Like many SQL Server (and other technology) people, I utilize several social networking vehicles to stay in touch with others in the SQL community. Some of those who don’t use Facebook and Twitter (among others) have expressed skepticism of the real value of social networking. Does it work? Does it provide any value beyond entertainment? Can it actually help your career? I believe the answer to all of these queries is Yes.
I read a post by Chuck Boyce Jr. earlier today. Chuck, a fellow SQL tweep, found himself suddenly looking for a new job. He posted a brief message on Twitter indicating that he’s looking for a new opportunity, and almost immediately, his tweet was re-tweeted by at least two dozen others (could be many more – those were the ones that I observed from my list of friends). Now I don’t know Chuck or the quality of his work, but I do know from his online activity that he cares enough about his career to share knowledge through Twitter and his blog. As a result of that “relationship”, I was happy to share his job quest with those who follow me
We all have a relatively small geographic circle of associates, and a few more that we know through professional associations past and present. I’ve found that social networking is an excellent way to broaden that reach. I’ve asked a number of quick questions on Twitter, and have always received feedback, usually in a matter of minutes.
I’ll bet if you ask Chuck in a few weeks, he’ll tell you that his virtual network generated leads which wouldn’t be otherwise available to him. And it’s those kinds of favors that aren’t soon forgotten, and turn beneficiaries into benefactors down the road.