Next Move, Best Move: Making a Career Transition You’ll Love [Podcast]

A career is more than just making money. It directly impacts your quality of life, reflects your values, and can affect overall life satisfaction.

If you find yourself wanting to make a career transition, while it may be a difficult task, it’s totally achievable–especially when we cultivate communities of support. By learning to appreciate the value of networking, a career transition could be much smoother than you think.

Our Guest: Career and Leadership Expert Kimberly B. Cummings

On the latest #WorkTrends podcast, I spoke with Kimberly B. Cummings, a career and leadership expert who helps women and people of color navigate the workplace, earn more money, and become industry leaders. Her leadership development company, Manifest Yourself, LLC, provides organizations with tailor-made solutions to hire, develop, engage, and retain women and people of color. She has spoken at SXSW, Warner Media, Princeton University, Salesforce, and Thurgood Marshall, and her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, MONEY Magazine, Business Insider, Fox 5, CNBC, and more.

Kimberly understands that a career transition can come in many forms, whether that’s moving from one industry to another or simply changing your title. But no matter what transition is occurring, the first step is to generate a positive mindset so as not to hold yourself back.

Many times if you’re feeling stuck in a role, that mindset is a reflection of you not understanding what the possibilities are for yourself. And not believing that you’re able to get to that next level in your career,” Kimberly says. “It’s easy to feel stuck when you literally have no idea what it is that you like, that you want, that you’re good at, or what that would even look like in the workplace every single day.”

One strategy to pull yourself out of that mindset is to focus on your good qualities and skills, then set goals for the future.

“We need to ask: What are our strengths? What would happen if we built a career and a brand based upon what our strengths are?” Kimberly says. “What do you want to be known for?”

Network and Be Realistic 

Once you’ve determined the career transition you want to make and the strengths you want to highlight, the best course of action is to continuously share that path and your goals with the world of work. Develop relationships that recognize your value and help promote you, and make sure those connections are varied and wide-ranging.

“You need peers, so people who help you day-to-day in your job,” Kimberly says. “These are the people you’re collaborating with. And I always say, you need internal and external connections. You don’t want to just build your network in your current company.”

Once the networking has reaped its benefits and you find yourself in a job interview to make that transition, it’s important to be realistic about what you have to offer and how you could appear valuable to potential employers.

“Ask yourself, are you qualified for the job you want? What transferable skills could you use to help you make your next move? And think about the stories you can tell that could connect you to that job more deeply. What have you done that will help you navigate that opportunity better?” Kimberly says. “When you’re interviewing and really convincing an employer that you are prepared for that job, it’s really all about storytelling. Putting yourself in the shoes of someone who would be able to navigate that workplace environment.”

I hope you enjoy this episode of #WorkTrends. You can learn more about networking for a career transition by reaching out to Kimberly B. Cummings on LinkedIn.

Exclusive Advice How to Network Like a Pro

As a Business and Leadership Coach for women, I spend plenty of time enforcing good networking habits. A common problem I see is that too many believe that networking is about collecting cards and never reaching out to others. However, it isn’t that simple for many women. There are some that do not know how to network. It is also extremely difficult to balance work and family in addition to learning how to maintain professional relationships.

Professional relationships generate opportunity and outlets for career challenges and advancements. Most executive women attribute their success to professional connections. Studies have shown that many women have fewer ties than their male colleagues to help them towards advancement. Without these connections, it becomes very difficult for women to move out of career ruts, start businesses, or advance in the workplace. However, this is also where I believe coaching can become beneficial for women because we work through what is exactly keeping you from the making the connections that you need. I also emphasize relationship building as the best strategy for networking. Connections are more likely to build a long-term relationship and work with you towards your advancement or finding a new position.

The Challenges

Balancing work and home remain one of the biggest challenges for women. Especially for women who would like to maximize their time at work. Others harbor the fear that they will look like they are bragging or that it is inappropriate for seeking guidance from a male superior, even though it is likely that any executive above them will be male. There are now many organizations and corporate programs to help woman find higher-level executives to advocate for them in the workplace and to establish relationships with other women in their field.

Understanding the value of networking can be difficult or unclear to some as well.  In order to be successful, you cannot sit on the sidelines and bear witness to your own career. The biggest piece of advice I give my clients is to think of their careers as a car- you need to constantly maintain control of it. No one else is going to drive your car for you, are they? Don’t expect anyone else to control your career, either. Networking is merely a function to maintaining control, just as function in your car.

Women also do not ask for help because we see it as a sign of weakness. This is a big reason why men have an advantage over us. However, it does not mean that we cannot overcome our own actual weaknesses and turn them into strengths. Men may be more connected and have less of an issue asking for help and easily establishing connections but we can learn from them or have male allies, mentors, or coaches to work with us towards our development.

Ladies, please do not undercut yourselves and give yourselves more credit for your knowledge and accomplishments. This may be one of the biggest professional errors that we make because without a portrayal of confidence, why would anyone want to network with us or why would a potential employer be interested if we cannot confidently state that we are the right candidate for the position? I emphasize confidence in my coaching so my clients will learn to exemplify themselves this way in their careers and businesses.

Networking as an Introvert

Introverts also have more difficulty in networking than extroverts do. When I am coaching my clients on enhancing their networking skills, we do a lot of role playing. I often begin with ice breaker questions. Initiating these questions oftentimes allows the other person to open up and talk a bit about themselves. I’m always searching to build a mutually beneficial relationship. However, introverts can find social situations overwhelming. This is especially true of large events because they do not feel like they are at their best when connecting. I oftentimes tell my clients to split their time between networking online and in person. Also, feel free to bring a friend to an event. By doing so, it should feel less intimidating. Networking also can be done one-on-one instead of at a large event. This can be just as beneficial, especially if you are searching to establish a few strong connections. Doing so will provide an opportunity to show off your listening skills and ability to establish a solid connection. Lastly, here are some additional tips for introverts:

  • Establish your own networking events. Who says you can’t make your own fun? Put together your own event. No matter how large or how small, it is all about value.
  • Understand when you’re at your best. Network at your peak time. If you’re a morning or night person, find events accordingly or ask a connection to brunch or dinner.
  • Evaluate the probability of connecting. We have all seen events that cost a fortune and we’re unsure if we’re actually going to receive a benefit from them. Don’t do something just to do it- networking is about value, not about the amount of money you spend.
  • Regulate your schedule. My schedule is very important to me. I have a day for writing, a day to plan and focus on business-oriented tasks, and client days. I also have a networking group that I meet with on a regular basis. It is important to have dedicated time in your schedule to the tasks that are important to you.

Networking Like A Pro!

By understanding what works best for you, how and when you connect best, your chances for success increase. Here are some other tips to get you networking like a pro:

  • Do not forget about your old contacts. Send them an email to catch up with them on your situation- and theirs.
  • Schedule coffee dates and keep in touch regularly.
  • Follow up after an introduction. Send personalized emails and/ or add on LinkedIn with personalized invitations.
  • Prepare for your networking events by researching who will be there. You also can make a list of who you’d like to talk to and look up their work history, which will help with initiating and maintaining conversation.
  • Most importantly, don’t forget to smile and be yourself!

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Networking: The Path To Becoming A Brand Ambassador

How many networking events do you participate in monthly? One? More than five? Do you loathe and avoid networking events? Or do you love meeting new people and building exciting new relationships? Are they online or IRL (In Real Life)?

Many people I talk to are terrified of networking. Typical formal events are held after-hours, when they’re feeling tired and a bit beat up by the day’s work. Meeting with people with whom they have flimsy connections, often in a noisy bar with cheap wine and flat beer, is an act of will some people simply can’t or will not manage.

Yet networking is essential, whether you’re happily employed (only 13 percent of people admit to this, according to an October 2013 Gallup survey) or merely trying to broaden your social connections. Even in the healthiest, most functional workplaces, there is only so much opportunity to expand your connections – think of them as people horizons.  And people horizons are where job satisfaction comes from, where you can engage and learn, and even where you may find your next career opportunity.

So if you are not willing or able to network at events, what are the options? Well, we live in a connected, social web world. It’s simple if you decide to commit the time, and effective, to connect virtually, via LinkedIn, Google, Instagram, Pinterest and many other social channels. Virtual connections work if you maintain a reasonably active social profile, if you add value in social interactions, and if you present your online brand in a genuine, engaging way.

Here’s a story about how a friend virtually-networked his way into a new job using the powerful engagement platform, LinkedIn and became a powerful brand ambassador for his new employer. My friend Ted is an accomplished information architect and has mad skills as a writer. Ted is one of those rare people who can simplify the abstract, tie marketing messages and technologies to market trends, and explain the business value of a range of technologies. He’s also somewhat shy and reserved, making it uncomfortable for him to schmooze at networking events. His personality can seem distant and chilly, even though it’s complimented by a dry sense of humor. For Ted – as for many – virtual networking was the solution to broadening his base of connections and expanding his network.

We worked out a connection strategy centered on Ted’s personal blog, then incorporated a social media presence on Twitter and Google+, tying the package together on LinkedIn. Why LinkedIn? As of February 2014, the platform had 277 million users, adding new users every two seconds. More than a third of LinkedIn users are US-based, and the site has nearly 190 unique monthly users. There’s power in those numbers. But how could Ted make those numbers work to build connections? He took the following steps:

  1. Join LinkedIn Groups.It’s a simple matter to look at the people already in your network and see which groups they participate in, and only slightly more involved to research and join groups in your areas of interest.
  1. Identify Thought LeadersFollow them on Twitter and LinkedIn. Ted knows a fair number of IT and SW industry influencers. He followed them on Twitter, added them to G+ circles, and LinkedIn with the top tier.
  1. Daily Maintenance. It’s fine to set up a strategy, but it won’t pay off without care and social feeding. Ted blogged twice a week on his own site and posted those links to LinkedIn, G+ and Twitter. He also turned his daily morning news scan into an opportunity to post links to relevant articles and blogs, with a few insightful comments. Daily visits to LinkedIn helped him see responses and engage in interactions with his connections.
  1. Content Marketing. Ted generates top-rate content on his blog. It wasn’t immediately obvious to him how to use that content to market himself, so he did a quick study of content marketing strategies and tactics using books and material from the Content Marketing Institute.
  1. Regular Profile Tuning.LinkedIn is most powerful when you continually improve and evolve your profile.  Think of it as life maintenance, like getting your hair cut or teeth cleaned. You need to invest in the health of your profile to forge strong connections.
  1. Careful Attention To Keywords.Knowing which keywords are likely to draw the attention of recruiters and potential connections is as simple as figuring out what you want from a job, or from a connection. Become a student of others’ keywords and update yours no less than monthly.

Over the course of three months, Ted picked up 200 connections in his area of interest, some of them industry influencers. Equally important, since he was looking for a job, he attracted the attention of recruiters as well as a few companies he was interested in. Several reached out, and one connection was more powerful and interesting than the others. In a matter of weeks Ted had a new job. Today, his social profile and connections make him an ideal brand ambassador for his new employer. And he’s happy at work. Guess what? He is blogging about this experience.

The lesson is clear for individuals, leaders, recruiters and brands: LinkedIn takes talent acquisition “lead generation” and retention to whole new levels.  People can build strong profiles, and stronger connections, with a modest investment of time and energy, and the right amount and use of content – theirs and others’. Leaders, Recruiters and HR pros can also use LinkedIn to continually attract, find and engage with their ideal candidates by leveraging content marketing, influencer relations and much more.

Even if you can’t bear the thought of another networking event, you can be actively networking via virtual channels. Keep your network strong, forge new connections, and pay as much attention to marketing yourself as you do to advocating for your employer. Expanding your people horizons will pay off, both in personal confidence and external perceptions of The Brand You.

A version of this was first posted on Forbes.


photo credit: Multi-Ethnic Diverse Group of People In Circle Concept via photopin (license)

#WorkTrends Recap: #SHRM16 Preview: Professional Development & Relationship-Building

In the world of Human Resources, professional development, networking and relationship-building are not just nice-to-have; they are must-haves. Luckily, conference attendance is a solid way to maintain these important connections. With the workforce and workplace changing rapidly, regular conference attendance informs attendees about the latest trends and best practices, which are vital for career growth.

Attending the right conferences also affords busy HR professionals an opportunity to accumulate educational credits to maintain their certifications. From learning to network to sharing what life is like on the “front lines,” being around other HR professionals is invaluable.

This week, Elissa O’Brien, Vice President of SHRM Membership, and Alex Alonso, Senior Vice President of Knowledge Development of SHRM joined the #WorkTrends show to discuss the importance of networking, relationship-building and professional development in HR.

Here are a few key points Elissa and Alex shared:

  • Impactful networking starts with the question: ‘what can I do for you?’
  • HR thrives on professional development – without it we wouldn’t grow
  • Conferences are a great way to expand your network

You can listen to the #WorkTrends podcast on our BlogTalk Radio channel here.

You can also check out the highlights of the conversation from our Storify here:

Didn’t make it to today’s #WorkTrends show? Don’t worry, you can tune in and participate in the chat with us every Wednesday from 1-2pm ET (10-11am PT). Next Wednesday, June 22, special guest host Tim McDonald will be joined by Brian Fanzo, millennial speaker and change evangelist to discuss the explosion of live video online.

The TalentCulture #WorkTrends conversation continues every day across several social media channels. Stay up-to-date by following the #WorkTrends Twitter stream; pop into our LinkedIn group to interact with other members; or check out our Google+ community. Engage with us any time on our social networks, or stay current with trending World of Work topics on our website or through our weekly email newsletter.

