Google-plus

Google+ Is Good For Your Career

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?

Jason Parker is the director of strategic partnerships & college strategy at Brazen Careerist. Connect with him on Twitter.

37 comments

  1. Lauren, you’re absolutely right. The takeaway is meant to be that staying current on technology is the greatest benefit that you can glean from a big launch, like Google+. It’s a differentiator between you and your colleagues.

  2. Anonymous

    Great post, Jason. I have an invite and haven’t opened it yet because, honestly, the thought of trying to learn and integrate another platform is a little overwhelming. But you gave me a solid reason of why it could be worthwhile.

    • Noel, make it happen! I’m glad to shoot you my guide to setting up your circles effectively. You’re right though, it will take time to learn and streamline. There’s already been a bevy of development to make integration more possible.

    • Valid point, Edward. There are many other great uses for +. If YOU are an early-adopter or follow industry leaders using GoogleReader, a transition to Google+ will be natural. It’s just a more social, cleaner way of digesting relevant professional and social content from your personal network and the network of people that you follow in and across industries.

      • Definitely agree that G+ is a cleaner way of absorbing information but I still struggle with the transition from my reader to Sparks. I’m hesitant although now recently I’ve been obsessed with NPR podcasts. Great article by the way Jason!

  3. Anonymous

    Relevance weighs a ton for anyone career especially in the job hunt phase. Imagine finding a profitable use like responding to customers in detail and one real-time post without deferring to another medium. I also see it as a tool for communicating solutions.

    • Absolutely! It’s going to become a great tool for communicating solutions. It’ll be interesting to see if brands can use + as a tool to reach consumers. I know Google is restricting access to brands, in line with their internal policy as currently written. We’ll see when that changes.

  4. Regina

    Google+ is definitely in beta…there are many bugs to work through, especially some of their NSFW policies. I’m happy to have my invite to start playing with it

    • Completely disagree. Not only are social networks important for career progression, failure to understand that what you post on them can affect your career is a recipe for disaster.

  5. Reno Eye Exam

    I’m still kinda overwhelmed with the whole Google+ thing… Just one more area where myself or my staff will need to gather at least a bit of expertise to start making it work for us. We might just skip it for now, and keep refining our Facebook techniques.

  6. Pingback: A List of GooglePlus Job Search Tips and Advice | JobCrank Blog

    • I don’t think that the majority of facebook users are ever going to completely make the switch. I think that the future will see both platforms continuing to grow but it will be because users are on both.

  7. Anonymous

    Yes I agree that Google+ is gving competition to Facebook – I feel that Facebook are going to have to improve to keep all their users – otherwise in the near future Facebook could be the new Myspace.
    You’re so right about Google+ being a communication tool. I love the ‘circles’ feature, you can ahve whoever you want on your account without having to worry about certain people seeing your photos and statuses. I think that Google+ is better than Facebook, but use it less because most of my friends don’t use it.
    The thing that isn’t so promising is that we found some stats showing that most Google managers don’t use or have a Google+ account, our CTO has written a blog on it which shows the stats http://www.lucidica.com/blog/cto/management-of-google-dont-seem-to-love-google/
    I hope that more people will start to use it – I’m positive

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