Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Separation of Personal and Professional

Does the name Rick Marini ring a bell? There’s a great chance you haven’t heard of Marini, but if you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably heard of his latest project. Just in the past week I have had several invitations to join one of my friends on the BranchOut network. The idea seems to be taking off with great success. I have yet to accept an invitation because I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Facebook is a great site and has the ability to keep you updated on the goings on of your friends and even family. Do I really want Facebook to ease into my professional life? Currently, I have an account with LinkedIn. Even the feel of the site is more professional. There is a distinct difference between the feel of Facebook and LinkedIn. I use Facebook to keep me updated on my friends from high school, my nephew and his tee ball career, and to see where all of my college friends ended up. LinkedIn doesn’t serve that purpose, it helps you connect professionally. One quick thing you may notice is the profile picture. That the guy on Facebook with the picture of him posing with Barney the Purple Dinosaur has a tie on for his LinkedIn profile picture. What message does this send? What if an employer never finds the LinkedIn page? The image of you hugging Barney is the first impression. Your Facebook profile should be at the very least semi-private, but with the BranchOut application you’re open to the world. Would you want your potential or current boss and your friends from high school to access to each other? In the BranchOut application if one of your friends installs BranchOut, you can see the work histories of their friends as well. Having an online presence is important, but make sure you are managing it appropriately.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Always Being Interviewed

Each semester I spend about a week on interviews. We have a nice discussion about interviews that the members of class have had or heard of. I even grab a few students and ask them to be the genii pig as I interview them on the spot in front of their peers. These types of interviews are what we expect. These are the interviews that we know are real and exist. However, I always like to entertain that idea that you are always being interviewed. I quickly follow that statement up by telling the students they may take that as far as they want to, and then I pause. The looks are their faces are sometimes priceless. After the moment of silence I go on to tell them they could be being interviewed right now. What does that shirt say about you? How about your desire to sit on the back row, or the front? Do you ever add to the discussion or do you count the time until the bell will ring? This may not make any sense, until you apply for a job and your potential employer calls and wants to talk to one of your professors. Just think about all of the places you go and the people you meet. What if every person you came in contact with had a say in if you would get the job? Though this scenario isn’t likely, what is likely is that someone you didn’t even realize was around you will be coming to the table when it’s time to discuss your hire. You can take this as literal as you want. Just remember, you are always on an interview.

Do Your Research

Social media plays a major role in the way we communicate. Unfortunately, social media has also made it easier to get your message out before it has even been proven to be legitimate. I realize this may ruffle some serious feathers, but I find it hard to get behind the KONY2012 movement. For the record, I fully support removing Kony from his seat of influence and power. I believe he is a bad person that is responsible for a massive amount of inhumane acts. However, the group behind KONY2012 is what worries me about this event. Invisible Children has always seemed sketchy to me. When they first started they refused to release any financials, but they assured everyone the money was going where they said it was going. I actually spoke to their CFO at the time and he deflected more questions than he would answer. I understand deflection like the best of them, but this was a different kind of deflection. For me, Invisible Children is less of an aid in financial resources and more of an aid in awareness, if that makes sense. That isn’t really a bad thing. However, that’s not how it’s being packaged. IC is being packaged as the organization that is making things happen and pours all/most of its resources into aiding these children. However, this looks more like a film project that is being sponsored than actual aid to these children. Social media has allowed videos to be seen and tweets to be posted, but what is actually happening? Some people are re-tweeting, but will do nothing else. Some are donating, but don’t actually know who or what they are donating for, it just feels right. Then there are those that are posting videos, updating facebook and twitter and pouring money and manpower into this because they believe in their heart it will make a difference. I hope the final group is right. I hope Invisible Children are legit, I just don’t see it. I have done my research and looked into this organization and I don’t see what others see, but I hope I’m wrong. As stated at the beginning, I’m not against the movement, but it’s hard to get behind something that is orchestrated behind what seems to be the big curtain that concealed the Wizard of Oz. Whatever you decide on this issue, at the very least, do your research.