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The Benefits of Professional Development — “In Real Life”

While technology has expanded the ways and means through which HR professionals can continue their education, the most rewarding and valuable professional development experiences always occur in real life.

On June 19, more than 15,000 attendees will converge on the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for four days of learning, sharing and networking at the SHRM 2016 Annual Conference & Exposition.

Conference attendance for HR professionals is a key component of professional development. With the workforce and workplace changing so rapidly, having frequent opportunities to gain knowledge about the latest trends, technology and best practices are critical for career growth and success.

The SHRM Annual Conference & Exposition is a kind of marketplace, jam-packed with sessions and solutions for every issue that HR is facing in the new world of work. Whether it’s mobile recruiting, global cross-cultural competency, workplace wellness or tracking employee classification for the new DOL overtime regulations, #SHRM16 will deliver the most up-to-date information in an environment where HR professionals can share with—and learn from—their peers, and create valuable connections that will last throughout their careers.

There are many reasons why annual conference attendance lands on every HR professional’s annual check list, however, the three most frequently cited are:

  1. Career growth and success: With the world of work changing so rapidly, conference attendance keeps HR professionals current on all of the latest technology, trends and public policy issues, and is critical for job success and career growth.
  2. Recertification: The ability to demonstrate competency in the HR profession is now a must, and a SHRM Certification is the way to do this. Conference attendance affords busy HR professionals an annual opportunity to accumulate educational credits to maintain their certifications.
  3. Networking:The networking that occurs with other HR professionals is priceless. Conference attendance provides an occasion for HR professionals to share ideas and learn from the experiences of their peers. It also provides an opportunity to meet IRL (in real life) the social media connections that are created throughout the year. The sharing of information and the creation of friendships that will last a lifetime are invaluable benefits.

On June 15, at 1 p.m. ET, SHRM SVP of Knowledge Development Alex Alonso and SHRM VP of Membership Elissa O’Brien will chat with Meghan M. Biro during a #WorkTrends special segment that will focus on the personal and professional benefits of conference attendance.

We hope you will join the conversation to learn why your return on investment for conference attendance has never been greater.

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#WorkTrends #SHRM16 Preview: Professional Development & Relationship-Building

In the world of Human Resources, professional development, networking and relationship-building are not just nice-to-have; they are must-haves. Luckily, conference attendance is a solid way to maintain these important connections. With the workforce and workplace changing rapidly, regular conference attendance informs attendees about the latest trends and best practices, which are vital for career growth.

Attending the right conferences also affords busy HR professionals an opportunity to accumulate educational credits to maintain their certifications. From learning to network to sharing what life is like on the “front lines,” being around other HR professionals is invaluable.

Next week, Elissa O’Brien, Vice President of SHRM Membership, and Alex Alonso, Senior Vice President of Knowledge Development of SHRM will join the #WorkTrends show to discuss the importance of networking and relationship-building.

Professional Development, Networking & Relationship-Building in HR

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Tune in to our LIVE online podcast Wednesday, June 15 — 1 pm ET / 10 am PT

Join TalentCulture #WorkTrends Host Meghan M. Biro and guests Elissa O’Brien and Alex Alonso as they discuss professional development practices.

#WorkTrends on Twitter — Wednesday, June 15 — 1:30 pm ET / 10:30 am PT

Immediately following the podcast, the team invites the TalentCulture community over to the #WorkTrends Twitter stream to continue the discussion. We encourage everyone with a Twitter account to participate as we gather for a live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1. What are the keys to impactful networking? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q2. Why is ongoing professional development so important in HR? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Q3. What are some other benefits of attending conferences? #WorkTrends (Tweet the question)

Don’t want to wait until next Wednesday to join the conversation? You don’t have to. We invite you to check out the #WorkTrends Twitter feed, our TalentCulture World of Work Community, LinkedIn group, and in our TalentCulture G+ community. Feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!

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Building a Bold, New HR: 10 Things We Need Now

Building something new always demands a moment of pause. So, we did just that. We paused and posed a much needed question:

If you could disrupt one aspect of HR to help employees — what would that be?

To say the least, these weren’t one-word, one-sided responses. (Please note this is not a scientific study. It reflects a conversation.) Your comments held honesty and a sense of fair play — and you shared thoughtful, success-oriented solutions rooted in experience. BTW, more than a few HR professionals shared their aspirations for their own field — and their input to the conversation is vital.

It’s clear that many of us are frustrated with HR — one comment described the function as “the monster in the closet”. But, HR isn’t an enemy. It is just their time to evolve. I’d rather say that where we are, is a needed point of inflection. Organizational life has changed dramatically over the last decade and that has played a key role here.

But, through all of this — all I see is opportunity.

We should build on what is already working and what we have learned, to make key adjustments. It’s been a rather steep learning curve of late (just consider the engagement dilemma alone). But, we’ve already begun to make forward progress.

Here are 10 frequently mentioned elements, woven through your responses:

  1. A greater “People Emphasis”. Yes indeed. In so many words — many of you expressed a desire for less paperwork, legalese and fewer processes that draw energy away from supporting people. When supporting us, offer a menu of options that can meet individual needs.
  1. Serve as an organizational role model. I had the strong feeling that employees would like HR to step up and help drive the “success bus”. This involves getting out there and really interacting with employees. With this gained perspective, provide the guidance that employees need to grow and improve. Provide the missing puzzle pieces necessary to direct behavioral change. This could lead to both increased trust and respect for the entire HR function.

From William Wisniewski: “Get HR staff out from behind their desks and talking to their customers.”

  1. Align (and strengthen) culture. (What group is in a better position to do this?) The mission and core beliefs of the organization need to be consistently communicated. HR could coordinate and monitor this function — serve in a consulting mode and direct energy toward what really matters: fulfilling the organization’s mission. So, shout vision (as well as strategy) from the rooftops. 
  1. Lose annual performance reviews that fail to direct behavior. These prehistoric giants loom as growing obstacles to effective performance. Many of you reflected that annual reviews simply aren’t helping. Once a year just doesn’t do it. (It never did.)

From Deidre Datolli: “Instead of process driven one size fits all performance reviews, initiate a culture of authentic conversations around critical performance indicators.”

  1. Provide avenues that drive performance feedback. Building on the previous element — formal, paper-intense, performance documentation nightmares should be replaced with a continual flow of feedback focusing on growth. We may have a to iterate as we go. But change is really the way forward.

From Peter Haasz: “For me it’s all about feedback as a means to developing empathy in all relationships throughout the organization. More understanding leaders and more understanding staff will lead to all parties feeling more engaged and connected. And of course it all begins with trust.”

  1. Train us and help us grow. Yes, employees may leave you one day. However, that doesn’t mean the organization shouldn’t help us develop. (Managers in particular should be supported.) These comments sum up the sentiment:

From Nina Amato: “Ask employees and interviewees which training they would like to have, even if that training were to propel their career in a new direction that differed from the job requirements.”

From Damien Newland: “Authentic Learning & Development – Helping employees to be better at what they want to be.”

From Margie Jennings: “Cross training to build cooperation and appreciation of others work.”

  1. Look inward. Organizations should look to their employees to fill internal opportunities. This can only be accomplished to through systems that actually take stock of who we are (and what we are capable of) as contributors.
  1. Support internal networking. Many comments focused on HR becoming a central hub that could foster internal knowledge building. To be more specific, we’re observing a need for varying functions to learn more about each other. We are nowhere if we do not understand what the other functions of the organization are really doing. Mentoring is critical to this end, but the basics would be a good start: 

From Brian Bileski: “Weekly mentor lunches bringing together three people from different levels – from management to entry-level. give a light case study for them to work on and resolve.

From Yves Kaiser: “Simple. Offer time and space to eat/have coffee together.”

  1. Improve transition points. Recruiting, on-boarding and departures were signaled out as areas where HR can bring back the “human touch”. Careers are a big deal — and all of these processes are key. Here, here.

From Natasha Beach: “Put the human and common sense back into recruiting practices. So much good talent goes undiscovered.”

  1. Help us do our best work and “break the mold”. While reading your feedback, I had a strong sense that we would like to be encouraged to do your best work, break free of the chains that history can impose and simply create. To be quite honest, I’m betting that most HR professionals would like to do the same.

Do you have something to add to the discussion? Weigh in.

This post was first published on on February 26, 2016


Six Most Powerful Words in Networking

The idea of “networking” can often make people freeze up. How do I do it? Where do I start? And small talk is difficult! What if I’m not good at it?!

I hear ya. But networking is a critical aspect of career development, and the good news is you can strike up conversation anywhere. Here are five places to give it a go. And of course, don’t forget the power of social networking too.

Once you engage in conversation, the best strategy is to employ the six most important words in networking: WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW.

The six words demonstrate maturity, selflessness and a natural curiosity. They prove you can set yourself aside and be genuinely interested in another person’s life. And perhaps through all your questions, you’ll find new ways to connect or advance your career.

WHO should I talk to like this?

Anyone. A stranger at a happy hour, someone you’ve asked to meet for coffee or even a random person you sit next to on a plane. Everyone else knows something you don’t. Why spend the entire time talking? What will you learn? [TWEET THIS]

Sample question: Who are some of your clients?

WHAT do I talk about?

You talk about what the other person wants to talk about. Let he/she guide the conversation. If he says, “I like my job, but it can be tough at times,” then you come right back with “What makes it tough?”

Sample question: What kind of projects are you working on?

WHEN is the most appropriate time?

Anytime. People love to talk about themselves. In fact, they’ll probably give you as much info as you can handle. They think: “You’re curious about what I do for a living? Of course I’ll blab about it!”

Sample question: When did you decide to focus on that aspect of your career?

WHERE are the best places?

Anywhere, but specifically situations where you could aid your career. Networking events, work conferences and job interviews are great places to give the six words a whirl.

Sample question: Where do you go most often for work? Do you travel?

WHY is it such an effective strategy?

With each questionyou take the conversation deeper and build trust. Plus, if you two find a way to network further, the person is more likely to help because he likes you — and all you did was let him ramble on about himself!

Sample question: Why did you decide to pursue a master’s degree?

HOW do I keep up all the questions?

You listen intently. You stay in the moment, absorb what the person has to say and come back with a thoughtful response.

Sample question: How did you start your own business? What was the process?

In conversation, our instinct is to dive right in and say, “Well, I…”

But you…you’re smarter than that. You understand the power of WHO, WHAT, WHEN, WHERE, WHY and HOW.

Those six words allow you to forge relationships, broaden your knowledge and create new career opportunities.


When you focus on others, the world starts to shift in your favor. [TWEET]

What’s your networking strategy? Share below!

HR Conversions Stick To The Ribs And Souls

By the time she met with me, her discomfort and exhaustion were evident. She was vulnerable and it showed: her tired eyes avoided direct contact and her hoarse voice betrayed her disgust. She slowly slid my paperwork in front of me.

“Mercy me,” I said. She nodded and closed her eyes.

We were all vulnerable that fateful day, our proverbial hearts on our sleeves, each and everyone wondering what we were going to do next, severance packages in hand. Earlier that afternoon, our HR director’s mood had been much more upbeat and empathic when she embarked on processing layoff after layoff, nearly the all the remaining 75 employees. At our height just a few months prior, we were just shy of 200 employees with nothing but blue sky ahead.

“I’m sorry, Kevin,” she said.

“Don’t be. This was my choice,” I said.

“Well, your only alternative is to stay on commission only to try and prevent this ship from sinking.”

I shrugged. “It’s sunk; not an alternative for me. I just feel sorry for those who didn’t have a choice, who have families.”

She feigned a smile. “Yes, I know.”

“Your job sucks.”

“Yes, I know.”

A lifetime and another incarnation later, I heard these words:

“I’m in HR because it’s fun.”

Wait, what?

This time from a VP of Human Resources at a local credit union. One of her staff members, an HR generalist specializing in recruiting, echoed the sentiment. In fact, they positioned their brand and roles so eloquently, they practically had me convinced to finally convert to CHRO-nity and become a real HR pro (which of course could never happen in a million years, me only playing HR on TV and radio to date).

The two HR professionals and I had been on a local career panel together speaking to high school students about their career futures, whatever those may be. We shared our backgrounds, our wisdom and our diverse realities of what the world of work may have in store for them, and how to plan for it all and take ownership of it all, through business busts and booms.

Back to the part about HR being fun. I wanted to tease her about that comment and the fact that HR has never really been viewed as fun from a mainstream world of work perspective. They’re responsible for the not-so-fun compliance enforcement, benefits administration, performance reviews and outplacement work, among other slightly more glamorous employee-related responsibilities.

But I didn’t tease her, because the students immediately lit up and started asking all sorts of career questions about working at the credit union, and about what it’s like to be an HR pro and how to become one.

Lit up as in excited. Motivated. Dreaming of their future beyond high school where they could make a difference in their communities and businesses where there families and their friends lived and worked.

Dreaming of work that could be fun, like in HR.

And why not? The human resource profession is involved in every single aspect of a business, every single department and division, and every single applicant, employee, alum, contractor, and vendor – you name it. HR pros are the go-to folk in organizations big and small. They humanize the brand and help workforce communities thrive.

The world of work revolves around people and that’s what makes business buzz with capitalistic reverence. I’m fortunate because, while not a practitioner by trade, I’ve had the opportunity to recruit, hire, train, develop, evaluate, promote (and terminate when necessary) – based on “performance” and the needs of the business.

