Riddles, Enigmas, and Mysteries

by John on May 28, 2012

For the many (or in some cases not so many) readers of the blog, you may have been wondering what has been happening to me over the past weeks. In short, I’ve been traveling (New York and San Francisco) for work and behind in several areas, most notably my reading, writing and my laundry.

Far be it from me to stay away from the blog for too long, so allow me to bring you up to speed in the shortest amount of time possible.

I was very lucky to attend the Universum conference in New York May 9th through the 10th. It was great to catch up with some old friends, make some new ones and try to move the business of the University forward. Universum was great because I saw my peers finally realize the power of social media and how it can be applied to the stodgy culture of university career services (or as others have so wrongly referred to it as “placement”).

Attendees were treated to several sessions led by industry leaders about how to make an impact and move forward. Alas, this information has been out in the space for some time (about 3 years) and the forward thinkers from my peer group finally got to see what some referred to as the secret sauce.

I’ve always fancied myself an observer, one who has had the luxury of seeing the trends before they become commonplace in the space. I’m happy to report that my peers in the career services space finally get it and the next few months and years will be a period of growth, experiment, and change (albeit a few years behind the open market).

Fast forward to the Recruiting Innovation Summit in San Francisco and the state of the industry three years into the future. I’m a huge fan of innovation and disruption in the space and what I saw left me thinking of what’s next. From my sometimes formal interactions with the industry leaders, to the not so formal, dive-bar-karaoke singing laden conversations, I can honestly say the future, remains yet to be written. Here’s the takeaway that I can share with you… the entire space is due for a complete change.

OK, I get that I’m being a bit cryptic, forgive me. Here’s what you need to know…

It has been, and always will be about networking.

Let that sink in for a moment…

The future will be about transparency (and in some cases not so transparent) networks. Hardly a cause for blog post, I get it. However, you need to be critically aware of your own network.

Proof of the future? Seiden wrote about it here, and Monster created a product tied to their BeKnown network here. How will this impact us going forward? I have some ideas, but they haven’t been fully formed yet. Instead, I want to leave you with this simple thought.

It’s all about who will answer the phone when you call, or return the email once you hit send.

In the next weeks I’m off to Panama, Las Vegas, and Atlanta. You’ll find me in the back of the room, watching, listening intently, and writing stuff down in my worn out moleskine notebook. I’ll also be in the halls, engaging the presenters and asking the questions on my own terms, seeking answers to questions that have yet to be asked.

God help me if I lose that stupid notebook.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Dwane Lay May 29, 2012 at 10:15 am

Hey, you know you can put those notes in a computer and back them up, right? Not that there is anything wrong with the Moleskine. Love mine. But I’ve lost a couple in my day, so the really important stuff gets transferred.

You’re right. It’s all about knowing people. Interestingly, studies have shown that it’s not about the close friends but the second and third level connections that make a difference. My guess is that we shy away from asking for BIG BIG favors (as in “hire me!”) from very close friends. There is too much collateral damage that can take place if they say no or if they say yes and you don’t perform. Asking for the intro is a safe play, and easy to execute. The bigger your network, the more intros you can acquire.

It’s a small world, and getting smaller avery day. Thankfully.

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