This month’s  Career Collective Topic is Social media – how to use it in a job search, how to get started, do’s and don’ts.  As always, my fellow bloggers have tips and ideas that are worth your time.  Scroll down to see their contributions and click on the link to read it on the web.

Some  would say that social media tools (e.g., Facebook, twitter or Linkedin) have changed the world.  Hyperbole? Maybe, but for many of us who live with chronic illness it’s pretty darn close.

Why those who live with illness, in particular?  Well, everyone would agree that social media  increases  access crossing boundaries and allows you to go deep into new territory.   It opens your world to new information and  people.  Now consider  how valuable this is when your physical resources are diminished and limited. 

For those of us who live with chronic illness and want to find jobs or build our business,  the energy and efficiency of social media can’t be beat.

Here’s why I say that:

  • Social media, when used strategically and wisely (read the posts listed below for more specifics), allows you to spread mounds  of seeds in fertile,  targeted areas through one channel, the web.
  • It’s easy to increase the number of people in your network dramatically while managing what they know  about you, whether you’re looking for a job or a new dog.
  • You can reach people whom you wouldn’t have met otherwise, build a relationship based on mutual interests and talk to those you do know more frequently.
  • You can do all this on your  schedule without leaving your computer (or handheld), your house — or  taxing your body.

Compare all of the above to what it takes  to attend industry networking meetings and  networking events or having numerous and fruitless interviews that lead to dead ends because it wasn’t close to being a good match.

But when you live with chronic illness, certain issues must be explored more carefully.

  1. Do you want people to know you live with illness in their first introduction to you? If yes, think about what words you use to describe this and be sure that it presents you as you want to be viewed. If no,  it’s best to be prepared with an idea of what point you would choose to discuss this. 
  2. Do you identify yourself in the online chronic illness world?  Social media is vastly different from email and it’s got a long life.  You might choose to join  online forums but remember that if they’re not private groups, this information and your words will come up in a search.
  3. Are you developing your online ‘brand’ to include living with illness? Once again, there isn’t a right or wrong but note the permanence in the web. These days, we’re seeing that what you say and post online can come back to bite you.   Consider what you want people to know about you and how much you want to control the information.

Ten years ago, I launched my website as I branded myself as an expert in working while  living with chronic illness.  I’ve spent my online life developing that persona.  When I consult to organizations or work with individuals, my life as a chronically ill person is  open for display.   I’ve carefully honed my persona so that anyone looking to hire me knows what they get and want that.

Obviously, this approach isn’t going to work for most people.  If you choose to be specific about living with illness, make sure you know why you’re doing so and understand how it could impact what you want.  I think that most of the time it’s  not best to in your “profile” .  But you can still use this in your favor if you want.  You can mention that you’ve faced challenges that have made you a mature, responsible and a dedicated worker.

Bottom line?  Social media offers an ideal tool for the growing number of people working while living with chronic illness,  and, in particular, those who are looking for jobs.   But like all tools, know the strengths and limits of what you’re working with and use it wisely.

Read what my fellow Career Collective Bloggers say on this subject:


15 Responses to “Tools that change your world”  

  1. 1 Donna Svei

    Hi Rosalind,

    Thank you for describing both the benefits and potential pitfalls when working with a chronic illness.

    The majority of people can expect to spend some time grappling with these issues during their career. It’s so good to know that you’re here to help and that we now have social media to keep us connected even if we have physical limitations!


  2. 2 Rosalind

    Thanks, Donna.

  3. 3 Dawn Bugni

    Rosalind –

    You’ve shared wonderful insights into how an individual with chronic illness can use social media to expand their reach and resources. And what a great guide for weighing the pros and cons of how much and when to share. You’ve given really good advice for those with or without unique challenges.

    Always a pleasure #CareerCollective blogging with you. :)


  4. 4 Rosalind

    Thanks, Dawn. Back at you!

  5. 5 Nick Gronow

    The levels of visibility with social media do make it an ideal environment to broadcast strengths and all your pros for sure. One of the biproducts of chronic illness that many employers unfortunately do not know about is the character traits that are acquired by those learning to live and even thrive with various challenging conditions. Some of the most gracious and hard working people I have met have chronic illnesses. Thinking about presentation of this information coupled with the positive impacts it may have on your life could go a long way in that first, second, or third impression you give others.

  6. 6 Rosalind

    Thank you, Nick. Good points.

  1. 1 HOW TO: Meet People in Real Life via LinkedIn
  2. 2 Job Search and Social Media: A Collective Approach | Guide for Lifetime Career Navigation | Career Sherpa
  3. 3 Social media: So what’s the point? | The Write Solution
  4. 4 How to Use Social Media in Your Job Search
  5. 5 A Social Media Strategy For Job Search: Updating | Tim's Strategy™
  6. 6 Social-Media Tools and Resources to Maximize Your Personalized Job Search - Quintessential Resumes and Cover Letters Tips Blog
  7. 7 Career Collective » June 2011 Career Collective Posts
  8. 8 Career Steering BlogSocial Media and Job Search
  9. 9 Effective Web 2.0 Job Search: Top 5 Secrets | Executive Career Steering Strategies
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