Not an enviable position by any stretch of the imagination. In a recent Human Resource Executive Online article by Susan R. Meisinger, former president and CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management, she talks about HR’s perception problem, writing:

Simply stated, what human resource managers do on a daily basis is personal to each and every employee. And not every employee likes what we do.

And neither do the other business leaders. That’s the conundrum of converting to HR and CHRO-nity. HR professionals spend a lot of time taking care of the people within their organizations. They drive people performance that propels the business performance and empower the “propellants” these include these nurturing activities – engagement, collaboration, communication, mentoring and learning.

But beyond certification (controversial as it is now), HR pros don’t take enough time to do the same, to network and help one another, when they can and should.

Again this summer I witnessed thousands of HR pros learning, networking and “certifying” together at the 2014 SHRM Conference where we heard American journalist, columnist and author Tom Friedman say these words so matter-of-factly:

“No one cares what you know. They only care about what you do with what you know.”

This is why the benefits of HR conversion are in the communion and the collective commiseration, but so many still fall short on supporting themselves and others with the HR space, which is again, why mentors are so important.

Hey, let’s keep it unstructured as well and go hang out for happy hour, right? Happily we learned on the TalentCulture #TChat hour about the Whine & Dine Human Resources Networking Group, founded in 2003 the Northeastern U.S. on a simple premise – to advance professional and social networking for Human Resources professionals without the burden of membership fees, event fees or excessive rules or requirements and to support the HR community everywhere.

It needn’t be the last supper when your professional peer group gathers to talk shop and knowledge swap. No, as long as we’re all paying for our own food and drink, we’ll see you next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. That’s where the fulfilling HR conversions stick to the ribs and the souls.

Although since I just had knee surgery, someone’s gotta come pick me up.

Anyone? C’mon, I’m feeling vulnerable.

photo credit: greg westfall. via photopin cc

#TChat Recap: The HR Whine & Dine Networking Movement

The HR Whine & Dine Networking Movement

By now, most of us have had a small taste at what networking events have to offer. Networking usually involves a formal setting, with hardly enough time or real opportunities to speak with other professionals on a personal level. The chance to meet and connect with other professionals is exciting, but the opportunity to get to know them is hardly ever available. This week’s guests: Keith Bogen, HR pro and chief networking officer of Whine & Dine Networking; Ed Han, wordsmith with a passion for networking and helping people put their professional best foot forward, especially on LinkedIn, joined our Community to share their understanding of what’s missing in HR.

Sometimes, HR is tasked with creating processes that lose focus of what really matters, which is its talent. HR can sometimes take a systematic approach that ultimately devalues people and potential relationships. Our guest Ed shares his opinion:

Is that really the case with HR? Does it really prioritize processes and results over people? HR is responsible for funneling great talent in the door and building organizational culture. Smart organizations align their HR departments with their strategic business plans. They recognize their HR departments for what they are and what they can be. We must not forget this, but:

If HR wants to work its way into the discussion then it needs to carve its own space out. HR needs to be seen as a powerful building tool that can build a lively culture. Of course, this is easier said than done, so we must:

People are real and they bring your organization to life. But people can’t do this on their own. People need support. They need others they can trust and connect with, because:

In the end, it’s all about community. It matters, and people look for opportunities to connect with each other. HR needs to be a department of connections and community. The better we are socially connected then the stronger support we have. Community builds sharing of knowledge and information. People don’t just want to connect with each other. They want to get to know each other.

Want To See The #TChat Replay?


Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

Thanks again to our guests: Keith Bogen, HR pro and chief networking officer of Whine & Dine Networking; Ed Han, wordsmith with a passion for networking and helping people put their professional best foot forward, especially on LinkedIn.

#TChat Events: Surviving A Bad Workplace Culture

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Are you plugged in to #TChat radio? Did you know you can listen live to ANY of our shows ANY time? Now you know. Click the box to head on over to our channel or listen to People, Performance and Building Legendary Teams.

Note To Bloggers: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about trends on the engagement experience?

We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we may feature it! If you recap #TChat make sure to let us know so we can find you!

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Save The Date: Wednesday, September 3rd!

Join us next week, as we talk about People, Performance and Building Legendary Teams during #TChat Events. The TalentCulture conversation continues daily on #TChat Twitter, in our LinkedIn group, and on our new Google+ community. So join us anytime on your favorite social channels!

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Refuse To Compromise With Your Circumstances

“I believe that close association with one who refuses to compromise with circumstances he or she does not like is an asset that can never be measured in terms of money.” – Napoleon Hill

Think about the people that you hang around with.  Do they encourage you, uplift you, and see you in your highest good?  Or do they hold you back, fearful that you will leave them behind if you’re successful?

If you consider the income levels of the five people that you keep company with most, you’ll probably find that your earnings are approximately the average of theirs.  What does that mean?  If you want to reach a higher level of success, it’s important for you to be involved with people that have already reached the pinnacles that you are pursuing.  If you are the smartest, wealthiest, most successful person in your group of friends, it’s probably time to look for new people to attract into your life.

Oftentimes we are too intimidated to approach the people we admire, fearful that we won’t be able to bring anything to the friendship.  After all, “What do I have to offer them?” is a question that you may ask yourself.

Relationships happen over time.  If there is someone you admire and want to build a connection with, look for ways to be of service – with no expectation of return.  No, I’m not telling you to stalk them.  Maybe you can volunteer to help them at their next event.  Or run errands for them when they are overloaded.  Or simply send them thoughtful articles and reference materials that you feel they would be interested in having.

When I was at the National Speakers Association Convention in 2012, I had the pleasure of having lunch with Harvey Mackay.  If you’re not familiar with him, Harvey wrote a New York Times best-selling book called, Swim With the Sharks Without Getting Eaten Alive.  Because this book was so pivotal in my sales career, I quoted Harvey and recommended Swim with the Sharks in my book, The Upside of Down Times.  After lunch, I approached Harvey and expressed my gratitude for the difference he made in my career.  I offered him a personalized copy of my book, which he graciously accepted.  We took a picture together and I figured that was the end of it.

One year later, I received a call from Harvey.  Not only did he read my book, he loved it, and wanted to quote it in his syndicated news column with ten million subscribers.  I was blown away by his offer, and accepted it enthusiastically.  I saw Harvey again at the 2013 Convention and thanked him profusely.  We chatted for awhile and I am profoundly grateful that I had the courage to approach him and share my book with him.

Think about the influential people in your life that you would like to connect with. Start to look for ways that you can add value to their lives, without asking anything in return.  It will be a refreshing change for them, and you may find that they are much more approachable than you think.

PS – When you give to others with no expectation of return, you receive unexpected gifts. Kindness works!

(About the Author: Employee Engagement Expert and Motivational Speaker, Lisa Ryan works with organizations to help them keep their top talent and best customers from becoming someone else’s. She achieves this through personalized employee engagement and customer retention keynotes, workshops and seminars. She is the author of six books, and is featured in two films including the award-winning, “The Keeper of the Keys” with Jack Canfield of Chicken Soup for the Soul. For more information, please connect with Lisa at her website: or email her at

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 7-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!


Looking For A Summer Project? Start Networking!

Summer’s here and you’re probably getting ready to hit the beach or soak up some sun on a patio. Fair enough. But don’t let your networking routine go cold.

Building a strong professional network takes continuous time and effort. While there may be fewer conferences and events during the summer, there are still many great opportunities to get out (or stay in) and meet new people.

Why not make networking your summer project? While everyone else is snoozing in the sand, you’ll be more visible to industry leaders who don’t take the sunny season off.

Networking doesn’t have to be awkward. And it doesn’t take place exclusively at workshops or conferences. Rather, networking should be an opportunity to learn something new and meet interesting people with interesting stories. How will you learn and grow from seeing the same people all the time? You won’t. So enhance the diversity of your networking.

Networking doesn’t always have to take place on a face to face basis either. Participate in a #TChat or another type of Twitter chat or engage with others on Linkedin. Social networking for career success is just as important as what happens at a conference and many of the same principles can be applied online.

Networking can happen anywhere. It can be casual and spontaneous. But there is still a right way to do it. An effective networker is a breath of fresh air; They’re generous, entertaining, and informative. Be somebody that you’d want to talk to.

Here are five ways to network effectively this summer.

1. Don’t just talk about the industry.

“What did you think about [relevant culture or current events topic]?”

Stay up to date with interesting things happening in the world and important news topics. Don’t just open with statements about your knowledge of a certain industry. Ask open-ended questions and you’ll find a mutual interest and you’ll be somebody other’s want to engage with.

2. Be prepared and know your brand.

Prepare a 30-second sound-bite about yourself. This way you are listening and not thinking about what to say next. Know yourself, your goals and how you want to project so that you can get to know others.

3. Project confidence.

We all have a fear of rejection. I say reject fear. Tackle networking challenges with a smile and a firm handshake (translation: a favourite and a retweet). Your new contact will be impressed… and relieved. Awkwardness is awkward for everyone.

This same principal can be applied to Twitter or other social media channels. For example, I attended a conference a few weeks back and was concerned that because the breaks were so short, I wouldn’t have any time to meet people. But who says the introductions or networking has to take place at that conference? I was live tweeting anyways and so I started to introduce myself to others live tweeting at the conference as well.

4. Don’t be a time-suck.

Your new contact is also here to meet people (as in: more than one) – allow them to move on. The same goes for social media. If you’re participating in a twitter chat don’t turn it into a conversation between you and one other person. Respond to other people’s comments and allow everyone the opportunity to give and take from the discussion.

5. Stay in touch.

Send a follow up note within 24 hours. Subtly remind your new contact where you met and what you talked about.

Back to the twitter example I talked about in point five. There were a few people I didn’t get the chance to meet up with at the conference. Instead of letting the opportunity pass me by, I followed up via Twitter and scheduled a few coffee meetings for the upcoming weeks.

(About the Author: Rachel Scott has a diverse background in advertising and communications that includes everything from working as a Research Assistant for the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology, working in the Public Relations department for CJSF 90.1 FM, to her most recent role as Marketing Assistant at Clevers Media, a marketing and consulting agency based in Vancouver, BC.

Currently Rachel is the Marketing and Content Manager at Boost Agents. Boost Agents brings together growing, forward thinking organizations and qualified creative, marketing and communications professionals through our timely and ethical process to make the perfect cultural fit. Whether you are a candidate (job seeker) looking to boost your career and need someone to help take you to the next level, or a client looking to grow your team, we’re excited to be part of the process with you.)

To discuss World of Work topics like this with the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events each Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or join our ongoing Twitter and G+ conversation anytime. Learn more…

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday. To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!

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#TChat Preview: The Power Of Workforce Culture And Continuous Talent Mobility

The TalentCulture #TChat Show is back live on Wednesday, June 11, 2014. #TChat Radio starts at 6:30 pm ET (3:30 pm PT) and the convo continues on #TChat Twitter chat from 7-8 pm ET (4-5 pm PT).

Last week we talked about how to have a transformative onboarding experience for new hires, and this week we’re talking about the power of unique cultural immersion and continuous talent mobility.

According to 2013 SuccessFactors WFA Benchmarking Data, normal voluntary turnover is 8.9% annually compared with 18.8% voluntary turnover for hires with their first year of employment. That’s more than double.

It’s no wonder companies struggle to retain top talent from the moment the ink is dry on the new hire paperwork. This is why progressive companies are doing everything they can to create fun and engaging onboarding processes and technology platforms that are unique and configurable to the individual, not the same old tired one-size-fits-all approach.

This includes assigning buddies and peer-to-peer networks seamlessly before day one even starts, so the new employees feel welcome and have support, regardless of role, classification or location (in the office or remote). Incremental and attainable individual and group goals can also be set up with their first 3-6 months to ensure complete workplace and cultural immersion as well as shortening their initial time to contribution.

And it doesn’t stop there. Through the onboarding and networking process, every single person from full-time to part-time employees to temp and contingent employees is a perpetual candidate which is a growth opportunity for the company at large. In turn, providing a continuous mobility experience to your workforce that includes the flexibility to dial up and down their level of contribution, while ensuring they’re career paths are personalized growth opportunities, are the keys to retaining knowledge and your competitive edge. Why look outside first when you already have an internal talent community and referral network?

Join #TChat co-creators and hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman as we learn about the power of workforce culture and continuous talent mobility with this week’s guest: Tracey Arnish, Senior Vice President of Talent at SAP.

Related Reading:

Tracey Arnish: Close Skills Gap By Attracting The Best And Brightest Talent Everywhere

John Zappe: Time For Job Offers To Be As Exciting As College Admissions

Meghan M. Biro: How To Succeed At Real-Time Talent Alignment 

Val Matta: New Year, New Hires: How To Up Your Hiring Game In 2014

George Bradt: Want Your New Employees’ Personal Commitment? Take Their Onboarding Seriously

We hope you’ll join the #TChat conversation this week and share your questions, opinions and ideas with our guests and the TalentCulture Community.

#TChat Events: The Power of Workforce Culture and Continuous Talent Mobility

TChatRadio_logo_020813 #TChat Radio — Wed, June 11 — 6:30pmET / 3:30pmPT Tune-in to the #TChat Radio show Our hosts, Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman talk with our guest Tracey Arnish.

Tune-in LIVE online this Wednesday!

