I’ll admit that I am defiant of the social media craze. These thumbs don’t tweet or post or pin. I’ll Link In here and there, and every now and then I’ll leave a biased remark on the DC versus Marvel movie forums. It’s not that I hold myself captive to the Ron Swanson paranoia of big federal government monitoring and corporate data mining, but between communicating with my teams through email, phone, and text I don’t see what all the hoopla is with mood updates and stalking bathroom selfies.
However, among my five or so questions I ask my interviewees is if they connect and how often. Now, when I get a mature and seasoned candidate for service manager they usually reply with big bulgy eyes, “Huh?” They’re not used to it of course. Why should I expect them to vacuum Freon, pull pumps from a dishwasher, and be able to comment on Cousin Sue’s vacation in Cabo pictures? Soon afterwards I unfold why their ability to connect affects all positions from those with chairs and cushions to those with cracked and calloused hands.
Everything is online
We can’t escape the future. Everything is going digital and if you’d like proof, think about the last time you printed pictures from a disposable camera. Not only have we gone online, but now we’re mobile. At any moment we can connect and upload files, read Excel, and catch up on monthly reports, all from the comforts of the commode. I expect my service managers not only be to send me well-articulated email responses, but be able to adapt to any new method on the horizon. Tech is constantly evolving, which makes any employed role in this era revolutionary. Yesterday’s job market will be different tomorrow because the rate in which we expect positions to change. Soon even in our realm of service and maintenance (and all others), all tickets will be closed from the palm of their hand, which brings to mind the second reason why connecting is more and more a trade than a craft.
Connecting is Communicating
With all emoticons and acronyms aside, our online communications is significant to each and every role. If there’s something to harvest from our constant commenting, it is that trades like involving the ability to key sixty words per minute, a skill often taught in school or evening classes, is now self-acquired from use of social media. Probably one for the best responses I’ve gotten from an interviewee is that he responds to 800 emails a week and has over 200 connections on LinkedIn. That tells me he can craft a professional response and can network like a politician. Often I weigh this against a 50% technical ability in field as both are not overnight skills one suddenly wakes up with. Word of advice, get in the redundant good habit of spelling out every text so that you don’t have to rely on abbreviations to convey a message. The only message I’m getting is that you’re insecure with your spelling.
Of course, I’m not saying anything new or enlightening. By this point we’re all pretty confident with the ability to connect. However, I am reaffirming the notion that whether or not you’re clearing the property for litter or spearheading the next acquisition, each role is indebted to realm of the online frontier.