I started connecting the dots with my trip to New Orleans for the CMA Strong Connections, Strong Careers conference with multiple social media presentations.
Civilian personnel from the various branches of the military heavily attended the conference. Their skepticism of social media and Twitter was clearly evident in the sessions I attended.
Twitter and social media can be scary
Their concerns were no different than some of my clients or other friends. If you don’t understand social media or Twitter, you might think you are entering into a vortex you cannot return from ever again.
The military questions were specific to things like security issues and confidentiality issues. Those concerns were rapidly answered by my colleagues.
One of the military participants asked about risks for members of the military on LinkedIn. Donna Sweidan rapidly answered that multiple people in her LI network were from high levels of the military.
Connecting with colleagues
As I tweeted the conference, I used wifi for my laptop because I can tweet so much faster from my laptop than the phone.
The social media panel consisted of Jason Alba, Miriam Salpeter, Joel Cheesman, Jacqui Barrett-Poindexter, Greg Taylor, and Chandlee Bryan. Their topic was “Everything you need to know about social media (so you won’t be left behind).” The highly interactive audience asked a myriad of engaging questions.
This panel was just one small part of the conference. The keynote speakers Richard Bolles and Yves Lermusi opened with the topic: “Checkster Meets What Color is Your Parachute.”
One reason I chose this conference was to hear Richard Bolles. When I met my husband in 1979, he had the 1979 edition of What Color is Your Parachute. As I became more active in the career industry, I realized what an icon the author had become. What Color is Your Parachute is a textbook for many career professionals and job seekers.
Choosing between the concurrent sessions was hard
I didn’t want to miss the chance to hear Don Orlando showcase “Powerful, Confident New Ways to Showcase your Clients Values… and Yours!” I watched him interview a volunteer he had never met, revising a resume on the spot with value-added information.
Connecting with friends and building new friendships
I met many great new friends like Andrea. In addition, I renewed relationships with Twitter friends like Miriam, Jacqui, Deb Dib, Donna, and Susan.
Jason Alba and I finally met in person after “knowing” each other online for several years. The featured photo in this post is of Jason and myself at dinner with many of our friends. Ever food adventurous, I ordered gator and Jason is holding a piece of the deep-fried gator bites.
I had great food and great times. Dawn Bugni was my roommate. We took the relationship we developed through e-lists, Twitter, Facebook, and phone to a new level by sharing a room for three days.
Dawn and I held our own “Breakfast Summit.”
While I am sure skeptics remain after the social media sessions and examples, for me, social media connects the dots. It takes relationships from online to real life. You build bonds quicker because you already have a starting point for the conversation.
To decide about social media or if you should take a social media relationship to a new level, I say do it!
Connecting the Dots – Twitter style! Relationships are what drive connections and lead to new opportunities.
I teach ways to use social media networking in the job search. Learn more.
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