Thursday, February 18, 2010

social networking - does it help?

Some people ask whether participation in social networking -- Facebook, Linkedin, etc. actually helps in the career/job search world. I do think there's a benefit to getting back in touch and staying in touch with your contacts. But, of course, remember if you write silly things on Facebook, your business contacts who are your FB "friends" will see these things just as your real friends will. So, I usually recommend keeping pure business contacts on Linkedin and friends on Facebook. But what if, say, a client or other business contact "friends" you? Then, what do you do? Well, I've had this happen. A client who I also know socially friended me. In fact, I have a couple of them. I accepted the friend requests -- felt that it would be too weird not to -- but when I post updates, pics, etc., I try in the back of my mind to remember that it's not just my high school classmates reading and posting to my FB -- it also includes the clients.

Now, getting back to my original point...does any of this social networking actually help you in the career advancement world? Yes, I think getting back in touch, and staying in touch with people can help advance your career. It's certainly better than doing nothing at all, of course. I always tell people that if you are interested in a new job, you should let people know. As far as creating opportunities generally, the social networking sites will help put you in the mind of some former colleagues/classmates who otherwise might not think of you.

Case in point. Just recently, I needed a local counsel in a different part of the country. I could ask my colleagues for recommendations and I did that. I thought for a minute. Do I know anyone who practices in this metropolitan area? This is a matter for a very important client and I want someone I know and can trust. I didn't think I knew anyone in this area. But then the light bulb went off. Someone from law school who I am Facebook friends with does practice in the area. And his postings occasionally talk about court -- so I know he litigates locally. I called him. He answered...and it looks like he and his firm may end up serving as our local counsel. Without Facebook, I would not have thought about him. He may very well end up getting a significant referral from this, and possible follow up work.

I can talk more about social networking for job searches in another post but wanted to touch on this recent connection before it slipped my mind.

For those who have come back to HP's Office blog as I've returned....thank you.

(btw, no, right now we are not hiring 3Ls or entry level associates).

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


Hi all. I'm sorry I had to curtail my blogging for awhile. There was just a lot going on personally and professionally and I just couldn't keep up. I am starting to feel like I can resume the blogging -- but I wonder if you are still interested? And if so, what interests you most these days? I hope things have improved for the job seekers -- I do feel like I see more opportunities starting to open up out there -- though I still hear from clients that they are under tremendous budget constraints. Clients are definitely handling more things in-house these days - trying to do things on their own rather than calling outside lawyers. I think the opportunities I have seen more recently are in-house, governmental, etc.

Anyway, let me have your thoughts? Continue? Topics?