linked to the ironic unknown

December 27, 2010

So… I don’t know how many of you use LinkedIN. As it turns out, I do. And, we average two new clients a month that we can directly attribute to the business network. So, I’ll take the position it’s worth the fifty dollars we pay for the extra inMail capability.

Recently I was looking for a Subject Matter Expert (“SME”), and I found a good one on LinkedIN. But, my inMail went unanswered for several weeks until his wife, who was rummaging around on his laptop, and just happened to stumble upon the link herself, advised me that her husband was deceased. That all struck me as a bit creepy. So… It’s rather unsettling to realize that, over the course of time, more and more profiles will be a lingering memory of people that are deceased. So… You can really see dead people on LinkedIN.

In the cases of the lonely or unattached, who would know to remove the profile? Who will police that?

By the way… I was meeting with a gen-something (who really cares?) upon the request of a friend (it was his son). The young lad was twenty three and a recent graduate of Georgia. He confidently advised me that he was a social media expert (seriously). When I inquired about business context, he actually waved me off and told me that did not matter in business these days. I almost gagged on the irony (and, didn’t even need a spoon).

…oh… And, he told me LinkedIN is dead.

…he’s also unemployed, with few prospects.

…which reminds me… It’s amaz­ing how the only day most people use LinkedIN is the day they lose a job.

Let’s be part of the Solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

income

December 20, 2010

“They” say that your income is the average of the five people that you spend the most time with (outside of your family).

This helps make my Grandad’s point when he often said: “If you must judge a man, do it by those around him”.

The thinking around this post is not driven by statistics. And, this is some what unusual for me. I’ll typically make my point with hard data to support them – all of them.

However, here, I’m making a statement that I believe is true. This belief is driven by instinct. And, I trust my instincts. I will be investigating my theory. But, in the meantime, your own gut will follow my position.

This may not make you part of the solution. But, it’s a start. A big part of our job should be making money. It’s okay to do that. Really. I’ll write you a note.

Brian Patrick Cork

Happiness Audits

December 13, 2010

Do a happiness audit.   Write down a list of all the things that you do during the course of a week and put them in categories according to the level of Joy they cause in your life.

That, I suspect (well, actually know), will make you part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

more thinking on LinkedIN

September 20, 2010

All of my coaching clients, and the people we recruit understand that we do not advocate having a general resume handy. And, we don’t advocate having your profile on a repository like monster.com (especially monster.com) and The Ladder, etc.

NOTE: Many companies prohibit outside recruiters from pulling candidates from the repositories (again – especially monster.com), and mostly because in-house recruiters can leverage those uncertain platforms themselves. Good recruiters don’t, or shouldn’t, need to use repositories.

But, the primary point I want to make concerns LinkedIN.

And, I want to keep it real simple, today.

LinkedIN is less about social networking as it is self-promotion. It can certainly be a collaboration tool. But, few people really use it to help one another. Let’s be honest about that. However Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is working better and better when it comes to Google-oriented candidate search efforts by recruiters, analysts and hiring decision-makers.

So… To that end, here are some quick job search and/ or positioning tips to optimize LinkedIN…

If you are in career-transition, or want to be in transition, be transparent about that (well… maybe not if you are employed). But, use the Summary section to highlight the best things you have accomplished relative to industries you find attractive. Reference Blogs and “Thought Leadership”. But, the real gold mine opportunity will be found in the mini-summaries in the Experience section. Take the opportunity to drop in duty post (job) highlights per job that can be picked-up under SEO search algorithms. These can include key words, buzz phrases, industry subject matter expertise (SME), Thought Leadership efforts including Blogs and White Papers, and performance awards.

In summary… Even though most people ignore your updates on LinkedIN. Use it as a filter for those companies that need you, and are looking for you. Make LinkedIN work for you.

Let’s be part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

We have yet another example of the disconnect between the cautiously optimistic stock market and those on the economic front lines.

There exists a Wells Fargo/Gallup survey of 604 small business owners conducted in early July that shows a plunge in already negative readings to new lows. This gloomy outlook matters because small businesses were clearly the biggest source in job creation through the last several economic upturns, and are expected again to be the main source of hiring.

So…

This is good news or bad news.

It just depends.

Small business owners expect things to get worse. The main reason for the decline in the index was the decay in the Future Expectations subindex, which is the first time business owners as a whole have been negative about their companies’ prospects for the upcoming year:

Here are some details:

Forty two percent (42%) of respondents anticipate it will be “somewhat” or “very difficult” to borrow, and twenty two percent (22%) forecast their financial condition a year out as “somewhat” or “very bad.”

Gallup noted:

“The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index seems to be something of a precursor of future economy activity. It peaked at the end of 2006; matched that peak once more in June 2007; consistently declined thereafter as the recession deepened, before bottoming out in mid-2009; and finally, improved modestly until its July 2010 decline.”

However, there will be those companies that beat the odds and thrive under reduced competition. So, the companies with the best products, services and thought leadership have an opportunity to reap enormous rewards by operating under best practices. I am also convinced that reasonably solid economic stimulus packages will be introduced that can fuel emerging opportunities for companies with good plans.

In addition to this, JP Morgan is driving a program where companies and small company leaders can leverage or margin securities with 20 points over LIBOR. I’ve grown businesses this way. It works, and this might make JP Morgan the group to watch as they become part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

meaningful vision

July 26, 2010

I have the coolest job (it’s actually a calling) in the world.

I hang out all day with my friends helping them make better decisions.

I hear a lot of fantasy, dreams and visions.

And, there is a vital difference. And, it’s a simple differentiator…

You can pull-off a vision.

It’s just that more people will dream while others can act on the vision.

Lets be part of the solution.

Brian Patrick Cork

I had a coaching client (you have probably read his book) tell me last year that the thing he admired most about me is that I’m “contiguous”. This means there is a consistent thread in-and-amongst what I do. Professionally it’s tying people, opportunity and resources together.

I genuinely feel that might be one of the best compliments I’ve ever received.

For everyone out there I’ll hold that you need to establish thought leadership and be a subject matter expert on, or around, something. So… Ponder emerging trends against your skills and passion.

Let’s be part of the solution, and not the problem.

Brian Patrick Cork

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