A look behind the lines ...


Hello, regular readers of The Job Stalker … today I may be “testing your patience” a bit, as I’m going to be discussing a book that not only is not about the job search it’s not even particularly targeted to a general audience.  However, as I worked my way through it, one thing really stood out, and that was the section on assembling a team.  But, I’m getting ahead of myself.

A few weeks back I attended a Social Media Club of Chicago event that was featuring one of the authors of The NOW Revolution: 7 Shifts to Make Your Business Faster, Smarter and More Social, Amber Naslund (who co-authored this with Jay Baer), and the ticket price for the evening included a copy of the book.  Now, as you know (and I’d, obviously, not still be writing The Job Stalker if this wasn’t the case), I’ve been “out of work” for quite a while at this point, so most of the “social media” stuff that speaks to me these days is more on the “philosophical” level, as I’m not in a position to significantly implement much of what shows up in these books.  This was especially the case with this title, as it is written very much to a “corporate” audience, being something of a handbook of how to make “Shifts” in how one’s business is run to make most effective use of the new social media tools.  The “7 Shifts” from the sub-title involve company culture, the new profile for ideal hires, organizational structures, communicating via social media channels, expanding levels of engagement, dealing with crisis situations, and measuring one’s results. Needless to say, few of these sections has much immediate bearing to the job seeker looking to get a job.  Except, of course, “Shift 2: Find Talent You Can Trust”.

I have “excused” my covering books that were about the social media field in here on the basis that this is very likely to be an explosively expanding area for jobs, once the companies wake up and realize that this is an area of need.  Conveniently, social media “guru” Chris Brogan addressed this very issue in his blog this morning … while Chris believes that the growth with large companies is over (I disagree, but I’m not “out and about” the way he is in those circles), there still is a wide range of small-to-middling companies that will look to be making hires in this area.  Anyway, The NOW Revolution posits a new profile for employees, ones that will be “more rounded” and less the exact peg to fit within the limits of an HR-dictated hole.

The spokespeople for your business aren’t just the leaders anymore, the ones who are quoted in the New York Times business section or on the cover of your local newspaper.  In real-time business, team members of every stripe are on the front lines, as representatives of your company, your brand, and your purpose.  They are shaping how it feels to be inside your walls, and they are communicating to the public what it’s like to be part of your company.

They represent a new kind of employee whose expertise can come from unexpected places, and whose diverse knowledge can connect distinct areas of your organization.  They steward culture: They create, critique, and communicate.  They are eager to immerse themselves in diverse knowledge that helps them do their jobs better, and gives them a finger on the pulse of your changing organization.  They also have different expectations for their careers, more seamlessly blending their personal and professional presence online, and bringing with them to your company preexisting relationship networks and social graphs.

They are the new interpreters, and they’re a critical part of your future.

I don’t know about you, but that sounds a whole heck of a lot like me, and it’s heartening to know that my particular mix of skills and attributes might be high on the list of at least the more visionary companies.  Reading this section is sort of like “being a fly on the wall” in the hiring strategy meetings of the future, and it alone may make picking up a copy of this worthwhile to the job seeker, even if the book itself has nothing specifically to do with the job search!  As always, more thoughts on this can be found over in my review.

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