Friday, July 23, 2010

Applying social computing for career advancement

Sumeet Anand & SM Nafay Kumail

Published on Times Ascent Online, July 23, 2010 at 02:07:59 PM 

Experienced professionals and new entrants into professional playfield can use social computing to advance their individual brands and create a comprehensive visibility for their prospective employers

Picture this: More than 4 million Indians are on LinkedIn; around 1 billion videos are uploaded on YouTube daily; active users of Facebook will reach 100 million very soon; average 3 million tweets per day on Twitter; 2/3rd of global online users visit social networks.

This is a reflection of how fast social computing is catching up the imagination of today’s professionals and denotes the tools our current generation is growing up with and older generation getting comfortably accustomed to. In such a scenario, it is necessary to explore how best the experienced professionals and new entrants into professional playfield can use social computing to advance their individual brands and create a comprehensive visibility for their prospective employers. 

Gone are the days when resumes took a long time to develop in response to particular job openings. Today, all that is needed is to fully and dynamically update your profile on one of your favourite professional network websites and use the link or use it to modify as you wish for a particular job. It would be futile here to detail how easy it is to build, update and enrich your resume over professional networking tools on the web.

Showcasing the capability
People can showcase their interest areas and contributions by not only concepts and ideas they are following but also how they are reacting to various technical and business issues being discussed. Earlier, expert professionals could not express themselves for technical people aren’t always good writers. But now, with simple and smart tools that new social computing provides, experts don’t have to write serious papers to express themselves. They can just put a quick reaction (twitter), refer to relevant sources (direct website links), short and detailed opinions (blog) and start discussions on any social media website (Facebook). And all the meaningful contribution that people make can be aggregated at one place for anybody to see. Even things that you like and recommend can become a pointer to your interests and orientations for your future employer.

It is nothing new. But with social computing professionals are much closer to their friends, peers, experts and employers. It is not surprising that many important posts, especially in IT and other modern industries are being filled using internal references. In fact, people are rewarded by the recruiting company if their referrals work.  The more you network and collaborate, better are the chances of your being approached for a suitable role and chances of getting to know a developing opportunity improves manifold. 

While collectively learning over these social networks, you create your own body of knowledge which you can refer to at various points in time and knowledge ecosystem that build over various networks also have people that formed the various ecosystem. This visibility of you collective knowledge assets and groups in which you make this contribution will you in your career advancement a great deal. This creates a visibility around your association with the kind or quality of content and people.

A comprehensive and dynamic representation of a knowledge worker’s capability

In essence, effective use of social computing allows us to create a smart professional profile, learn collectively with friends, peers, experts and interested users. This helps build not only networks of professionals but also networks of knowledge which helps create a comprehensive representation of the capability of experienced and new professionals.

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