#TChat Twitter Chat — Wed, June 11 — 7pmET / 4pmPT Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Kevin and our guests will move to the #TChat Twitter stream, where we’ll continue the discussion with the entire TalentCulture community. Everyone with a Twitter account is invited to participate, as we gather for a dynamic live chat, focused on these related questions:

Q1: What are the short & long-term effects of new hire onboarding? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q2: What activities can immerse and engage new employees quickly & effectively? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q3: Describe how internal mobility increases talent retention for companies #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q4: What are recommended practices for promoting talent communities & referral networks? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Q5: What talent management technologies improve onboarding & internal mobility? #TChat (Tweet this Question)

Throughout the week, we’ll keep the discussion going on the #TChat Twitter feed, and in our new TalentCulture G+ community. So feel free to drop by anytime and share your questions, ideas and opinions. See you there!!

TalentCulture World of Work was created for HR professionals, leadership executives, and the global workforce. Our community delves into subjects like HR technologyleadershipemployee engagement, and corporate culture everyday.

To get more World of Work goodness, please sign up for our newsletter, listen to our #TChat Radio Channel or sign up for our RSS feed.

Do you have great content you want to share with us? Become a TalentCulture contributor!
photo credit: Thomas Hawk via photopin cc

Social Influence and Your Brand: Connecting the Dots [Webinar]

“Don’t try to invent a tribe. Show up to lead one that exists.”
Seth Godin

Today’s hyper-connected digital world has opened the door to a whole new era in brand development.

Employers, HR professionals and job hunters, alike, are rapidly embracing digital channels to elevate their market presence and amplify their share of voice.

With proactive players setting a torrid pace, no one can afford to stay on the social media sidelines. But social networking doesn’t guarantee influence — and activity without strategy can put a brand at risk.

Join the Experts

So how do you create a digital brand roadmap that makes the most sense for your goals? What’s the best way to ignite your social agenda? And how do you measure its impact?

If you’re looking for expert guidance, you won’t want to miss this very special webinar event:

“Using Social Insights to Build Your Brand”
February 27, at 2pm Eastern Time / 11am Pacific Time.

LeadTail webinar CTATalentCulture founder, Meghan M. Biro will join forces with the social marketing and insights specialists at Leadtail to talk about how top HR and recruiting influencers are driving market awareness and engagement through social channels.

You’ll learn how social media best practices can move your brand forward and how data-based insights can inform your strategy.

For example, the session will focus on questions like these:

What elements define a personal brand?
Why are social channels ideal for brand building?
Who influences the HR and recruiting community today — and how?
How can you successfully apply these social techniques?

In addition, Meghan will reveal how she has leveraged social media to become one of the most recognized experts in the HR and recruiting space.

“Social channels have created a phenomenal opportunity to reach, engage and influence all the constituents a brand must touch — business allies, customers, prospects and employees,” Meghan says. “I’m excited to team-up with Leadtail, as we empower brands to expand their connections and strengthen their business relationships.”

Throughout the webinar, attendees are invited to join members of the TalentCulture community on Twitter, as we share ideas and questions using the #TChat hashtag.

Don’t miss this dynamic informative event! Register now, and join us February 27th.

Participating Organizations

Learn more about Leadtail, and connect with @Leadtail on Twitter.
Learn more about TalentCulture, and connect with @TalentCulture on Twitter.

Register now for this webinar: Using Social Insights to Build Your Brand.

Image Credit: Pixabay

Tech Recruiting: Skilling Up to Fill the Middle #TChat Recap

(Editor’s Note: Looking for details of this week’s #TChat Events? See the Storify slideshow and resource links at the end of this post. And to learn how you can win this week’s Pebble Smartwatch giveaway, visit Dice.)

I remember when I was choosing the cover art for my book, Tech Job Hunt Handbook. I couldn’t help thinking, “How am I going to fill-in the middle?”

That’s the toughest part. Filling the middle. Developing coherent career guidance for technical professionals – from the job search, to the interview, to the hire.

But I did it. And in the process, I learned so much about how technology touches every facet of our lives, how rapidly the world of work is changing, and how important it is to stay relevant while competing for specialized jobs in areas like cloud computing, big data and mobile application development.

Retooling your skills and re-branding yourself is essential, whether you’re trying to be more effective in your current tech job — or seeking a new professional challenge — or recruiting to fill those specialized technical roles. And of course, retooling can’t be a one-shot deal. It has to be an ongoing process.

Continuous Commitment Counts

As the economy inches back, millions of people are quitting their jobs, confident they can find an attractive career next-step. These professionals are open to competent help. But even with today’s fluid, open-for-business talent pool, “filling the middle” is no easy task.

In a recent hiring survey of recruiters and hiring managers, Dice found that 5 of the 12 most challenging cities for tech recruiting are in the Midwest. Why? They’re “tough recruiting locations based on a combination of supply and demand issues.”

Frontline recruiting reports like that are a call-to-action for anyone located in “the middle,” as well as those on both coasts. Whatever your location, a winning hiring strategy takes marketing savvy, selling skills and “in the know” awareness of the technical positions you’re trying to close.

This week’s #TChat Events with Shravan Goli, President of Dice, and Sara Fleischman, Senior Technical Recruiter at Concur reinforced my conviction that “filling the middle” requires ongoing commitment, at two levels:

1) Keep Skilling Up. In today’s workplace, tech industry recruiters may feel more secure than others. But the pace of innovation is relentless — it challenging us all to stay ahead of the curve. It’s not just about matching job candidates step-for-step. It’s about proving your strength in your  role, and out-pacing other recruiters who are determined to stay “in the know.”

2) Keep Filling Up. As a tech-savvy recruiter, you may have an edge. But tech lingo isn’t the whole package. You add value by staying aware of salary trends and specifics about how your company, city and regional amenities compare. You’ll also build stronger relationships if you’re always up-to-date with practical guidance, tools and recommendations that help candidates assess new opportunities, get noticed by the right people, ace interviews and negotiate successfully.

Over time, recruiters with that kind of commitment build a reputation as resourceful “go to” career advisors. A talent pipeline eventually follows. And that’s what I call filling the middle with the right stuff.

Dice smartwatch giveaway for #TChat participantsShare Your Ideas — Win a Smartwatch!

Thanks to everyone who joined this week’s #TChat Events. We value your ideas. In fact, Dice is so interested in your input that they’re giving away a cool Pebble Smartwatch to a lucky participant!

Entering is easy. Just share your tech recruiting ideas or questions with Dice by Friday, February 7th. Then find out who wins at #TChat on Wednesday February 12th! (See details and enter now.)

#TChat Week-In-Review: How to Find Top Tech Talent

Shravan Goli Sara Fleischman (2)

See the Preview Post now

SAT 1/25:
#TChat Preview:
TalentCulture Community Manager, Tim McDonald, framed the week’s topic in a post featuring two “sneak peek” hangouts with guests, Shravan Goli and Sara Fleischman. See the #TChat Preview now: “Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

SUN 1/26: Post:
In her weekly Forbes column, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro, offered guidance based on her personal experience as a tech industry talent strategist. Read “How Leaders Hire Top Tech Talent.


What Makes Tech Talent Tick?” — by Dr. Nancy Rubin
Tech Pros’ Salaries, Confidence Rise” — January Trend Report by Dice


Listen to the #TChat Radio replay

WED 1/29:
#TChat Radio: Host Meghan M. Biro talked with Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman about what it takes to recruit tech talent in today’s competitive environment. Listen to the #TChat Radio replay now

#TChat Twitter: Immediately following the radio show, Meghan, Shravan, and Sara joined the TalentCulture community on the #TChat Twitter stream for a dynamic open conversation, centered on 5 related questions.

See highlights in the Storify slideshow below:

#TChat Insights: Finding Tech Talent to Fuel the Future

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Closing Notes & What’s Ahead

GRATITUDE: Thanks again to Shravan Goli, and Sara Fleischman for sharing your perspectives on tech recruiting tools, techniques and trends. We value your time and your expertise!

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events prompt you to write about tech recruiting issues? We welcome your thoughts. Post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week at #TChat Events, we’ll look at how each of us can be more effective at managing our careers, with one of the nation’s best known career coaches, Maggie Mistal, and one of her clients, Laura Rolands. So save the date, Wednesday, February 5, and prepare to raise your professional game!

Meanwhile, the TalentCulture conversation continues daily on the #TChat Twitter stream, our NEW Google+ community, and elsewhere on social media.

We’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Top Student Challenges

Networking: 5 Ways To Work It Into Your Life

Written by Lynn Dixon, co-founder & COO, Hourly

Networking. Some people consider it a guaranteed way to connect with industry luminaries. Others believe it’s the ideal way market your professional capabilities and build brand awareness. Still, others dread the concept, and try to avoid it at all costs.

Truth is, networking remains one of the most effective techniques for selling yourself, as well as uncovering new business opportunities, projects and jobs.

But there’s a key to networking success that isn’t often discussed — knowing how to conduct yourself in various social situations is essential.

While handing out business cards may work wonders for you at a designated networking event, the same strategy might not work in a different atmosphere. Is there a way to predict what techniques will be effective in a specific setting?

Let’s look at several common social scenarios, and consider an appropriate networking plan of action for each:

1) Work Events

Work events come in all shapes and sizes, from professional development courses to off-site meetings with colleagues. These events tend to be more formal and task-oriented. Typically these settings are not ideal for aggressive networking, primarily because your participation is tied to other business goals.

How to play it: Although you may know most people at a work event, you can subtly network by introducing yourself to other attendees. When it fits into the flow of conversation, you might also mention recent accomplishments or challenges you’ve overcome. This helps people in your internal network see where you shine, and helps them envision how you could contribute to future projects with them or others they know.

2) Office Parties

Events like the annual holiday party or your boss’s birthday don’t usually scream “networking.” Conversations are often focused on personal life, and you may not want to think about business. Although no one wants to “talk shop” throughout an entire office party, it can be an awesome opportunity diplomatically reinforce your strengths.

How to play it: Put the alcohol down and get to know colleagues you don’t know well, especially those in other departments. You don’t have to brag about your accomplishments, but you can weave in your expertise. Chances are, one day they may need your skills on a project. Be memorable and focus on how you add value.

3) Family Events

You probably believe family events are the last place to whip out your resume and market yourself, but these events can be a networking goldmine. Think about it. Your family wants you to do well in your career. It’s like preaching to the choir. You just have to know what songs to sing.

How to play it: Although members of your family probably don’t work in your industry, they’re likely to know someone who does. That’s why it’s advisable to touch base about business with as many people as possible while you “work the aisles” at reunions, weddings and other family gatherings. Bring a stash of business cards, in case someone expresses interest. In the future, if someone they know needs someone with your skills, you’ll be the first person on their radar.

4) Industry Conferences

Conferences are a great way to establish excellent connections who can help you expand your network. Sometimes the premise of a conference centers on networking. Other conferences are developed for you to learn more about your industry by listening to speakers, attending workshops and sharing ideas with professional colleagues.

How to play it: This is one of those obvious networking situations where you’ll need lots of business cards, a stack of resumes, and a variety of portfolio samples. Since conferences attract a plethora of industry colleagues, you never know who you’ll run into — so you need to be prepared. It’s also smart to refresh your LinkedIn profile before the event, so anyone who checks your profile afterward will see your most current information.

5) Running Errands

Picture this: You’re at the grocery store when you see an influential member of your industry. You don’t want to throw business cards at this important person, but you do want to make a connection. How do you approach a power player in public without appearing to be desperate?

How to play it: Look for an appropriate opening. Briefly introduce yourself and explain why you admire this person. Try to mention a recent article they wrote or compliment them on a recent accomplishment. Then, close quickly by asking if you could connect via email or on a social network. This opens the door to future conversations while downplaying what could otherwise be an awkward situation.

The ability to market yourself in any situation is a skill that should be practiced and polished. You never know who you’ll bump into and how they could help you out in the future. Look at every situation as a chance to boost your network and provide a possible stepping stone for your career.

What do you think about the power of networking in social settings? How have you marketed yourself at various events? What has been effective for you?

Lynn-Dixon(About the Author: Lynn Dixon is the co-founder and COO of, an employment network that quickly matches people who are interested in flexible positions with the right opportunities. Connect with Lynn and Hourly on Twitter and LinkedIn.)

(Editor’s Note: This post is republished from Brazen Life, with permission. Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, it offers edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work. Be Brazen!)

(Also Note: To discuss World of Work topics like this with others in the TalentCulture community, join our online #TChat Events every Wednesday, from 6:30-8pm ET. Everyone is welcome at events, or to join our ongoing Twitter conversation anytime. Learn more…)

Image Credit: Pixabay

Community Heart + Soul: #TChat Favorites

When loss blots out all other light, that’s when the stars around you shine the brightest.

It’s counterintuitive, I know. The times when life is bleakest, what you’ve sown is reaped in the form of torches guiding you through the blackest labyrinth.

This time last year was tough for me, having lost my father in July and then my mother in December. Both were very ill, and it took quite a toll on me, my family, and my world of work. This included my usually dedicated participation in the TalentCulture community and #TChat Events.

There’s a kindhearted warming that can occur in times of desperation and need — like coming in from a freezing rain to thaw in front of a fire, surrounded by supportive family and friends. This reciprocal positive power moves us into lighted places, into rebirth, into healing, into growth, into bettering ourselves so we can better others, in turn. The economics are simple and powerful. Yet, they require transparency, authenticity, trust and love — essential elements that cynics squash like bugs underfoot.

