Many of you know I recently lost my job as the Senior Vice President of Shared Services at a multi-national public company. My position was eliminated as a result of a year long restructuring effort which culminated with Chapter 11 bankruptcy and impending change of ownership and capital structure to private equity. It’s cool – that’s business and I get it. Not the point of this post, though. I have been playing around in the HR blogosphere and on social media for 6 months now. Most of the people I’ve connected with I’ve never met face-to-face. Many of them I’ve had no more than a 140 character exchange with. Yet I get this overwhelming sense that every one has my back. When I announced my unemployment, the response was tremendous – words of support, offers to help, referrals to networking groups, suggestions on search strategy, phone calls, etc. I’ve been registered to attend HRevolution 2010 for quite some time – it’s coming up in early May. Someone (to remain anonymous) offered to help pay for some of my travel costs in support of my unemployment. I know that someone only from Twitter; I’ve never met that someone in person. Those of you who have been out in the social media space longer than I may not find this act-of-kindness so surprising. While I declined the offer with the hope it might go to better use, I am simply amazed and touched by the gesture. The power of networks is irrefutable and for those HR professionals out there who are reluctant to get out and connect, I can only impore you to cast off those anxieties and jump right in. We’ve talked so much about elevating the stature of HR in the business community – I am here to tell you that social media networking is the most relevant and most productive means for doing so. If you’re new to this, I’d be happy to help you navigate this crazy space, but you’ll soon find how easy it is to point in click. If you’re old hat, go out of your way to invite someone new to network through social media today.
Thanks to all of you who have helped me plug-in. I remain committed to paying it forward.