Social Media, Job Search, and the Engine of Success


Many of today's job hunters are wondering about the value of social media, asking such questions as What is it? Is it safe? How much time will it take each day? and Why should I care?

Recently at the St. Matthias Employment Ministry, we have been addressing such questions, attempting to help our job hunters to get more comfortable with linkedin, twitter, facebook, and blogging.

If you have such questions yourself, maybe it will help to revisit the Engine of Success.

Back in 2007, I blogged about "the Engine of Success," an idea formulated by Systems Engineering professor Ken Modesitt. He says it is his core theory of success and his idea is a cyclical process that goes like this:

- The Quality of Our Relationships has an impact on our thinking...

- The Quality of Our Thinking affects our choices and actions...

- The Quality of Our Actions determines the outcomes we get...

- The Quality of Our Results affects our relationships...and the cycle continues...

Describing the cycle, Modesitt says: As the quality of relationships rises, the quality of thinking improves, leading to an increase in the quality of actions and results. Achieving high quality results has a positive effect on the quality of relationships, creating a reinforcing engine of success.

Everyone wants to achieve success in life. And success can have many meanings: introducing a new product, finding an elegant solution, discovering a breakthrough. For job hunters, success could be landing a good position in a valued organization.

So how can social media be a useful tool toward achieving success? It fits beautifully with Modesitt's Engine of Success.

- The Quality of Relationships: The success cycle begins with enhancing the quality of relationships. At its best, that is what social media does! Social media facilitates the process of connection between purposeful people. For example, people look for other people with common interests, and follow some of those that they find. Then, in some cases, they connect. This happens on twitter every day, for example.

- The Quality of Thinking: Often when people connect, they share ideas on a topic of mutual interest, feeding and influencing one another's thinking, leading to new ideas, new models, new vistas.

- The Quality of Action: With new thinking, each party can then make new choices and take new or renewed action toward their goals.

- The Quality of Results: As someone wisely said "If you keep doing what you've been doing, you'll keep getting what you've been getting." But with new choices and new actions, the results are bound to be different.

Modesitt says that the success cycle is self-reinforcing: when we start getting a better quality of results, it fuels our desire to continue connecting with people and nurturing those relationships that nourish our thinking.

Isn't that the secret to an effective job search too? Most job hunters will find their next job through networking. Social media can help expand your reach and your findability.

Posted by Terrence Seamon on April 10, 2011. For more ideas on using social media in your job search, contact Terry.

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