You know how LinkedIn shows you how many people have looked at your profile and how many times you turned up in search results on your home page? It's a stat I've looked at often in the last few months during my job search.
Tonight, I checked it out, and it said 6 people had checked me out in the last 7 days. When I clicked on the link to check out the possibilities, I was pretty surprised by the top 5 results. Take a look:
1. Greg Bowman, a co-founder of Linking Greensboro Live, whom I've met in real life at a huge networking event this summer. I'm looking forward to the next one. We're linked.
2. Chris Brogan, social media connector and thought leader, co-author of Trust Agents, a new book which I've just finished reading and recommend highly. We're linked.
3. Sarah Palin. Interestingly enough, I must know someone who knows her. We're second degree connections.
4. John McCain. Huh, same deal. We're second degree connections. Who knew?
5. PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA! The President of the United States is searching for meeee.
So I know I'll be getting that LinkedIn invitation any day now ... or maybe he'll contact me via Twitter. He's a very social media savvy President, you know.
If you've ever been interviewed by a journalist, you may have experienced a tactic designed to keep you talking. You're answering, you're answering, you finish -- and silence. The other guy doesn't say anything, doesn't ask the next question, just looks at you expectantly. So you start answering again. And maybe putting your foot in your mouth.
That's talking to fill the silence. Don't fall for it. It's one of the oldest tricks in the book.
But there may come a time when your company or organization faces this interview tactic. Remember, answer the question and then stop. Here are some other tips for facing the media:
Don't repeat a negative
Don't volunteer tough topics, especially when you don't really know the answer
To be fair, the Gosselins and Katherine Heigl are considered to be celebrities and their representatives apparently believe in the old adage "There's no such thing as bad publicity". Their tendency to spill is most likely less about being caught by an interview trick and more about the quest for fame.
And your organization probably isn't raising sextuplets and divorcing, mysteriously disappearing from important governmental duties or starring in a summer movie. So you don't have to talk about those things.
I've learned a lot about being grateful this year.
It's been a good news kind of year for me. (Well, with the major exception of having my PR agency position eliminated. That was very bad news.) I earned my APR designation from the Public Relations Society of America in January, won an award from my local PRSA chapter and started doing social media workshops for executives. In February, I gave a presentation about social media for nonprofits as part of the Council of PR Firm's effort to give back to communities across the country. You can see that slideshow on my LinkedIn profile.
In March, my position was eliminated. Total grey clouds. A sudden tornado or earthquake. Unanticipated. But there was a silver lining. A week later I learned my campaign was a finalist for a Silver Anvil and then a week after that, it was also a finalist for a Silver SABRE award. The SABRE went to another campaign, but the Silver Anvil went to the campaign I led in June. Want to see it? Just click here.
April and May were busy with freelance work. That's something new for me: being my own boss, having a very tiny commute downstairs and saving all that gas money. So far June has brought the opportunity to visit the beach two weekends in a row. I grew up living near the beach, but hadn't been back in years. I was too busy at work, remember? Since I'm currently my own boss, I gave myself those vacation days.
I'm job hunting like crazy, but also taking the time to appreciate all the good things in my life. My friends are on the lookout, contacts I've made through work, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are giving me leads and great support and there's a little extra time every day to just be myself and clear out the cobwebs.
So if you are working full time and busy with your career like I was, remember to take a little time for yourself. You might have had layoffs at your office or at another branch and might be feeling scared that your turn is next or trying to do your job plus the additional responsibilities of a former coworker. You might just be running yourself ragged. But do what you can to replenish and recharge. You'll feel better at work and at home.