January 15, 2009
/ by Heidi Sullivan
The wind chill factor was -27°F as I pulled a third layer over my head this morning. I thought to myself, “I bet a lot of people will call in. It’s going to be a quiet day in Cision’s research department.”
CisionBlog bloggers brave the bitter cold in Chicago to bring you the latest media news
Well, to my pleasant surprise, I can happily report that only two researchers are taking a sick day and everyone else (after unwrapping themselves and regaining feeling in fingers and toes) is working away to find changes in the media industry.
It takes extra effort to come in to work on the coldest day in Chicago in a decade. But that’s exactly what these tough economic times call for: Extra effort.
I often have people ask me what they can do to keep their job secure during a time when everyone knows someone who has been laid off, offered a buyout or is having a really tough time finding a job. There is lots of advice I can offer, but above all, I will always say that a small additional time committment goes a long way… and if you put that extra energy into social media, it might also be the thing that separates you from the pack and gives you an edge in your career.
When I speak with media relations pros at conferences or just with clients over the phone about social media, I frequently receive a response like this: “But we don’t have a position dedicated to social media. I just don’t have the time to do all of this. My boss wouldn’t understand.”
That may all be very true. But you don’t need 40 hours a week to get started in social media. Commit to working an extra two hours a week and dedicating that time to your social media efforts. Your boss or client may not see the benefit now, but once you can show results, your extra commitment will not go unnoticed.
Here are a few suggestions on quick steps you can take. Choose one (or one of your own) each week and you’ll be surprised at how much you can accomplish over the next few months:
These are just a few examples of the many things you can do in just a few hours a week to make yourself stand out in the crowd. And maybe social media isn’t where you want to invest your extra time. Maybe you are committed to finding new ways to do your media monitoring. Maybe you invest in really reading a few new magazines each week to identify trends in your industry. The important thing is that you use this time wisely.
One last note: I know that a few hours may be a big sacrifice – you already work really hard, you have a family, you have to walk the dog after work, etc. I am a big believer in a work/life balance. But this is the time to toughen up and go that extra mile. The economy is showing a wind chill factor that is below zero. So bundle up and get to work!
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