Career gravity is a strategy that uses free and low-cost tools to create a strong online presence, which creates a “gravitational pull” that expands your professional network and attracts new opportunities.
Cogs and Linchpins
In his book “Linchpin,” Seth Godin describes what he views as a completely new workplace paradigm. When we transitioned from an agrarian economy to an industrial one back in the early 20th century, many of our institutions were developed in order to fill America’s factories with efficient workers. He calls these workers “cogs,” who show up on time, do as they’re told, follow a script, don’t speak up and get paid an honest wage for an honest’s day’s work.
Unfortunately, they also get replaced.
This model worked well for over a hundred years, but as we transition from an industrial economy to an information economy a different type of employee is required. These, Godin calls “linchpins.” A linchpin doesn’t need a map, creates art, defeats the lizard brain (which is constantly telling us to conform) and ships. Instead of being replaceable, linchpins are indispensable.
And today is a great time to be a linchpin. Why? For that answer, let’s look to an obscure publication from 1968.
The Whole Earth Catalog was founded by Stewart Brand and published between 1968 and 1972. It combined dedication to the sixties counter-culture with a love of technology and a belief that “the most empowering tool of the century” was the personal computer. The back cover of the final issue is where Steve Jobs read the quote, “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.” It inspired him to embark on a quest to infuse humanity into technology. Today, combining the PC with the Internet has fulfilled this prophecy and gives us all access to tools for personal empowerment.
Brand published this catalog because, in his words:
A realm of intimate, personal power is developing – power of the individual to conduct his own education, find his own inspiration, shape his own environment, and share his adventure with whoever is interested.
Today’s Internet finally gives us that personal power predicted so long ago. We are all fully empowered by free and low-cost Web 2.0 tools to take greater control over our own destinies, conduct our own educations and shape our environment. Career Gravity is all about using that power to give your career some weight.
Each year, software company Jobvite posts an annual social recruiting survey. They ask employers how they plan to use social media for talent recruitment. Here are a few interesting data points:
There you have it. 89 percent of employers are looking to social media to find employees and almost 75% of them will search for your online profile before you come in for an interview. What will they find?
Your Online Footprint
In this new world of linchpins and social recruiting, having a strong online presence is not optional. Career Gravity is a process that results in a large, permanent, disruptive online footprint. This allows you to be found by people looking for your skills and develop a strong online network to support and enhance your career.
Creating your career gravity field involves three steps:
- Build a home base. By registering your own domain name and building a personal website, you have an online “home base” where you can build and expand your digital assets.
- Establish outposts. Social media sites and search engines act as outposts where you can engage with other professionals and drive traffic back to your home base.
- Measure and improve. It’s important to monitor the size and effectiveness of your footprint so that you can constantly strengthen your career gravity field.
For more details on these steps, check out “3 Steps to Creating #CareerGravity.”