I have to wonder if this is a result of how you use the social networks and the content on your blog. When I went independent nearly 100% of it was from gigs from reputation from content on my blog or from sessions from user groups, teaching engagements, etc… Have I ever gotten a gig from facebook? Yes, the Jordan work I did was a relationship built through facebook. Have I ever gotten any work from Twitter? Yep. SharePoint Saturdays… Pretty much all the work I did in the last year with Bamboo, Colligo, Nintex, and Quest (and unnamed customer accounts) has all been a result of reputation from speaking and blogs, not from some great accomplishment at Microsoft. The way we connect and become familiar with each other… happens on these social sites. I shouldn’t have to tell you how many job offers I’ve had to turn down on Linked in, but that’s a major channel where they come. Don’t shoot the messenger.
I was reading the comments from a post I did last night on helping my friends get jobs and was taken back by a couple of comments. (in bold)
"single best way … is to get skilled up. all this social networking crap won’t help if you can’t implement. it’s about skills not buzz"
This comment assumes that I missed the point on the skills. The skills are required first obviously. If you follow the news you’ll see people are loosing their jobs. If you loose your job and you have nothing on the internet (blogs/social networks) to proove it. You’ll have a harder time.
The other thing I’d suggest is if you’re looking for the skills post. That’s one I’ve already done – skills for a SharePoint Architect. Shane did one on a similar topic on SharePoint Consultant skills. Not long ago an article about SharePoint skills shortage was posted on Redmond Dev News. This being the case, it’s a matter of connecting those with skills and those without… how’s that going to happen??? Networking.
I believe a lot of my following has SharePoint skills, and to back that up, they need the network so if they get laid off they can find a job. Over the past 3 weeks I’ve gotten pinged from friends who have SERIOUS skills that are out of work. Those serious skills can translate into great jobs with the right contacts and if they know where to look. These days more are looking and the competition in more fierce.
Kudos to Shane Young and SharePoint911 team on their new paper that just got published on Admin Guide to Not Screwing up your SharePoint deployment (love the reference name).
"you know – I’m not an idiot – I didn’ miss the point. There’s nothing per se wrong with "marketing" yourself using the systems Joel mentions in the post.
However, the insidious trend of self promotion will never replace skills in the marketplace. You might land a job via agents that don’t know anything by having a "profile" but the people who make hiring decisions in real companies don’t care."
I actually appreciate the points made in this comment. There is a problem in self promotion. Which I believe I tried to address in my original post about NOT overdoing it. I do see people who abuse the system.
"I’ve never landed a gig by my web site, blog, or anything else like that – I get gigs because of my reputation in the marketplace. and that has nothing to do with any of the social sites whatsoever."
"…would be nice if this blog would go back to being useful like it was when you were at Microsoft. There’s no content there… just water cooler & bar talk. There were posts of real value on your old blog… but now you just blog about blogging about SharePoint or jump on this Twitter/Facebook/social networking bandwagon."
It’s true I haven’t had the hard core posts as of late, but hey the blog relects what I’m thinking about, and I don’t force anyone to read it. It also reflects the lifecycle of the product. At this mature stage there isn’t as much step by step content that should be required. I know I don’t need to defend my posts. It’s my blog. It was never intended to be 100% documentation.
If you follow my career I’ve been doing more evangelism and product management, user group and conference travel, and my blog follows me. That won’t change.
One other thing… why so bitter? There are so many SharePoint blogs these days, it surprises me you’d be so concerned about what I’m saying…
By the way, I think you’re missing the boat. The internet has changed. The way we share information has changed. If you wait for it to be on some official site and properly ranked in search results you’re going to be 3-6 months behind and miss the rich relevant content that happens throughout the day, but I can’t tell you how to use the Net, I think it’s fascinating and others are interested in it as well.
One last time, this blog was really intended for those SKILLED SharePoint folks that loose their jobs not because of their skills, but those that got laid off because the company is being lame and doesn’t realize that SharePoint can save them money.