Even another reason networking while employed and performance appraisals are becoming increasingly ineffective is the explosive growth in professional transparency. As recently as seven years ago, unless the subject of your search was your favorite movie star, rock star, or politician, your ability to find details about another individual was challenging. This was not due to your faulty research skills – information about an average individual simply did not exist publicly. In fact, information about others was so absent in the not-too-distant past, the thought of seeking out personal or professional details regarding another person would not have even occurred to you.
Today, individuals you have never met, from anywhere on the globe, are instantly finding out more about you than any other time in human history. Whether individuals are at their desk in a towering glass office building, sequestered in their basement at their suburban home, or lounging at their favorite cappuccino bar, individuals can instantly access volumes of information about you with only a few keystrokes. Fortunately, some of this information is beneficial to your profile; unfortunately, some of this is decidedly not.
At the same time, you are able to tell people about yourself with greater ease than ever before. If you go back a few short years, before Facebook and Google, the ways to share information about your accomplishments and background were limited to a resume. Your primary strategy was face-to-face, one-by-one conversations with others. Transparency was low. With technology like Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, and YouTube, you have the ability to increase your personal and professional transparency and instantly share information about yourself with millions of people – all with just a few clicks on a keyboard.
Additionally, organizations across the globe are seeking ways to increase employee transparency. Technology is providing organizations the ability to build internal platforms (à la Facebook and LinkedIn) that allow their employees to build a profile and share information about themselves that are critical to the business. Employees can post a picture, and list their competencies, certifications, degrees, sample projects, work history, and interests. Internal decision makers, hiring managers, and colleagues can subsequently mine for talent internally before looking externally.
You can find Ed’s book, Raise Your Visibility & Value: Uncover the Lost Art of Connecting on the Job