If you’re like me, you’ve watched the explosion of Google+ with a careful eye. You’ve toyed around with the platform, but you’re not a “power-user” just yet.
You’ve probably also found yourself wondering whether Google+ can benefit your career and your professional life. Or is it just a place to extend your social life so that you can always be “nerding out and exploring a subject together” with a friend? That’s an actual quote from the video below, by the way.
Google+ is not a magic wand
You and I both know, thanks to J.K. Rowling, that wands tend towards their rightful owner and that they have something akin to a consciousness or soul (yes that was a Harry Potter reference, and there’s another one in this paragraph). Google+ is not your magic wand, it was not made with the hair of a unicorn, and thus, it will not help you adjust to a new office or begin a new career. So, what is it?
Google+ is a communication tool, not a branding tool
That is, unless you’re already kind of a big deal. Folks like Tom Anderson and Chris Brogan are able to leverage the platform to share content and messaging with the public. Guess what? You don’t need to share everything with the public. In fact, the whole point is that you can share information with exactly who you want, when you want, how you want.
So, yes, you can use Google+ to drunkenly message all of your fraternity brothers about that 60-second keg stand, but you can also use it to share your company’s latest job opening with your regional alumni network. You don’t use Google+ to create a brand, you use it to more accurately communicate with your truly separate and fragmented “circles” of connections.
I’ve already taken my connections from Brazen and created a circle so that I can communicate more readily with them. Want me to add you to that circle? Just ask.
Google+ is good for your career
Understanding the latest technology is absolutely vital to your career. Companies always recognize innovators and early-adopters, and they’ll often reward employees who “get it” and are ahead of the curve. Whole agencies are created because someone understood a technology and how it applied to their industry.
Google+ is going to change the way the Internet works, not because it is a Facebook-killer or a Twitter-destroyer, but because it represents the absolute first step for the normal user to migrate completely to the cloud. This is huge, and if you understand this, and all of the history that comes with it, you’re an incredibly valuable asset for any company.
So, early-adopter, what do you see as the most valuable functions of Google+, and how are you planning on using Google+ for your career networking?