Healing Power: Community To The Rescue

Thank goodness for the light (as we watch the bugs scurry into hiding – or their metamorphosis into believers). This uplifting energy is the heart of community — and the heart of community is you.

We see community spirit at work time and again, when help mobilizes after global disasters, disease, war, and injustice — or simply when we grant a child one magical wish. (Here’s to all Batkids in the world!) It’s okay to get good news once and a while, you know?

TChat_logo_colorAfter this rally from my greater Northern California community last weekend, I was uplifted. And coming on the eve of #TChat’s 3rd anniversary, it reminded me of the mutual support that comes from within our TalentCulture community — through bad times and good.

That’s one of the most powerful aspects of online communities like ours. They spring from the wild, virtual earth, in many different forms. They’re often vibrant and complex, even in their simplicity. Their roots are nurtured by the diverse individuals who come to learn, network, share and support one another around relevant topics, both personal and professional.

That’s what #TChat has become since its founding. The proof is evident after 150 Twitter chats, and 50 radio shows in the past year alone.

The first #TChat occurred on November 16, 2010, and the topic was emotional intelligence, which seems appropriate, since most of the time we try to be self-aware and manage our emotions — whether we agree with one another or not. Trust and mutual positive regard are just as important in our community interactions as they are in the larger world of work.

Best of #TChat

Since then, my favorite #TChat events include all of them. Although it’s tough to choose, I’ll list just 15 here that stand out:

  1. Moving, Schooling, and Finding Your Voice
  2. Community Beginning the Social Revolution
  3. Performance Reviews: Like Bad High School Movies
  4. IRL Networking Is Face-to-Face, not F2F
  5. Freelancers Make Better Business Biscuits
  6. Hobbits, Jedis, Fealty and the World of Work
  7. Getting Workplace Recognition Right
  8. Real Brands Humanize
  9. The Business of Talent: Magic?
  10. Office Space: Work in Progress
  11. Open Leadership: Going Deep
  12. HR Data: What Really Counts?
  13. 101 Ways To Save The Day With A Paperclip
  14. Engagement As Energy: #TChat Lessons From #HRTechConf
  15. Mobile Hiring Hits The Fast Lane

I’m so excited that #TChat continues to break new ground as one of the largest and longest-running online learning and networking communities in the “world of work.” A very special thanks to the thousands of loyal participants who have participated during the past three years.

And a very special thank you to those who keep the weekly wheels of #TChat turning each week:

New To #TChat? We’re Just Getting Started

If you’ve only just discovered #TChat, welcome!

The TalentCulture (#TChat) Community is an open online network of business leaders and innovators, human resource and recruiting executives, organizational development and learning professionals, HR technology vendors, industry consultants, job seekers and more who collectively create, curate, crowd source and share timely “world of work” news and information critical for all professionals to grow and succeed in business today.

And that means you and you and you and you…

What’s your role in the TalentCulture Community? Just as it’s always been since the beginning:

Sharing your real world expertise and candid perspectives.
Actively participating with others in expanding the depth and breadth of your reach.
Contributing as much as you benefit.

The conversation starts…wait for it…here!

This is an exciting milestone for #TChat — and we have all of YOU across our wonderful community to thank. So thank you again. We look forward to moving forward with you all!

Image Credit: Pixabay

Forbes Picks TalentCulture As A Top Career Site: 3 Reasons Why It Matters

“The people to get even with are those who’ve helped you.”
–J.E. Southard

Today it’s time for us to “get even” by expressing deep gratitude! Why? Because has selected TalentCulture as one of “100 Top Websites For Your Career.” Of course we’re thrilled — and not just for all the obvious reasons. So, in the spirit of lists everywhere, here are our 3 Reasons Why This Forbes List Matters:

1) It Matters For Our Mission

By including us, Forbes is acknowledging the rise of crowdsourcing and virtual communities of practice in today’s social business world. And, if you consider the breadth and caliber of the company we’re keeping, it truly is an honor to be featured.

2) It Matters To Others In The World Of Work

On this list, everyone is a winner because there are no rankings. Instead, as Forbes staff writer Jacquelyn Smith notes:

“Our goal was to assemble a comprehensive guide to smart and engaging…online destinations for interns, job seekers, business owners, established professionals, retirees, and anyone else looking to launch, improve, advance, or change his or her career.”

forbes-logoForbes has developed a highly eclectic mix of sites. It’s not just about wildly popular social platforms like Twitter; professional networking sites like LinkedIn; job boards like CareerBuilder; and reference sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Forbes actually adds meat to those big bones with niche services like CareerBliss and PayScale, as well as informational sites like Lindsey Pollak and Jobacle.

However, for us, the most exciting sites on the list are the many valued friends, partners and participants in our TalentCulture community. For example:

Blogging4Jobs by Jessica Miller-Merrell
Brazen Life by Brazen Careerest
Come Recommended by Heather Huhman
Keppie Careers by Miriam Salpeter
The Office Blend by Dr. Marla Gottschalk
Tweak It Together by Cali Yost
WorkLifeNation by Judy Martin
YouTern by Mark Babbitt

3) We Hope It Matters To You

Most importantly, this recognition is a positive reflection on each of you — the tens-of-thousands of monthly visitors who rely upon TalentCulture as a resource for helpful “world of work” ideas, insights, connections and conversations with professional peers.

This milestone is also an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the hundreds of community participants who, for nearly 4 years have generously developed blog content, appeared as guests on our #TChat Radio shows, participated in our popular #TChat Twitter events, and shared knowledge and peer support continuously on our social media channels.

TalentCulture exists only because of the time, effort and skill that each of you contribute. That’s the beauty of community. This isn’t merely a “website.” This is a reflection of a continuous collaborative process that our founder, Meghan M. Biro, calls a “metaphor for the social workplace.”

Truly, in this case, we could not have done this with out you. So thanks to you all! And congratulations on what you’ve helped us create. Stay tuned to this site — and let’s see where our living learning laboratory will take us next!

Image Credit: redagainPatti at flickr


Mindfully Managing Your Personal Brand: #TChat Recap

“Act as if what you do makes a difference.
It does.”
-William James

It really does. Live who you are and be the difference not only in your own life, but in those around you as well. Each and every moment is a opportunity. The subtle inter-connectedness we have with those closest to us ripples outward from the pebble plunk touching even the most distant connections.

However, it’s our responsibility to manage the plunks. Being mindful and purposeful is what makes all the difference in the ripple effect.

Every Point of Presence is a “Plunk”

This is the new age of transparency and personal branding; you have to own each and every moment and every opportunity. Even for those of you who stay in the social shadows online, the light will find you at some point. Professionally speaking, that is. The world of work has new rules of personal branding and marketing today. Even if a prospective employer requires you only to submit a traditional resume and cover letter, odds you’re being vetted online in every way publicly possible – starting with a search engine query.

You are your own subdued reality show — so why not exploit the new branding and marketing rules for your own benefit? Why not be accurate, consistent, accessible and personable in every point of presence you “plunk” in?

The Medium is the Message

Brand marketers today know that everyone consumes content a little differently, so keep that in mind as you create content that supports you and your personal brand. Diversify the ripple with a variety of good stories about who you are and what you aspire to be and do — bring those stories to life across multiple media — written word, video, audio and/or visual imagery.

Make a difference and be a difference. Those who feel the ripples of warm, reassuring water passing them by will stop and take notice. That’s the bottom line lesson from this week’s TalentCulture community focus on “brand you.” Below are several other takeaways to consider, along with links to archives of the week’s activities.

1) Every Brand Tells a Networked Story

Each of us has a professional pathway, triumphant successes, and painful failures. All of these “brand you” elements are increasingly visible, and connected with others. Whether or not we proactively develop a personal brand strategy, our collective actions and associations reflect upon us, individually and in relation to our employers. And similarly, our employer’s brand reflects upon us. It’s a delicate symbiotic relationship.

2) There’s Nowhere to Hide

Assume everyone is watching, even if no cameras are in the room. Social media captures and exposes interactions. It blurs the lines of communication among job candidates, employees, customers, business partners, organizational leaders and recruiters. So, what are the issues and opportunities that come along with this fluid, open digital village?

3) Listen to Smart Brand Guidance

That’s why #TChat called-in brand management big guns to lead the way this week:

If you missed any of this week’s events – or if want to revisit insights anytime – just follow the links below…

#TChat Week-in-Review

SUN 2/24
In a post, TalentCulture CEO, Meghan M. Biro outlined the premise for this week’s focus on career strategy and branding: “5 Steps to Discovering the Brand You”

#TChat Radio logo

Listen to the #TChat Radio recording

MON 2/25
#TChat Weekly Preview laid out key questions for the community to consider: “Empower the Brand You”

TUE 2/26
#TChat Radio Show:
Our hosts sat down with Chris LaVoie and Rayanne Thorn for an up-close and personal brands – and their role in the world of work

WED 2/27
#TChat Twitter: Rayanne returned to moderate our freewheeling #TChat Twitter forum, and we set the stream on fire! By the end of the hour, the #TChat hashtag was trending globally on Twitter – a sign of tremendous “signal” strength. But we care most about the quality of the conversation. What were people saying? And did others find it useful?

Participants included job-seekers, recruiters, consultants, writers, thought leaders, social media specialists, marketing professionals, and even a couple of CEOs. Now that’s proof of the relationship between individual brands and the world of work! And what were they talking so fast and furiously about?

To see highlights from yesterday’s #TChat Twitter forum, please watch the Storify slideshow below:
#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “Empower the Brand You
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Closing Notes

THANKS: Again, thanks to Rayanne Thorn and Chris LaVoie for sharing your personal stories, aspirations, and professional expertise with the TalentCulture community this week. You bring context, dimension and personality to the concept of employer/employee branding.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this week’s events inspire you to write about career management or recruiting issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we’re looking at the power of collaboration tools and techniques in helping diverse minds work together more effectively in today’s workplace. Save the date for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, March 5, at 7:30pm ET. And #TChat Twitter Wednesday, March 6, at 7pm ET. Look for more details next Monday via @TalentCulture and #TChat.

Until then – we’ll see you on the stream!

