new position two weeks later. Terry wasn’t actively searching for a job during this time, nor was he even advertising that he needed a new job. I found this story fascinating. Not only is it a testimonial to the power of social media networking, but it is also highly unlikely to happen in today’s market.
There are some great stories out there about people finding their new careers through social media, but the real question is, how can you be one of them? When Terry took his sailing trip, the job market was vastly different than it is today. With the current high unemployment rate, you need to take a much more proactive approach to landing that dream job. However, that doesn’t mean that social media can’t get you to that point; it’s just a matter of using these tools correctly.