After 13 years with Stern + Associates, my role recently shifted. I was offered the opportunity to parlay my tenure and experience in client and staff management to focus on recruiting, marketing, and new business for the firm. I jumped at the opportunity: I’m wired as a “people person” (I can recall from an early age introducing myself with “Hi. We should be friends.” It’s true). I love to network, whether it’s with journalists, job candidates, PR students, or prospective clients. So it makes sense that I’ve long been a fan and active user of social networking, recognizing its power, impact and reach for our clients looking to drive brand awareness and business growth. And in my new role, I got really jazzed thinking about all the possible ways to connect with and engage potential candidates and clients for our firm – both on- and offline. But an article I recently read got me thinking: am I more than a fan? Sure, these tools are incredibly helpful for professional purposes, and tons of fun for personal uses, but could I be (gasp!) a social media junkie?
My iPhone – with multiple apps for Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Living Social, FourSquare and more, most interconnected for efficiency – never leaves my sight. I tweet, update, share, like and cross-post while walking to my car, standing in line at the store, brushing my teeth, and regularly throughout my day. Social media fascinates me. Yet as I’ve increased its use even more lately, I sometimes feel anxiety setting in if I’ve been out of the office at a live networking event or immersed in a writing project. Unable to check my online communities, I too ask myself “What did I miss? Was there some big news? What if there was an important direct message while I was disconnected?”
Certainly I can do a better job of adhering to some standard, smart rules (not using my iPhone or laptop in bed, not doing “just this one more quick little thing” before going to sleep, and silencing my phone entirely). But I was reminded today, while sharing Outlook organization tips with a colleague, that it boils down to this: being connected in this day and age is indeed vital, but what hasn’t changed is keeping your eye on the bigger picture, controlling the technology in your life before it controls you, and continually asking yourself “What is the best use of my time right now? What’s most strategic?” Like the old adage says, “The hurrier I go, the behinder I get.” I’m going offline now to enjoy some non-wired time. I’m sure I’ll meet that next great job candidate or client while I’m tuned into my surroundings – and not my gadgets.
What’s your best technology management tip?
By Joan Bosisio, Group Vice President, Stern + Associates