Image Credit: Pixabay

#TChat INSIGHTS: Empower the Brand You

Storified by TalentCulture World of Work· Wed, Feb 27 2013 17:37:25

#TChat Trending!
Q1: The level of transparency for job candidates, employees, and employers is higher than ever. Good or bad? Why or why not? #TChatRayanne
A1: Your brand must start with you — and stay true to you #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A1 I transparency is good but for younger crowd not mature enough to understand what it means #TchatLisa Larter
A1) it’s great for people who know how to use the tools. People who know their way around the internet will do well #tchatRich Grant
A1: Transparency leads to accountability. Both good things in business/life. #tchatSpark Hire
A1. Transparency heals and transforms. #tchatMichael Clark
#Tchat A1 Transparency for employers is a window to the essence of the company, which is good, a public forum makes for a true meritocracy.ALEX BOTTOM
A1: Make sure #hiring transparency includes synergy b/w words & body language. Do they match? #TchatLara Zuehlke
A1. Transparency=hiring the right person with the right skills for the right job. #tchatTerri Klass
A1: Transparency is great in business. Personal privacy has to remain an option. #tchatRoger Veliquette
A1. Transparency is a good thing I think, be honest with applicants org culture and funding for things like professional devel #TchatGuy Davis
A1 The internet makes things pretty transparent these days #tchatSalt Recruitment
A1) too much info can be a bad thing, if it causes people to make incorrect assumptions #tchatRich Grant
A1 Good transparency allows a company to hire based not only where they’re at but where they want to go. #TchatBeverly Davis
A1 Transparency is a two-way street. Be honest about what you bring to the table as well. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A1 transparency is one sided. Most senior level managers are not sharing liek their employees IMO #TchatLisa Larter
A1. The important thing to remember is: are you being transparent in the right way? Is it effective? Is it relevant? #tchatKimPope
A1: the question is transparent about what – there is still such a thing as too much information #tchatSusan Mazza
A1: The problem with transparency is both people & companies are delusional about who they are. #denial #tchatHeather Bussing
A1 Good because get to see candidate from many angles. Nobody is perfect. Poor experience if data used just in tick box assessment. #TchatSejual
A1: Good b/c now everything is crystal clear for both sides and now MOST LIKELY an honest and proper #decisionmaking can be done! #tchatAlam Sugarman
@TalentCulture #tchat #marcoisland Larter
Q2: Does the world of work need a reality-based TV show? Why or why not? #TChatRayanne
A2: No, we live business/opportunities all day long. The last thing I want to do is come home and live even more. #tchatMichael Chopp, PHR
A2. Ughhh. Reality shows are NEVAH “needed” for anything and they’re never real either. #tchatHeather Bussing
A2: We are all interesting but THAT interesting? I don’t throw TV-worthy diva fits at work. Sorry. #TChatJoel Peterson
A2 I don’t think reality tv would add value, too much distrust on the truth #TchatLisa Larter
A2: Hehe, if it’s a real “reality” based recruiting show, let me give em a challenge!!! #TChatJanis Stacy
A2. It could be a good way for job seekers to see the other side of the process and see what recruiters look for #tchatKimPope
A2:I think we can re-design reality shows – They don’t all need to be Sleazy Shore! #TchatRayanne
A2: All reality shows are somewhat “scripted” so a reality show about life at work would only be worth it if it was not “managed.” #TChatJoel Peterson
A2: The Apprentice & Trump is a gr8 lesson in what not to do as a leader. #tchatJohn R. Bell
A2: We don’t need another reality show – just better editing of the stories we’re already telling. #tchatAndy Janning
A2: (Raises hand with puzzled look) What’s the point of a world of work reality TV show? Who for? #TchatLara Zuehlke
A2. Job seekers can see how other job seekers epically fail on this show and hopefully learn not to do it themselves :) #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A2: There is too much “Truman Show” in our lives today. No more reality TV #tchatJen Olney
A2: Most ppl I know think of Reality TV as a *freak shows*. Is this the way 2 portray the hiring process, or is it too late? #TChatNancy Barry-Jansson
A2 Ready for a career makeover show. Needed. #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
#Tchat A2 Work is reality… Eyeballs flow to quality Information and topical authority is transferred to producers of relevant content.ALEX BOTTOM
A2 The question to ask is how real is the Reality show? Is there a transparency enough for people to see?#tchatSonalee Arvind
A2: I have to say that I have a lot of time for Shark Tank’s principles. #tchatJohn R. Bell
A2: But, if we can deliver good story for a cause, even ever so embellished hyper-reality, them I’m in. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A2 Not helpful. Reality TV edited to serve up hype and drama. We watch world of work through unreal lens of show editor #TchatSejual
Online vetting can create tunnel vision. Traditional interviews, experience, references, 1 to 1 are essential. #Tchat A2Lois Martin
Here are my office digs, as requested. Small but cozy. (See top right corner for various board games.) #Tchat Peterson
Q3: Do we really live in an online peer-vetted playing field? Why or why not? #TChatRayanne
A3 Digital life and “real” life are increasingly overlapping #tchatChristopher Yeh
A3 Smart people don’t show “everything” online – that’s what branding is about – you can be honest without being “naked” #tchatAnnette Richmond
A3: To an extent. Tech has placed us in a peer-vetted environment but employers (or recruiters) are stuck in the 90’s. #TchatDamon Lovett
A3 The online part is important but ultimately it’s the human to human relationship that makes all the difference #tchatHolly Chessman
A3 the peers of old were too limited/ing. Add the online dimension & a world of opportunity opens to one who cultivates presence #tchatBrian Rensing
A3. I think we have the beginnings of a broad peer-vetting field but there’s room for a universal currency of trust. P2P Yelp! #TchatAndrew Marshall
A3. Think about our #tchat community of peers. Haven’t we all learned so much from one another? #tchatTerri Klass
A3: Don’t we keep each other honest? Hey, I saw that… #TChatKevin W. Grossman
A3. We’re having a lot of fun! Social business is essential for ROI on attention, time, energy. #tchatMichael Clark
A3: I’m still trying to figure out what an online peer-vetted playing field is. Reality gamification? #tchatHeather Bussing
A3. I think it depends on your confidence level HUGELY #TchatLisa Larter
A3: How do we know online personas are authentic? In face 2 face meetings, you can’t take time 2 construct the “perfect” response. #TChatKavita C.
A3. Networking outside of your organization can help ensure you don’t get yourself stuck with stale ideas #tchatKimPope
A3 Impressions are formed fast on #SoMe #tchatAlli Polin
A3: Problem is, I’ve not seen this actually happen in the real world. #tchatRob McGahen
A3: Call me old-fashioned but I still love real-life high-fives, handshakes, and HR-approved hugs. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A3: Don’t believe everything you read – back up it with gut feel and real references #tchatJen Olney
A3: If a tree falls in your forest, and nobody cares… #TChatKevin W. Grossman
a3 It’s like real-time back-door references on #SoMe #tchatAlli Polin
A3 But when u Google yourself, ur only seeing what Google thinks u want to see. Indv filters break the self awareness clarity. #tchatStephen Abbott
Currently at @panerabread during #TChat Beth Huffman
Q4: Should we film our daily body of work? What other technologies should we use to empower our personal and corporate brands? #TChatRayanne
A4) Playing sports taught me, “the eye in the sky, doesn’t lie” It gives you opportunities to correct ur flaws. Would be interesting #TChatVinnie Levine
A4. I wish there were documented videos and realistic views of jobs when I was choosing a degree/career path in college #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A4 If used correctly, video can definitely help convey a brand quickly and beautifully–in a short amount of time too. #TChatSendgine
A4: We’re all using social media to empower our brands, aren’t we? #tchatVizwerxGroup
A4 Film, if you must, with a few softening filters…reality can be too ugly sometimes. #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4: We should think like new world marketers and use all mediums to brand and promote ourselves. Every one consumes differently. #TChatKevin W. Grossman
#Tchat A4 Filming daily wouldn’t make sense for many firms but video chats will likely grow as older workers become less & less influential.ALEX BOTTOM
A4. Sharing without intent is personalized SPAM. If you are recording your life be mindful of why and for whom. #TchatAndrew Marshall
A4: We are not far off. Google glasses here we come. HR / Privacy Nightmare #TChatSean Charles
A4: I am all about knowledge sharing BUT there are limits – there has to be. #TchatDamon Lovett
A4: If I filmed my daily activities it would be me playing on Facebook, eating Bon-Bon’s in my Pajamas > (according to my husband) #TChatSusan Avello
A4: Plus wouldn’t there be huge implications legally? #TchatLara Zuehlke
A4: No matter what the subject, every story has to be crafted. Nothing worth learning from is just “unscripted” if its filmed. #TchatJoel Peterson
A4: Filming an engineer working probably wouldn’t be something most would like watching. Type Type, coffee, type type. #TChatJanis Stacy
A4: Not everything needs to be shared. Pick your spots and create content that is worthy of the brand #tchatJen Olney
A4. Just because you CAN, doesn’t mean you should. #TchatPatty Swisher
A4: A powerful brand can stand out even without technology. MLK did not need twitter ! #tchattanvi gautam
A4 Hmmm. In my practice everyone would have to sign a waiver. :) #TChatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A4: For #SoMe projects it would be awesome to view & record screens of my team to coach & reward #TChatSean Charles
A4. We keep moving forward, not resisting but embracing tech, (almost) anything’s possible. #tchatMichael Clark
#tchat mug shot
Q5: What should business leaders do to better improve the recruiting process and the candidate experience? #TChatRayanne
A5: Keep it simple and put yourself in the position of candidate – would you want to work with your organization? #tchatJen Olney
A5. Know exactly what they are hiring for rather than just who they like. #tchatJohn Baldino
A5: Realize: talent isn’t free. There’s an initial #investment to hire & ongoing investment to retain. A good employee = hard 2 find. #tchatEvelyn Eury
A5 Do good work, provide excellent service, and care about how you do it. #tchatHeather Bussing
A5. Respond to each applicant if even with only a form email letting them know there candidacy is over and someone else got the job #TchatGuy Davis
A5: Don’t force yourself to be someone you’re not. This rule also applies to social media and candidate experience #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5: Don’t assume that if you build it they will come. Those days are gone. #tchattanvi gautam
A5 #tchat Have a complete understanding of the transferable skill set needed for the position.Michael Chopp, PHR
A5: Get creative. Ask your teams,: “given what U know about our culture now, would you accept a job w/us if U were a new candidate? #TchatJoel Peterson
A5: In all seriousness, tell me HOW to apply to their company. Then treat me with respect as a human being. #TChatJanis Stacy
A5 manage expectations how and when you will respond to job applicants #TchatPeter Clayton
a5 The recruiting process should use the ATS as a tool, not as ‘the answer’ Still need to pick up the phone & connect #tchatAlli Polin
A5. Consciousness reveals purpose, purpose sparks passion, passion pushes choice, choice creates consciousness… #tchatMichael Clark
A5 It’s all about value value value. #jobseekers and #employers need to outline how they mutually add value #tchatGoldbeck Recruiting
A5. The recruiter’s purpose is not to stump the candidate. #tchatTerri Klass
A5) prob unrealistic given legal climate, but would be great to get honest feedback – why wasn’t I hired or interviewed? #tchatRich Grant
A5. If you always do what you’ve always done you will always get what you’ve always got. Want different? Be/Act different. #TchatAndrew Marshall
A5: #Job applicants need to understand that #hiring isn’t personal. So easy to think it is. Keep branding yourself & strengths. #TchatLara Zuehlke
A5 Improvements come from honest engagement in recruiting process. Better experience when leaders’ training cultivates better EQ #TchatSejual
A5) it would save time for both empl. and job applicants if employers provided a salary range #tchatRich Grant

Empower Brand "You" #TChat Preview

We’ve made the business case for the unemployed and helped to further humanize brands. The growing space in between elevates employee and employer to better see into each other’s yard. The Internet’s collaborative inter-connectivity empowers us all to own our online presence, our personal branding, our development, our successes, and our painful failures. And own them we must. This goes for professionals and the enterprise.

This new level of social transparency presents a peer-vetted playing field unprecedented in the world of work. We continue to learn from one another, mentor one another, give it to each other straight whether we live in the same town our across the globe — especially about professonal development and career decisions. Inject a little branded entertainment and you’ve potentially got something crazy good on your hands.

Or more precisely, something crazy good on your computer screen. Queue the wildly popular recruiting show called “Top Recruiter, The Competition Miami” reality show. Creator and executive producer Chris LaVoie brought together savvy recruiter pros and pitted them against one another with a variety of talent acquisition tasks, all in the name of helping professionals find promising employment. Mix in HR and recruiting thought-leader judges along with some melodramatic moments, and you’ve got a hit with season 1. (He’s working on season 2 now.)


Listen to the #TChat Radio show

This week on TalentCulture’s #TChat Radio and Twitter #TChat, we’re going to discuss the good and the bad of putting such an important topic under the hyper-reality TV camera lens.

This week’s theme is world of work transparency and branded entertainment. Following are our very special guests:

Chris LaVoie (@TopRecruiterTV) — creator, executive producer and founder of “Top Recruiter, The Competition Miami” reality show, Chris enjoys creating and producing media that creates a fan base buzz in the digital marketing space for human resources and talent acquisition. He has a deep expertise in producing, advertising, marketing, branding, sourcing and social media, and he applies his channel knowledge in attracting the industry. Chris is the founder, as well, of LaVoie Entertainment and iccimedia.

Rayanne Thorn (@Ray_anne) — vice president of communications and branding for Evenbase US, Rayanne is one of the judges from season 1 of “Top Recruiter.”

And here are this week’s questions:

Q1: The level of transparency for job candidates, employees and employers is higher than ever. Good or bad? Why or why not?

Q2: Does the world of work need a reality-based TV show? Why or why not?

Q3: Do we really live in an online peer-vetted playing field? Why or why not?

Q4: Should we film our daily body of work? What other technologies should we use to empower our personal and corporate brands?

Q5: What should business leaders do to better improve the recruiting process and the candidate experience?

So please tune in. #TChat Radio is Tuesday Feb. 26 at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT, when yours truly (@MeghanMBiro) and Kevin W. Grossman (@KevinWGrossman) will chat it up with Chris. Then, it’s on to the Twitter stream for our weekly #TChat Twitter conversation Wednesday, Feb. 27, from 7-8 pm ET, when Rayanne will guest moderate. We look forward to your tweets. Join us!

The Power of Online Endorsements: #TChat Preview

EDITOR’S NOTE: Want to read the RECAP of this week’s events? Read “#TChat Recap: The Social Side of Professional Endorsements”

The digital reputation economy is fast approaching — it’s already here for movies, restaurants (including their restrooms), customer service in retail, and a growing number of employers. And it’s arriving for us ordinary citizens: “everyman” and “everywoman.” Startups are building software that can aggregate your tweets, “likes,” online commerce and more, to construct a profile of who you are. And employers, banks and others who have influence over your professional and personal affairs want to review that aggregation of data. This week we look at whether or not that’s a good thing in general, and how it changes our professional and personal currency.

Endorsements online can mean a lot. This we know, and their apparent relevance to the world of work is considerable. They can help an organization’s SEO, yes, and research shows that a large majority percentage of social media users turn to their peers for recommendations on products and services, and not to the organizations themselves that provide these — a sort of unofficial recommendation.

There must be a corresponding phenomenon in the world of work. And that would be digitally revolutionary. Against the backdrop of social endorsements are the official and unofficial mechanisms for professional endorsements and recommendations that drive careers, too. With its new endorsements functionality, LinkedIn recently has made a splash along these lines.

Let’s train our collective #TChat wisdom on endorsement, to look into whether or not all online endorsements are created equal. We’re going to do our best to extrapolate as many key takeaways as possible that might be applicable to the world of work. In the spirit of that quest, following are this week’s questions:

Q1: What is the value of endorsements and recommendations online, whatever the context?

Q2: In the world of work, are all online endorsements and related activity created equal? Why or why not?

Q3: How should leaders interpret online recommendations & endorsements? What is the value?

Q4: When do *you* endorse a fellow professional online? What criteria do you use?

Q5: How is tech changing the nature & value of endorsements & recommendations?

To view the #TChat Radio preview, click the image.

One of this week’s #TChat Radio and #TChat Twitter guests is Dr. Marla Gottschalk (@MRGottschalk), a prolific member of our community. Marla is practice manager in organizational development at Rand Gottschalk & Associates, a management consultancy focusing on organizational change and performance development. Here’s a link to her blog, The Office Blend.

Our other guest for the radio show, and moderator of Wednesday’s Twitter chat, will be Mike Dwyer (@cruiter), co-founder and managing director of market development at QUEsocial, a social business technology platform that equips employees in recruiting, sales, customer service, product marketing, and marketing with job-specific training, content and motivation to convert social media activities into desired outcomes.

