Temporary Shelters – Part I – covered the emotional process of seeing the need to create a Temporary Shelter. Part II is about taking responsibility for the practical side of things and beginning to put the pieces in place to erect this shelter. Part III is about Joining Groups.
That sounds like common sense, why bother to mention it? Well, there is much more than meets the eye. The topic of “Groups” covers a lot of ground. I see groups as sorts of tribes. What groups do I belong to? Family, church, old friends from work…. no, no, this sounds like I’m beginning the famous networking lecture. That every job searcher hears many, many times.
These first groups are where you find support and advice before you really begin the networking conversation. Where you can show up frustrated and anxious, or maybe you’re just very, very curious and you have impolitely long lists of questions. So, once again, family, church/synagogue, old friends, and neighbors. People you trust and who already know you.
These groups will show you the ropes of how to do a job search. They may be support groups at a church (most church/synagogue support groups are open to anyone). A community college, or a community job support group. A career center, perhaps. Another person to add to your list or resources is a reference librarian who can help you to find these support groups.
The next type of groups to join is virtual social groups online. Like Facebook.
With each degree of distance though, more discretion is needed. Because online groups include strangers and when you regret posting something online, deleting comments and pictures is not entirely possible. When you post to Facebook, you are stepping away from a support group, and out into a networking environment. You may interact socially with someone and later find that they are professional contacts who you need to impress, by how professionally you conduct yourself.
LinkedIn is another, even bigger jump in distance, out into a professional online networking group. When you put up your profile and interact on LinkedIn, you are in the professional marketplace. You are onstage. Under review. You are telling the world, “These are my skills. And this is who I am.”
LinkedIn is not a “Temporary Shelter.” It’s an important tool to promote your professional reputation and marketability. It requires your ongoing attention.
Other groups are more optional.
Ephemeral groups include Twitter and Instagram. Like Mayflies that live for a day? Or flocks of wheeling birds, constantly changing direction, following what’s “trending” – the brightest objects shinning in today’s sunlight.
Professional groups on LinkedIn are good choices, so that you can listen in on discussions. And when you are ready, you can make your own comments and participate.
You may also choose to “follow” people, topics, publications, blogs, and companies, and that will make you a member of other groups.
My blog has covered the topic of “Joining Groups” as a general process. There are many, many more details.
Cynthia Simmons is a publishing and communications professional.
Photo credited to the morgueFile.com
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