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Gen-Y : Choice between Facebook and LinkedIn April 30, 2013

Posted by Shahir in Career Development, Corporate, Inspirational Quotes, Training.
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Sharmila is one of those Millennial Generation staff who is very dynamic and of high potential and I have had couple of opportunities to involve in her professional growth in one of my previous assignments. She has around 890 friends on Facebook. Her network on LinkedIn is around 40.

Is she heading on the right direction, one that will complement her efforts to build a future?

Her friends list on FB might include seniors in her industry, but chances are that the majority in that list are friends and families who would ‘like’ everything she write about the odd shift she’s working or the great meal she had on a day-off or perhaps every time she transforms the FB wall as a whining wall to vent off her frustration of dealing with her supervisor! That’s mostly what you see on FB walls, anyway!!

Even if she has some seniors in her industry in her Friends list on FB (even they don’t see FB as a professional network site, and their sharing too is personal – their daughters school anniversary, trip to Shimla, or to a shopping mall nearby) will she have quality stuff on FB that they will notice – one that will showcase her quality of what she can become than what she’s today?

Is that progressive? If I were to visualize her, the image I see is she sitting somewhere looking towards the past, oblivious of the potential future ahead of her.

What would be the kind of population she will be connected with on LinkedIn?

I would suppose, her connections will be mostly those who had already walked her path and was tested by time, moved forward and succeeded in their career! By virtue of the standard quality of what’s shared on LinkedIn, she would also trim her emotions and perhaps apply more sense when sharing something – it would become more professional and career oriented. If she is a Chef, she would talk about the new recipe they tried for a sit-down dinner for a very high-profile client; she would share about some challenges she’s observing in how an outside-catering was organized. She would share about the ideal leadership quality her generation expects at work than the conventional leadership she may be experience in the ‘oldies’ in her team! She would share about some new tools and equipment she read about that is so trendy and useful for her work.

In sharing so, it is not necessary that all her connections will talk to her or ‘like’ everything that she share, yet, there are chances where she will be noticed. To get noticed in a swamp of talents in this highly-competitive world is itself half-way through the journey of success, because lack of visibility can take a lot more effort for one to succeed professionally.

There are many occasions where my formal correspondence with my ‘friends’ from work were so limited for years, yet many of them and I felt so connected through what we read and write as updates from our professional life, and in my personal experience, it has rewarded me handsomely in more than one occasions in the past.

My personal advise to the Gen-Y – Millennial Generation – is to spend time connecting with people of importance on LinkedIn – people who have walked the path already and may be looking for someone just like you, may be not today, but one day when they need talents and dynamism that you possess. FB is good, but it’s a networking platform to meet your personal satisfaction of staying connected with friends and aunts and uncles and not disconnect from the umbilical cord of the nostalgic school and college days. Good enough. Don’t let that go. But you cannot dwell in the past all the time and sit on your laurels, and you need to move forward. Spending at least 30 minutes weekly on LinkedIn and trying to connect with people of importance in your industry or even outside, is perhaps one of many moves that you cannot neglect if pursuing success professionally.

Having strong network is no more a choice. And being visible to people on whose toes might be the knot of string connecting your future is not an option either. Connecting with people in the field you yourself envisage to be in one day is equal to shadowing them well in advance – at least to understand which groups they are following, what discussions they are liking etc.! Not to imitate them, or follow them, but to at least evaluate the trends so that you do not fall behind when it is time to be in line!

Good luck, Gen-Y,

Shahir

 

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