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Changing Jobs in a Social World

Over the last few days as I communicated my new job role I also went out and updated all of my social profiles (or at least the ones important enough to update) with my new information. It turns out this is quite a big task that required a few hours this week. To be honest that’s something I didn’t quite expect.

Just to give you an idea here’s what I changed:

  • IBM Bluepages (our internal directory)
  • IBM Connections (internally)
  • IBM Connections (externally)
  • LinkedIn (and I really only just put a placeholder into my current job description)
  • Google+
  • Slideshare
  • Plaxo
  • WordPress (this blog, about me page, title of the blog)
  • Twitter (including a new background for my Twitter page)

At the same time I reassessed the groups that I belong to in LinkedIn and on IBM Connections. I dropped a few of the Social Business groups (while keeping a few that I find really engaging) and added quite a few Cloud related groups.

One of my friends recommended a great shared IBM Cloud Blog (Thoughts on Cloud) and just reading over the list of Contributors gave me a really good list of IBM folks to follow both internally and externally. Some have great Twitter feeds and I added them to my new Cloud Twitter list.

Finally the IBM Institute of Business Value just published a paper on The Power of Cloud which I read cover to cover immediately. As expected this paper is extremely well written and explains various forms of business model innovation that the Cloud makes possible.

While it’s certainly been more work to update all my social spaces – the payoff of being a member of all of these platforms and network is already tangible. I have found experts to connect to, content to read and groups to participate in and learn from.

What did we ever do when changing jobs before social?


The Moment of Truth!

Over the last almost 4 years I have helped countless of IBMers with their use of Collaboration tools inside of IBM. I have taught individually and in groups. I have worked with individual contributors, managers, executives and General Managers. I stood up in front of small and large audiences both inside and outside of IBM (e.g. Social Business Forum in Frankfurt or Organizational Science Winter Conference in Steamboat Springs, CO) and talked about the “BlueIQ” approach to Social Business Adoption in IBM’s Software Group. I have had a fantastic BlueIQ Core Team and an outstanding group of volunteers, the more than 1.700 BlueIQ Ambassadors, to help drive this mission.

This BlueIQ program has been so successful that at the end of last year our Executives and sponsors decided that we had accomplished our original mission. Thankfully we already had a plan on how to morph this program for the year 2012 and beyond – the team is now working with IBM thought leaders on establishing their digital presence. Again this happens through 1-1 coaching as well as frequent enablement calls. We are already seeing first successes for example Jeff Crume’s blog that we helped Jeff launch around the IBM Pulse conference. Also the team is being fully integrated with our SWG Marketing organization to drive a truly integrated program.

This enables me to move into a new role at IBM: Cloud Technical Specialist for IBM Software Group ISV & Developer Relations.

This is really exciting on two fronts:

  • First I get to learn about one of the hottest topics in IT at the moment – and one that is of critical importance for IBM’s success in the future. IBM has a fantastic portfolio of products and services in the Cloud space which should enable IBM to be a leader in this space for a long time.
  • Secondly I get to work with a new set of Customers that I haven’t worked much in my previous roles: ISVs (Independent Software Vendors)

Best of all I get to do this with an extremely capable team located around the world.

I’ll post more about my endeavor into Cloud as I settle into the role.

But for now my challenge will be putting everything that I learned in the last 4 years into action in a job that does not pay me to be a social leader. Naturally I expect my newly acquired skill set to be hugely helpful in both my transition but also in executing my new role.

So here are a few things I thought I’d tackle first:

  • Ask my network for recommendations in reading material on the topic of Cloud. Which blogs to follow, which twitter IDs to follow, which web site to subscribe to.
  • Use communities both inside IBM (on IBM Connections naturally) and outside of IBM (LinkedIn) to connect with other leaders in the Cloud space.
  • Use this blog and my twitter ID to communicate news about Cloud and about what I learn.
  • Engage in conversations both internally and externally with leaders in the Cloud space.

Are there any other recommendations from folks that changed jobs?

I am planning to post on the success of my social business tactics in this transition on this blog as well.

Until then: off we go into the Cloud!
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Disclosing your Facebook password during an interview?

I just saw this article about the experience of someone in the job hunting process.

Apparently during the interview the interviewer googled the candidate and found out that his Facebook profile was locked unless someone was friends with the candidate.

As it should be!!!

So the interviewer asked the candidate to provide his login credentials so that the interviewer could check out the whole Facebook profile.

When I read that I thought to myself that we had truly come a long way – isn’t this the same as asking someone to bring their personal diary into an interview – along with the little golden key to open it?

In my opinion this is a reason to walk out of this interview immediately – which is exactly what the candidate did! Thankfully he didn’t seem to need that particular job badly enough.

The article then proceeds to talk about how HR managers and other hiring managers asking applicants to friend them on Facebook. While I see this practice as almost as bad at least there are means to restrict what these people are seeing. If that happened to me I would decline stating that I’m only connected with people that I am actually friends with. Everyone else can connect with me on LinkedIn. If I indeed needed the job badly enough I would friend that person – but set their permissions to basically zero. No access to photos, no access to my private Wall posts, etc. All they would see are my public wall posts – which are few and far between.

I’m really curious where this is going…


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