The power of social media networking

I am very excited to be speaking today at the University of Chicago's Career Networking Event in Long Beach, California. As part of the featured panel, I will be discussing the wonderful world of social media networking and will also lead a roundtable discussion later in the day. I'm not gonna lie. I'm as excited as a kid in a candy shop!

Anyone who talks to me for more than two minutes, knows how much I love social media and revel in the opportunities that it provides. Today, I'm hoping to share that passion and convey to the audience the amazing adventures that await them if they immerse themselves in social media.

While I was putting together my slides for the presentation, it was kind of like a trip down memory lane. It was an excellent reminder of how much social media has given me: an incredible group of professional dynamos who I learn from every day, amazing new friends, wonderful networking opportunities, business leads, lots of smiles, and more satisfaction than could ever be measured.

That said, I need your help to illustrate the power of the social web to the folks who are attending the conference (virtual hugs and cyber brownies to the folks who help me out on this one). Many of today's attendees will be new to the world of social media; they may not realize the full value of all these great platforms, or may just think there's no value to any of it.

Luckily, I know many of you reading this already live and breathe social media and I'm hoping that you'll chime in on the comments to share your thoughts with the newbies (I'll be directing the event attendees to this post). How has social media has helped you? Why would you recommend social media networking to those looking for employment, job leads, business opportunities, or career growth?

For those of you who will hear my speech today, why not use this opportunity to dive right in and see what the fuss is all about? Leave a comment here, send a tweet to someone who adds to our discussion, click on people's names so you can learn more about them (you might discover a cool website or blog, an interesting person to connect with on Twitter, a contact worth reaching out to on LinkedIn, your new best friend, or your next career opportunity!). I'm serious when I tell you these tools are a real game changer.
    It's a wonderful new world out there. Thanks to social media, opportunity is right at your fingertips. No one and nothing is further away than a keystroke. I think that's pretty spectacular, don't you?

    * Thank you to Derek Okada for inviting me to speak at the event and to the University of Chicago and its alumni chapter in Los Angeles for hosting such a valuable program for those who want to learn and grow.


    1. Heck yes, social media is opening doors and letting you connect with interesting people all the time. I've come into a cool little group on Twitter centered around the weekly #custserv discussions (Tuesdays a@ 9pm Eastern) and made plenty of interesting contacts. The best part is that I'm just a regular guy, not an author or speaker or professional anything, really. Despite that, interacting with these people is helping me build some online reputation, and others closer to home are starting to take notice, opening up some cool new opportunities for me in the near future :)

    2. Jay, thank you so much for chiming in about your experience with social media! Marsha Collier does a great job with #custserv; it's one of my favorite chats!

      I'm so glad that social media networking is proving successful for you. So many people aren't on the bandwagon yet and don't realize how boundless the opportunities are. You're totally right in that social media levels the playing field for us regular folks. You don't need to be a household name to create a wonderful network of people who can help you learn and grow.

      I truly appreciate you sharing your thoughts about how your social media has impacted you. I think it's so amazing!

    3. I started to learn more about social media two years ago and it has transformed my whole business model. Writing and coaching are now part of my everyday work life and I had not known how to make this a reality before.

      Additionally, I had started my career in advertising and left it - very disillusioned. Now I'm enjoying marketing and branding again because social media allows me to work in a more meaningful way. I can see and measure the results of the work I do for clients.

      Social media gave me a lot of information but also a lot of support for transforming my business. The close friends I've met on social media add a richness to my life online (and offline - this is key to point out!).

      I love what Scott of Unmarketing has said - that social media isn't a religion - you don't have to believe in it - it is happening! Believe or don't but your competitors are using it.

      My experience is that used correctly social media is an amazing tool, an important addition to your marketing plan and personally very fulfilling.

    4. Good luck today. You'll be great.


    5. Thanks Amber, your presentation today was great. I learned a lot and will be launching the UChicago Alumni Career Services Twitter feed soon!
      Matt Donato
      Senior Associate Director, Alumni Career Services
      The University of Chicago

    6. Thanks so much Amber for your time and wisdom for all UChicago graduates! Kate Fultz Hollis
      University of Chicago Alumni Board of Governors
      Los Angeles, CA

    7. Jennifer, thank you so much for adding to the discussion. There were, indeed, a lot of newbies at the conference so I appreciate you weighing in with your personal experiences. I think sometimes people need to hear new ideas from a lot of different sources before they believe that it's true. Therefore, I'm grateful to you (and Jay who commented below) for explaining how social media networking has benefited you.

      I'm like a school with a crush when it comes to all this stuff. I just can't get over how powerful and transformative it all is. Thanks again for adding to the dialogue, Jennifer!

    8. Aw, thanks so much Marc! A girl can always use a little cheerleading! ;->

    9. Thanks for taking the time to comment, Matt! It was a pleasure serving on the panel with you today. I'm glad to hear you'll be starting a new Twitter feed for the school. Send me a tweet when it's up and running!

    10. Kate, it was my pleasure to spend time with some of your alumni! I think it's fantastic that UChicago puts in the effort to support alumni in the LA area. Events like today's Career Networking conference are so valuable and I was honored to be a part of it.

      Thanks so much for having me.

    11. Thanks again for breaking ground w/ our #UChicagola alums. Change starts small but your impact was big. Your talk was truly inspirational as seen in all the Q&As for your talk. Kudos & thanks.

    12. Thank you for the very nice comment, Derek. Change does start small sometimes; especially when it challenges the status quo and makes us rethink everything we do and everything we know.

      I was glad to have received so many questions in the Q&A portion, too! You could tell people were thinking about the information and considering it. That's really encouraging.

      Thanks again, Derek. It was a true pleasure to spend time with you and your alumni. See you on the social web...

    13. So true. I was a social media skeptic, but now I spend a lot of time connecting to new people as well as helping my non social media friends learn about this brave new social media world!

    14. So glad you've come to realize the power behind these platforms, Jennifer! That's wonderful!

      Glad you're helping your friends. A little mentoring through this new world is sometimes very helpful to get people into the groove.

      Thanks so much for commenting. Glad you stuck with it!

    15. I'm a newbie to your site. I'm blown away by all the information an advice that you're providing. I especially appreciated your post about the 4 mistakes you've made in Blogging. I just tried to add Disqus to my site. Failed. I'll come back to it. I'm new at the social media stuff but find it quite fascinating. Don't Tweet yet because I don't see any advantage. Thanks for all the wonderful food for thought.

    16. Thanks so much for your very nice comment! I truly appreciate it.

      It took me two tries to successfully load Disqus,so stick with it. Once you have it installed you'll wonder how you ever lived without it.

      As for tweeting, there is immense advantage to it. Nearly every business lead and powerful professional contact I've developed in the last two years has come exclusively from Twitter. It's essentially your opportunity to bring the whole world into your personal Rolodex. Really powerful stuff. I hope you check it out.

      Thanks again for visiting! Hope to "see" you again ;-)


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