So please, join us. Tune into the radio show on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at 7:30pm ET / 4:30pm PT. And then bring your ideas to the Twitter chat on Wednesday, Jan. 23, from 7-8 pm ET (6-7pm CT, 5-6pm MT, 4-5pm PT, or wherever you are). We always enjoy and value your tweets and wisdom!

Image credit: Thumbs Up via stock.xchng

Connecting Career Dots: #TChat Recap

Question: What was your favorite job to-date? Now tell me, how did you learn about that job? And how did the hiring manager decide that you were the best candidate?

Did friends, family, former colleagues – any people you know – make a difference in helping you locate and land that satisfying opportunity? I bet you said yes.

Certainly, other factors count. Skill, speed and smarts – even serendipity – can play a role in making a strong career move.

But after a week of #TChat discussions about how to stay ahead of the curve in today’s job environment, I’m reminded that one factor matters most. The key is not how fast or how elegantly you travel along your professional path – it’s how many others you bring along for the ride.

Hint: The Secret Sauce is Social

No matter how rapidly the world of work evolves – desired skills, business environment, job hunting tools – relationships are the common denominator that defines the trajectory of every career. Truth is, connectedness creates powerful career leverage.

How we build and maintain relationships may shift as technologies and customs change. But at the end of the day, relationships matter. They’re the fuel that drives professional momentum. And professional communities like TalentCulture are living proof.

Digital forums may never replace the impact of direct contact. But they create a whole new context for connectedness that the world has never seen. And that can translate into far richer learning, collaboration and professional opportunities for career-minded individuals.

But don’t take my word for it. Look at what experts say…

NOTE: To see specific highlights from yesterday’s “Career Management” #TChat session on Twitter, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

#TChat Week-in-Review

A special thanks to career management and mentoring expert, Mark Babbitt, Founder and CEO of the popular internship portal and blog, YouTern. His leadership through the week’s #TChat activities kept us all focused, engaged and open to new ways of managing our careers.

SUN 1/6
TalentCulture Founder, Meghan M. Biro set the stage in her post: “5 Powerful Career Drivers for the Future of Work”

MON 1/7
#TChat weekly preview post: “Lose Job? Keep Career!”

Google+ Hangout Video: As a prelude to his appearances later in the week, Mark Babbitt talked with TalentCulture community manager, Tim McDonald, about key challenges in today’s job market.

TUE 1/8

Click to hear #TChat Radio Show

#TChat Radio Show: Hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman led a lively roundtable discussion about how to find a good job fit in the New Year. The session featured Mark, along with two other career management experts, Miriam Salpeter, Founder of Keppie Careers, and Andy Osburn, CEO of

WED 12/19
#TChat on Twitter: The community returned from the holidays in fine form, ready to share ideas about career management challenges, opportunities and strategies for success. Thanks to everyone who contributed thoughtful input!

Here’s just a taste of the interaction from last night’s #TChat stream…
(For full highlights, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

Biggest career management challenges?

There’s no such thing as job security any more, but a good network provides security. @AlliPolin

Learning when to stay, leave or pivot in your career / job is a heavy thought for many people. @CyndyTrivella

What job hunting activities matter most?

Get comfortable with the relentless pursuit of community and meaningful connection. Employed or not. Your next dream job starts here. @SocialSalima

Social media isn’t going to get you hired. The relationships you build there, though, just might. @talemetry

What do employers want most in candidates?

Employers want innovators and collaborators. @RogerVeliquette

Are resumes dead?

Over 80% of resumes are intentionally misleading. 70% of grads say they’ll lie to get a job. Horrendous. @Cream_HR

I think work “portfolios” will be more common in some areas. Show me what you accomplished! @Victorio_M

Online/digital tells the story of where we’ve been and where we want to go. It’s 360 degrees, it’s free, it’s here. @SocialSalima

Your personal brand and social media are your 3D resume. @EmilieMeck

Best job search technologies?

I think you answered your own question…..the technology is Search. @JimLundy

Google, chats (#tchat, #hfchat), LinkedIn, Glassdoor, networking data base. @AnneMessenger

Build your community – BEFORE you need it! @susanavello

Whatever the technology – must be used to get face-to-face with hiring manager! @RichardSPearson

Best tech for finding a job is a handshake and positive attitude! The rest just gets us to the handshake. @JanisSpirit

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Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: Did this #TChat session inspire you to write about career management or other “world of work” issues? We’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (include #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll pass it along. There are many voices in this community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.

WHAT’S AHEAD: Next week, we shift our focus to Gratitude and Employee Recognition. Be sure to mark your calendar – first for #TChat Radio, Tuesday, Jan 15, at 7:30pm ET. And then for #TChat Twitter Wednesday, Jan 16, at 7pm ET. Look for a full preview on Monday, January 14 via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Til then, keep rockin the World of Work!

Image credit: Card Holder via stock.xchng

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: “A New Year of Career Management”

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Storified by TalentCulture World of Work· Wed, Jan 09 2013 18:26:32

Chatting from beautiful California! @MeghanMBiro #Tchat
Hi #TChat friends! tweeting by the water today #Brrr #yyj Charles
Happy #Community Manager Appreciation Day! #CMAD #TalentNet #SMCDallas #TChat #USGuys Miller
Q1: What are the biggest career management challenges for professionals today and why? #TChatMark Babbitt
A1: Politicians, Medical Workers, Tax Attorneys #TChatTom Bolt
A1. Constant iteration – and Maintaining aftermath
A1 If you always do what you always did – you will get the same results. Biggest hurdle for some? Change. #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A1: Making the most of the job experiences you have had! #tchatLegal Option Group
A1: Finding a company that not only matches your goals, but one you can trust to stay in business and do the right thing. #TChatchrys peterson
A1 Being visible and developing relationships both in and out of the organization is key and a challenge! #tchatAlli Polin
A1: Realizing that if you need help, you have to ask it. You can’t expect others to read your mind. #tchatRob McGahen
A1. Staying relevant and in demand when things change so rapidly- have to take control of your development #tchatJane Watson
A1 Learning when to compromise but not compromising yourself. #tchatFord Careers
A1 Knowing what career paths are feasible and what steps I need to take to get there. #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A1: I find a lot of career challenges involve not knowing yourself before leading others in the workplace. #TChatAndrew Henck
A1 – knowing that no job is permanent – always planning for the next while exceeding expectations on current… #tchatRichard S Pearson
A1 Another challenge, taking the time to truly engage with others, colleagues, clients, etc #TChatClaire Crossley
A1. Keeping up with the changing technology. How to stay relevant when there are so many innovations
A1. Biggest challenge is to keep moving forward rather than becoming complacent or stuck. #tchatSabrina Baker
A1 Owning the career path, listen to your heart, not someone’s suggestions #tchatDustin Haverkamp
A1: Identifying short & long term goals – charting a path to get there #TChatAndy Osburn
A1. The biggest career challenge for professionals today is building the skills they’ll need for tomorrow. #TChatTalent Generation
A1: Biggest career challenge – Staying relevant in essential conversations. #TChatJon M
A1) lots of information out there to manage. You need to hire an intern to keep up! #tchatRich Grant
A1: Staying relevant and marketable. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A1 With staffing reductions, balancing home and work can be a challenge due to extra hrs. @ work. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A1 – The biggest challenge is to stay ahead of change & manage market expectations #TChatLeAnna J. Carey
Q2: What are the top three activities job seekers should focus on this year and why? #TChatMark Babbitt
A2: 1. Think positive 2. Reach out to other ppl you know who are connectors 3. Scan CL and LinkedIn like your life depends on it! #tchatLegal Option Group
A2: Networking, personal meetings, staying true to plan (don’t let gear derail the focus. #TChatTodd Noebel
A2: Share your expertise… Listen to experts… Shut up. <= 3 more things #TChatTom Bolt
A2 Never give up! #jobseeking and rejection can be depressing but don’t stop trying and try new ways. Only takes 1 #job offer. #TChatJanis Stacy
A2: building relationships, focused networking, & following those that have what you seek #tchatSkyWay Leadership
A2: Recognizing your talents and how they apply/transfer to diff jobs/careers, networking & building relationships. #tchatchrys peterson
A2. Community building. Surround yourself with those that find purpose and strength in helping group be successful. #tchatVictorio Milian
A2: Be aggressive with your job search, but don’t forget to take time for yourself. #tchatRob McGahen
A2: Network, Network, Network (BUT)…>>>>>>>Know when to ask!!!! #TChatSusan Avello
A2: Become a connector of people, ideas and intent. #TChatMeghan M. Biro
#tchat a2 building a platform to deliver valuable outcomes to their audience while increasing their reach and impact!Bruno Coelho
A2: Adjust your plan… Execute the plan… Measure results… Rinse and repeat. #TChatTom Bolt
A2. If you have a reactive mindset vs. a proactive mindset the world will pass you by #tchatBridget Webb
A2: Know your value, network with those who can propel your forward and and be adaptable to the market #tchatJen Olney
A2 build a strong online portfolio, participate in local networking groups & educate yourself through books & online resources #TChatHolly Chessman
A2 – technology, self-branding and cultural sensitivity #tchatmatthew papuchis
A2. Follow up, Networking, and Soul Searching. Do what you love
A2: Send an informational interview request to a contact in your desired field/sector atleast once a week #TChatAndrew Henck
A2 – Innovation skills, Social Business, Results – Because business sustainability & growth are monumental to our biz economy #TChatLeAnna J. Carey
A2: Revamping that video resume, networking on all levels and focusing on a career, not just a job! #TChatSpark Hire
A2: Networking, networking, networking
A2 Clean cross-platform Social Media presence / Learn languages / No Drugs #TChatEnzo Guardino
A2. A successful job search isn’t about what you do, it’s about who you know. Never stop networking. #TChatTalent Generation
Q3: What are the hot professions today and what are employers looking for in every employee? #TChatMark Babbitt
A3 folks that are on high tech marketing are always in demand – as are those who can write well #TChatHolly Chessman
A3: As they say in NBA, I can tech you basketball. I can’t teach you to be 7 feet. #TchatCLOUDTalent
A3 Hire for potential! #tchatMarla Gottschalk PhD
A3. People who are loyal to their values. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3 employers are looking for candidates that have tangible evidence that they can be successful at the job. bring out the brag books! #tchatAshley Lauren Perez
A3 I love multi-talented candidates. Can pitch and close, knows HTML in a pinch! #tchatRobert Moore
A3: Problem solvers, for sure! Not just BS’rs. They’re’s plenty of those to go around! #TChatSusan Avello
A3: I want cynical, critical, idealist, hard-working empaths, please. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A3 Often times, #job seekers R so nervous in the interview, they don’t take time to assess if the company fits their culture needs. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3 Seems employers want already full time employed problem solvers. #TChatJanis Stacy
A3. Know what you can teach. Offer to build that capability on your team. #tchatJustin Mass
A3: If you can read this, employers want you: 010111010101011010 #TChatTheJobChaser
A3: Employers want innovators and collaborators. #tchatRoger Veliquette
A3) looking for passion, honesty, integrity, & a willingness to learn #TchatPortland John
A3: They seek a proactive person with a positive attitude! Dn’t forget how much value is placed on a persons “fit” within the co. #tchatLegal Option Group
A3 People who can laugh and not take themselves too seriously are always on the “we like that” list with employers. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A3) NACE – National Assoc of Colleges & Employers surveys regularly about this question. Soft skills wins out #tchatRich Grant
A3. Experience, knowledge and successes are important of course but soft skills are just as relevant. #HR #career #tchatBridget Webb
A3 Employers are looking for someone who will engage beyond the status quo, lead outside the box and co-create. #tchatSalima Nathoo
A3. Hot jobs? UI/UX Designers. In demand skills? Adaptability, flexibility, combos of skills (e.g. Creative + tech-savvy) #tchatJane Watson
A3 Creative problem solvers with depth of experience #tchatRobert Moore
A3: Employers want people who can MULTI-TASK; do many jobs. #Tchatchrys peterson
#tchat A3 Online Dreampreneurs will rock 2013! Every Entrepreneur with a worthwhile Dream can make a meaningful impact Online!Bruno Coelho
#tchat A3 employers are looking for: on the plus side: proactive, passionate, focused. On the minus but real: charismatic, attractive.Franny Oxford
Q4: Will the online profile eventually be the demise the resume? Why or why not? #TChatMark Babbitt
A4) Resumes = lack of creativity! Job seekers must be innovative, showcase their talents #TChatPortland John
A4: the resume is only a filter & not a good one at that – having better information will always lead to better decision making #TChatAndy Osburn
A4: Problem with resumes is they are push-based. Need #digitalweaver that is pull-based so that skills are contextual to job. #tchatCLOUDTalent
A4 Your personal brand and social media are your 3D resume #tchatEmilie Mecklenborg
A4: first thing a potential employer does is “google” you. So in some respects, your search results is modern day aggregated resume. #tchatmatthew papuchis
A4:Online profiles will create a one-stop-shop as recruiters will be able to not only evaluate work exp & evaluate social presence.#TChatLidia Cords
A4: Important to be ready with both: resume (electronic, no more paper) + online profile. #tchatAnne Messenger
A4 over 80% of resumes are intentionally misleading. 70% of grads say they’ll lie to get a job. It’s horrendous
A4: Some say that it seems to be headed that way. Do #recruiters look at social media profiles before contacting an applicant? #Tchatrecruiterbox
A4 I hope I never have to write another resume again #justsaying #tchatRobert Moore
A4: A quality online profile will fortify the resume. It gives a qualitative view of the person. #TchatJohn R. Bell
A4 Dead and gone. Because you can be whoever you want to be on paper and everybody knows it.
A4) I think resumes started dying when we started using online application management systems. #tchatJennifer Tozer
A4: Online profiles basically ARE resumes – just updated more frequently. It’s progression, not replacement.
A4: Resumes are still important, but online profiles help complement what you show on paper. #TChatKC Job Seekers
A4: Paper resumes communicate so little about who a person is and what they can do for you. Online profiles are already here. #tchatMatt Hirschfelt
A4. Online profiles will definitely enhance the resume and change the format. Not sure about going away entirely. #TChatSpark Hire
A4 Full resumes will give way to very personal cover letters, linked to online profiles. Needs customized focus to balance skills. #tchatStephen Abbott
A4 One day, surely. As is, reading through a CV is faster and somehow, more personal (reading between the lines) #TChatEnzo Guardino
A4. The online profile probably won’t replace the resume. But it’s already just as important. #TChatTalent Generation
Q5: What are the best technologies job seekers should be using in their search and why? #TChatMark Babbitt
A5: Be you…on and offline. It’s just that simple #tchatJen Olney
A5 Use technology, but don’t use it as a crutch to keep U from IRL interactions. Technology is a means to an end, not the end result. #TchatCyndy Trivella
A5 Vast amount of articles, white papers on every industry. Research current trends and pay attention to shifts in your field. #tchatFord Careers
A5: The best tech. for finding a job is #some by far. It’s been progressing steadily and I see no decline any time soon! #tchatLegal Option Group
A5: We live in a world of clutter. Anything that breaks through it with the right purpose & conviction is a candidate’s advantage. #TchatJohn R. Bell
A5. First jobseekers should be networking. Technology LinkedIn and of course twitter #TchatGuy Davis
A5 Connect and build relationships on #SoMe – use the one that makes you most comfortable – but do it! #tchatAlli Polin
A5: 2013 Social Video is a hot Technology for effective Job Search. #TchatSean Charles
A5: Best technologies for job seekers? Google, chats (#tchat, #hfchat), LinkedIn, Glassdoor, networking data base. #tchatAnne Messenger
A5: Building your community – BEFORE you need it! <<<<< Key! #TChatSusan Avello
A5. Tech is out. Direct referrals from friends and colleagues more effective with much less gaming than tech #tchatShane Granger
A5. Ask yourself….”Who do you know and who should you know?” Then find a way to connect/build relationship via #socialmedia #tchatBridget Webb
A5: Whatever the technology is – must be used to get face-to-face with hiring manager!!! #tchatRichard S Pearson
A5: Use technology + #social to take charge of your career, your destiny and your “life story” #TChatMeghan M. Biro
A5) I have not tried this but someone told me about for keeping track of contacts #tchatRich Grant
A5. Money and a smartphone. Money to maintain yourself and a phone to stay connected with people. #tchatVictorio Milian
A5: Sites and services that give you a glimpse inside to all the people, places and thing you’re interested in. #tchatKevin W. Grossman
A5 Best technology: tablet tech. Bring it into a job interview and show off your portfolio. That’s what I call #dynamicinterviewing #TChatTheJobChaser
A5: technology aside, nothing can replace the personal connections you have. So focus on technologies that will enhance relationships #tchatmatthew papuchis
#Tchat A5 Knowing which, can require trying many to know which works best 4 U. Not using technology will NOT play in UR favor.Cyndy Trivella
A5 Mobile Tech.>Better networking, search opportunities, be accessible and respond promptly to enquiries, wherever & whenever #TChatEnzo Guardino

