All Aboard: Using Social Media to Advance Your Career

–Adam Miller ’12

What’s on your mind? Compose new Tweet. Share an update. These simple statements prompt us to share information with our friends, colleagues, and even complete strangers. Although learning how to effectively use social media can be an overwhelming at times, the benefits far outweigh the simple growing pains.  I’ve experienced firsthand how social media can have a tremendous impact on someone’s career aspirations, because Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have all played a role in helping me gain valuable experience which is setting me up for an exciting career path.

My sophomore year was the first time I realized the power of social media. Working for career services as a peer advisor I was given the task of finding a speaker to bring to campus. Having no idea where to begin looking I stumbled upon LinkedIn and began searching for interesting people to connect with.  After a couple days of looking at countless profiles I ran across a person’s profile by the name of Lewis Howes.  Lewis had just written a book about using LinkedIn to find a job, growing a business, and connecting with industry leaders through social media.  Long story short, Lewis eventually came to campus and gave a presentation about the benefits of using social media to aid in career exploration. Ever since that presentation I have kept in contact with Lewis and he has continuously provided priceless advice and mentorship.

This past fall I was browsing Twitter and discovered an author and public speaker named Kelsey Timmerman.  Knowing that I was going to be planning the Wabash College Entrepreneur Summit in a few months, I sent him a direct message and started a conversation about the possibility of him coming speak at the Summit.  Fast forward a few months and Kelsey was presenting in front of over 150 attendees at the 2nd Annual Entrepreneur Summit.  My final experience with social media for career progression actually happened entirely by chance.  While I was studying for my comprehensive examination I took a five minute break and checked my Twitter feed and saw a tweet for the Young Entrepreneur Council for a social media internship. I immediately applied and two days later was interviewed and offered the position.

Social media is jam packed with potential. I know it can be a daunting task to understand the implications of it fully, but if you stick with it and challenge yourself to produce engaging content then the opportunities are endless. I encourage everyone to take the first step and sign up for Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn and begin using these services for the sake of career advancement. Don’t be afraid to reach out to someone because you fear rejection, just put your fingers to the keys and keep at it. Oh, and don’t forget to follow me: @AdamDeVonMiller.

 

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