What’s your value-add?

I reformatted and tweaked this blog post on Dec 17, 2013.  It’s kind of painful to go back to old posts and see how poorly written they were in the early days of this blog :p

phil801_seth_introPhil801 wrote a lengthy blog entry about “social networking” and how it could add value to an employer (Social Networks and Corporations). In short, the idea is that if an employer could take all of his employees and tap into the power and resources of their own networks, what couldn’t they solve? The employees might not have the expertise needed to solve a specific problem, but they might know someone who knows someone who knows someone that can solve the problem.

Job seekers who are developing their network should leverage this concept and bring value to their network and future employers.

A mutual friend and corporate recruiter wrote a follow-up post here: Pay Per Click Consulting? I think most companies will be too chicken to do what Robert Merrill suggestions, but he’s talking about supply, demand, capacity, and the free market, and how a strong network ties into all those.

Here are my thoughts:

  1. I think it is a great idea, and everyone should work on enhancing their own personal network so that they can be in a position to add value to their employer by making these connections.
  2. I think that most employers have internal systems developed to discount any social networks that you bring to them. Think about where you work – some people won’t open their network because they are afraid that they will make a connection that will make their role obsolete. Or if you bring in a guy that is supposed to be the bomb and screws things up then your name is mud.
  3. With regard to a current social system (office politics), your connections to solve a business problem may be sabotaged by someone else. You may have the right connection to solve a problem but a colleague “competing” against you may not want you to succeed, and you won’t have a chance to bring your connections into the picture.

I think that this is a great idea, and that everyone serious about career management should evaluate what they are bringing to the table. I imagine that Phil and Paul Allen (the lesser) would say that if any of the negative points that I bring up are true about where you work, then GET OUT and get into a better environment!  I totally agree with what I assume they would say 😉

Prepare yourself for that next great company, and increase your job security by having a huge, well-connected network to tap into.

2 thoughts on “What’s your value-add?”

  1. You should absolutely prepare your network now. It will bring you immesurable value, if you leverage it–right.

    Furthermore, reading about the office politics in your post (above) makes me cringe. Uncool.

    I know those environments exist out there, but I hope people are doing EVERYTHING IN THEIR POWER to find ways to mitigate those situations along the way, or leave them if they can not change.

    LIFE is TOO SHORT! 😉

    Enough blah, blah… here’s some keys to network building:
    – Don’t add people you don’t genuinely care about in some way.
    – Develop some trusted system you can use to save your network in. I use LinkedIn, but it can be a stack of index cards. Whatever you use, use it well! See rule # 1
    – Don’t add people you don’t honestly wish the very best for, and that they would become wildly successful in their chosen endeavors–even if you helped them get there and they never, ever even mention your name about it.
    – Actively find ways to GIVE to your network. Give 99% of the time, Take 1% of the time. That’s still too much taking, but it’s getting there…

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