Connect with Others

We’re seeing more news stories of layoffs hitting many industries –esp tech. I encourage you to build your network before you need it.

First start by connecting with folks in the Web Strategy Facebook group there are 8688 members that are web decision makers, join in the discussions, read the topics, or post questions. If you’re a Community Manager, or trying to become one, this Community Manager Facebook group has 2050 members to network with. I noticed that Community Managers are in demand, as on the web strategy job board, I was able to check the admin panel and see there were far more submissions to community manager roles than all others.

I’m not scalable in helping people find jobs (getting more and more request) so do try to use these resources as a first source. I suspect we’re going to need to connect more than every before in the coming months and years.

Update: Message to SUN
I was around when the first round of layoffs happened in 2000, yet I don’t recall seeing so much spin from a press release like this one from Sun Microsystems burying in the copy the 5,000-6,000 layoffs that are coming. It’s just condescending to your loyal employees and no one is fooled, as all the headlines from media clearly say ‘layoffs’ in the lead copy and headlines.

I know the Sun AR, PR, Corp Comm, and Agency read my blog, I think there’s really a chance to show your human/open side –after all, that’s what your CEO and mission statement preach to the market.

  • http://human3rror.com John

    network ftw.

  • http://www.constructivegrumpiness.com Len Kendall

    Joseph Jaffe wrote a post recently talking about how the importance of a blog acting as your resume. I think the main post he was making is that people who are engaging in the social space are better prepared to deal with this “recession” we are in right now. Especially those people who were active before they needed a job, not just when they need one.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Len

    Jaffe is a smart cat. When all things are equal, demonstrating your ability with a blog could put you over the top from other candidates.

    I was partly hired due to my blog for my last two jobs, and management could see how I interacted with others in public.

  • http://lehawes.wordpress.com Larry Hawes

    Jeremiah,

    Good for you for pointing folks to some existing professional networks that they can leverage in a job search (among other uses.) Thanks!

    Your comment about building a social network before an employment emergency requires one is spot on and mirrors one I made earlier this week in a post about social software being the unemployed knowledge workers best friend. We have more networking tools than ever available to us, but they must be used regularly, not just when we need them.

  • http://ssadma.org Scott Phillips

    I think the press release from SUN points out the main reason we are in the financial boat we are in. Corporations only care about their stock price(short term) and their investors. The spin of the press release is an attempt to keep the markets from reacting too strongly to bad news. If corporations would focus on long term goals and their employees, they would make sound decisions that in the end would help everyone.

    Scott Phillips
    http://twitter.com/ssadma

  • http://www.sonnygill.com Sonny Gill

    Totally agree with you Jeremiah.

    Just this past week, I unfortunately was hit by this and my network of friends within the industry have undoubtedly had my back from the get go and have helped me already get a couple leads and an interview.

    That was only ONE day after everything went down. Speaks wonders to networking beforehand but also to my friends and their care for those in their network. Truly lucky to have them.

  • http://mostransky.com Mike M

    J,

    A social network should be your access to the many contacts and business cards worth holding onto from over the years. Provided your initial line of contacts are genuine, the next degree of contacts are available to you from but an email away.

    Great post as always.

    -M

  • Steve Lup.

    Jeremiah-
    Timely advice. Even before the Internet, keeping your network active has always been the key to finding rewarding new jobs. Now that blogging and other social media makes the network more deep, intertwined and immediate, your advice is even more important.

    Do you ever write about the flip side of this problem? For entrepreneurs who are creating new companies, finding the critical first 3 to 5 hires can imprint success or failure on a nascent business. How can entrepreneurs improve their odds in hiring for the start up?

    Steve Lup.

  • http://www.elymedia.com/ Elyse Tager

    Excellent post and I think it bears repeating.
    http://www.elymedia.com/blog/?p=81
    Hope this gets picked up by many.

    Elyse

  • http://www.abiggervoice.com Carol Ross

    Steve,

    I’ve looked for collaborators for a new business that I’m starting by looking first in my own network. People come from unlikely places, so don’t overlook the obvious. It requires looking past someone’s job or formal vocation to what they are passionate about. For an example, see this posting from a group blog that I manage: http://www.abiggervoiceblog.com/2008/10/kindred-spirits.html

    I agree with you that networking has always been important and now, with new tools, it’s not only a lot easier, but there’s more power to leverage. I realized this after returning home from my 25th college reunion, without biz cards for people I wanted to stay in contact with, and finding them quickly on LinkedIn or Facebook. Couldn’t have happened five years ago. What I find is that I have to focus on adapting my methods to the new tools (e.g., I’m still figuring out how best to use Twitter and I know from many people how powerful it is in networking with others over time.)

  • http://feeds.feedburner.com/ariwriter Ari Herzog

    I belong to similar groups on LinkedIn and niche social networks; hadn’t known (or really looked) on Facebook. So, thanks, Jeremiah!

    However, may I supplement your notion of building a network before you need it with Seth Godin’s notion of tribes; that, namely, the network already exists and all that’s necessary is for someone to step up and choose to lead it.

    With companies breaking up, it’s up to analysts and consultants like you and me to recognize schisms and old ways of doing business, and suggest new methods of marketing and saving overhead through web strategies and social media.

  • http://www.sramanamitra.com Sramana Mitra

    I hoped the people who are losing their jobs don’t get discouraged. This is a good time to explore being in business yourself.

    I want to point you to my new book, Entrepreneur Journeys (Volume One), which many discouraged people are using to get some positive momentum, inspiration, and encouragement, as well as learn the ropes of entrepreneurship if this way of life is new for you.
    Check it out: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1439206872

    Many great companies have been found during downturns and recessions. Many people have found their way into self-employment during difficult times.

    Do not give up hope.

    Sramana
    http://www.sramanamitra.com

  • http://www.blindinfluence.com Sopan Greene

    Jeremiah, that Facebook group link is very valuable. Thanks for another great post FULL of helpful insight and commentary. Thanks for helping people navigate through the current climate.

    All the best,
    Sopan

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang

    Thanks Sopan, If I can help I’ll try.

  • http://www.web-strategist.com/blog/ jeremiah_owyang
  • http://www.catalystformagic.wordpress.com Annalie Killian

    Here is another example of how employees are using social media, humour and generating their own movie about hitting their numbers.

    http://catalystformagic.wordpress.com/2008/11/15/employee-morale/

  • http://www.webstrategyblog.com Karen OBrien

    Its also a good time to try and reach out to those in your network who need help if you are able to point them to contacts or jobs or resources.

    Personally, I treat my relationships (both business and personal) as lifelong realtionships – never opportunistic – kindness and compassion are important to those who feel stressed and understandably worried.

  • http://www.davidrisley.com David Risley

    I give this same advice all the time. I think the people who don’t “get” social media now are the people who will find themselves at the bottom of the pile. J is right – build your network.

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  • Karen Flynn

    As noted on my Facebook status this week, ‘The Network isn’t the Computer, it’s the people.’

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