Reflections on Community and Learning: #TChat Recap

“Talent is always conscious of its own abundance, and does not object to sharing.” —A. Solzhenitsyn

It was a full house last night in the TalentCulture community, as our #TChat Twitter forum celebrated two years of weekly chat events.

The celebration actually began on Tuesday night, with the return of #TChat Radio. Hosts Meghan M. Biro and Kevin W. Grossman discussed learning and social-media driven communities with three recognized #TChat contributors – ChinaGorman, Founder and CEO of CMG Group; Justin Mass, Learning, Technology and Design Manager at Adobe, and Vala Afshar, Chief Customer Officer and CMO at Enterasys.

This conversation extended to the #TChat Twitter community on Wednesday, as we shared stories about what originally attracted us to #TChat, and we discussed the value of being part of an online community. Personally, I believe that learning occurs in communities; the practice of learning is the participation in the community. Learning is the conversation between members of the community.

I can tell you that the stream activity was blazing so fast and furiously that we trended on Twitter! There were many great responses to this week’s questions, many of them personal. Following is just a representative sample …

(To see more complete highlights from the #TChat session, watch the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.)

FYI: A Note to Newcomers Are you new to TalentCulture? If so, you’re probably asking “What is #TChat?” It’s actually two valuable community resources available through a single Twitter hashtag. It’s both a weekly talent/career-oriented discussion forum, and it’s an “always on” knowledge-sharing channel. Both are freely available to anyone with a Twitter account. As founder @MeghanMBiro says, #TChat helps participants learn and grow personally and professionally. Why? “Because Community Matters!”

What attracts people to #TChat?

“This chat, more than any other, truly spans the world at work & shares a passion for making it great.” @AlliPolin

“Great info, embracing community, inspiring leading and learning.”   @TranslationLady

“I started about a year ago and developed my own community out of the experience to pay it forward.” @gingerconsult

What is the value of online learning communities?

“The power of online communities is the diversity of knowledge, experience and values. Communities are force multipliers.” @ValaAfshar

“The value lies in the diversity of ideas and practices all in one congenial environment.”  @EnZzzoo

“The strength of your network has never been a more important resource to draw from.”  @jmass

“Online learning communities are made up of professional colleagues that share & challenge = amazing learning.”  @AlliPolin

“Online learning communities allow professionals to interact with each other no matter the distance or time zone.”  @MZProhov

Why should you join #TChat on Wednesday nights?

“This is a true community that inspires conversation & thought. More like friends than strangers.”  @GabieKur

“I started to make more smart friends in our space. Simple. Follow the brilliance!”  @ChinaGorman

“#TChat is a learning-living platform. Community of insight, exploration, answers + growth.”  @justcoachit

“Some of the best hearts and minds are freely sharing transformational insights online.”  @ReCenterMoment

“The best part of #tchat is that you know you aren’t alone… others know exactly how you feel and share solutions.”  @DawnRasmussen

Ultimately, a community is only as viable as its participants. We value the thousands of smart, supportive business professionals who have contributed to TalentCulture. As long as you continue to show up at #TChat, this community will continue to be a source of inspiration, insight and support for us all. I’ll be there. I hope to see you, too, as we continue to tackle timely and important topics affecting today’s World of Work.

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NOTE: To see complete highlights from yesterday’s “communities and learning” #TChat anniversary session, see the Storify slideshow at the end of this post.

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Closing Notes & Highlights Slideshow

Did you miss the #TChat preview? Look here.

SPECIAL THANKS to this week’s inaugural #TChat Radio guests – who bring depth, humor and relevance to everything they touch. ChinaGorman, Justin Mass, Vala Afshar: you are a TalentCulture dream team.

NOTE TO BLOGGERS: If this #TChat session inspired you to write about social learning or the value of online communities, we’re happy to share your thoughts. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community, with many ideas worth sharing. Let’s capture as many of them as possible.

WHAT’S AHEAD: You’ll want to make time for next week’s double feature! It’s all about productivity, prioritizing, and time management in today’s active World of Work. Tune in to #TChat Radio on Tuesday, Dec 4 at 7:30pm ET, when work/life experts Judy Martin and Cali Williams Yost talk with Kevin and Meghan. Then join the #TChat  Twitter discussion on Wednesday, Dec 5, 7-8pm ET to share your ideas and opinions. Look for a full preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Thanks!

Image credit: tijmen at stock.xchng

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Social Learning and Online Communities

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High-Flying Talent Communities: #TChat Recap

Birds aren’t known to be mental giants. After all, does anyone really want to be called a “bird brain?” Yet, when it comes to communities, perhaps one of the smartest things you can do is to think like a bird.

At least that’s one way to summarize the wisdom shared at last night’s #TChat, where the discussion focused on the role of leadership and social media in empowering successful communities. These comments sparked my imagination:

“When birds migrate south they take turns being the leader. Drafting is tough.” @DavidSmooke

“And yet, they’re orderly.” @brentskinner

“And from afar the shape looks the same. The opportunity to lead as one.” @DavidSmooke

Similarly, human birds of a feather flock together in online communities. But the model must be sustainable. It’s essential for members to contribute individually, so the group can move forward collectively — whether the community is intended purely for the pleasure of social exchange, or for professional networking and talent development. As some #TChat-ters noted…

“Both social and talent communities are about learning, connecting and engaging.” @susanavello

“More similarities between talent and social communities than differences, it seems…” @YouTernMark

“Communication, connection and collaboration: a trio that works well…” @TaraMarkus

Just as with winged migration, every community has a purpose. Birds don’t fly for the sake of movement. They are en route to a destination, using both individual skill and collective strength to move the flock to its goal.

So, what are the implications for online community leadership? What’s the best approach to move a human flock forward in a loosely-coupled, but sustainable way? Some suggested that it requires a particular type of leadership, one that doesn’t easily fit into the classic command-and-control mold:

“The leader’s sweet spot is with the community – not behind or in front but listening & pointing the way.” @AlliPolin

“Leadership within talent communities is inclusive, open and dynamic.” @ReCenterMoment

On the other hand, some participants underscored the need for social leadership that carries over from the best real world organizational settings:

“No structure = chaos.” @RichardSPearson

“Leaders who foster communities in orgs break down silos – help develop more collaborative work relationships.” @nancyrubin

“The collaborate-&-bring-out-the-best-in-all thing? To me, that’s a big part of leadership, no matter what realm.” @AnneMessenger

“The best leaders lead by knowing how to ask the right questions, no different with a talent community.” @ideabloke

However, as our own community leader, @MeghanMBiro, observes, social engagement may not be a skill that many leaders have developed.

Regardless, for a loosely coupled talent community to thrive, its leaders and participants must embrace the community’s interests. Just as with birds of a feather who aim to reach a distant destination together, sustainable communities require individual skill, combined with collective engagement, and awareness of a common purpose.

Technology can provide tools to connect us in real time. Leadership can offer guidance and direction. But ultimately, the power to propel a community forward rests in the hands of those who show up.

Want to learn more? For complete insights from the discussion stream, see the highlight slideshow at the end of this post.

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Highlights & What’s Ahead on #TChat

Did you miss the #TChat preview? Go here. Are you looking for the highlights slideshow? Keep scrolling to the end of this post.

NOTE: If you’re a blogger, and this #TChat session inspired you to write about social communities, we’re happy to share your thoughts with others. Just post a link on Twitter (at #TChat or @TalentCulture), or insert a comment below, and we’ll add it to our archives. There are many voices in the #TChat community — with many ideas worthy of sharing. So let’s capture as many of them as possible!

We hope you’ll join us next Wednesday at 7pm ET / 4pm PT for another #TChat. We’ll be exploring issues related to military veterans in the workforce. Look for the preview early next week via @TalentCulture and #TChat. Enjoy your weekend!

Image credit: “Gulls Over Head,” courtesy of V Fouche

#TChat INSIGHTS Slide Show: Communities and Leadership
by Sean Charles (@SocialMediaSean)

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Whether the Why Not of Social HR Leadership: #TChat Recap

We’d thought we’d cause a rift in the space time continuum. Fortunately we didn’t.

That’s because the amazing SocialHRCamp attendees in Vancouver BC and the fantastical #TChat contributors collaborated together during the #TChat hour on the topic of Social HR: Engage the Humans for Social HR Leadership.

No rifts, but we most certainly did riff and make sweet rock and roll insight together. The folks who gathered on site of our generous hosts Talent Technology were made up of progressive HR and recruiting professionals ready to learn, share and take the lead in all things social and the world of work.

Many still struggled with convincing their leadership the value of social recruiting and social marketing and blogging and even using LinkedIn to source from, for goodness sake (which is the most embraced mainstream professional social network these days, although there were those of us who argued if it was truly social or not, but I digress).

Yes, the collective did indeed riff in one session after the other, and it all crescendoed during #TChat. Although at first there was hesitation, a groupthink holding of breath, the very fabric of time stretching at the seams, we all watched the livestream of the online #TChat stream away.

I then broke free and moderated away, and what ensued was a delightfully smart, provocative at times and sometimes heated exchange about how much of the personal and professional should we combine in our personal and professional lives. Should there be boundaries?

What we discovered is that we do all have our own boundaries of varying degrees, but when we get together live at events like this, ad hoc communities within communities form, and we do combine our personal and professional lives, solving our world of work ills from the inside out.

We’ve been spending so much arguing inside our companies of whether or not business leadership, including HR and recruiting, and including everyone down to the front line employees, should be using social media to do anything, when all along the argument should be whether the why not.

Am I right?

Click here if you missed this week’s preview, and check out the slide show below of prime-cut tweets from Wednesday’s chat. We can’t wait for next week’s conversation. Stay tuned for the preview.

Image Credit: Pixabay

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