As we embark on a new year it has become apparent that there is no stopping the new avenues of communication and more specifically, social networking. The most popular social networking sites include Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, with Facebook leading the way with over 350 million users worldwide. You can access your account a few different ways and it will enable you to be in contact with your network no matter where you might be. Travel Therapists and Rehab specialists on a short-term contract can use such sites to keep up with events back home, post photos of your new job and locations and chat it up with friends and family. The populartity of these social networking sites is astounding and it should come as no surprise as parents and their children alike are joining in droves.
Each of these social networking sites is built for different reasons and is intended for specific uses. LinkedIn for instance is for the professional looking to network with others in their industry while sites like MySpace and Facebook are aimed towards those who like to share whatever and is far more impersonal, but can also cross the bounds of too personal! Whichever site you choose to use, remember, this is your ad to the enitre universe. These sites all serve a valid purpose and you could benefit professionally when used the right way, it is the wrong ways you need to leary of.
One of the basic forms of these social networking sites is the ever present “status update.” Here you can tell the world whatever is on your mind, whether it be good news, an opinion on an important matter like healthcare reform or just a place to vent your frustrations. On my Facebook profile I tend to be more lighthearted and goofy. I try and make others laugh but mostly it just depends on how I’m feeling that day. In order to keep your friends engaged, you need to stay current, fresh and at least try and write something noteworthy. What you don’t want to do is complain or constantly be negative. Your “readers” will begin to get bored with you if all you do is moan about how your day sucks, or how you hate life and blah, blah, blah! No one wants to read that. Try and write something that will spark conversation… After all, that’s being social.
These social networking sites are all about sharing; sharing your thoughts, tastes in music, opinions, or whatever you feel the need to express. It’s also a wonderful medium to share all the things that are important to you. Being a travel therapist you may already belong to organizations related to allied health or charities that you may volunteer your knowledge to. Sharing this type of information about yourself is a great way to showcase who you are as there is a potential of future employers looking into your background by examining your social life. It’s difficult keep your professional and social lives separate, so just think first as to what you want to put out there about yourself and your opinions. Most of these sites allow you to protect your content and allow only those you’d like to view your profile. Use these parameters accordingly if you think you may have questionable content on your site. You’re building yourself as a brand and search engines such as Google will lead those investigating right to you very easily. Here’s a fine example of how NOT to use facebook… Doctor and Nurse Suspensions.
For you traveling therapists and rehab specialists, these social networking sites are an easy way to keep in touch with people while away from home and I strongly recommend builiding your online presence now if you haven’t already. Everybody else is, even my grandma! Staying connected is vital and helps keep the lonliness factor to a minimum while on a traveling therapy or rehab job. These sites are also a wonderful way for the allied health professionals to share with future employers the person you really are, from all the philanthropic activities you may be involved with to the great conversations you start and share on others pages. Remember, you are in control of what can be seen. If all you post is meaningless fodder and constantly use the time wasting game apps and whatnot, I don’t think that’s what you want as a first impression. I guess it depends on what you’re trying to attract… A potential new employer or a level 5 warlock to help you get to the next level? The choice is yours, for you are what you post.