THRIVE: Social Media and Real Networks

how to succeed in today's economy

The rise of social media over the past few years has really taken hold of our economy. And it’s changing it in a huge way.

This part of the series will not be about how to use social media or how effective one platform or another can be for you or your organization. It’s about connections. It’s about extending your true self.

It’s about the future and how content on these platforms will impact our careers and lives.

And it’s about time.

NOTE: If you haven’t read the beginning of this series or the previous post, please do.


For too many years we have been in a slump as to what skills we need to learn in order to get a great job. We have been so focused on the knowledge required that we have neglected to remember what really matters.

Social media is putting an end to that. It’s forcing us to remember what really matters in a person and how much their personal lives affect their career and vice-versa.

That quality I’m talking about?


No longer will a resume suffice for landing a great job, even if you are incredible at what you do. No longer will having a graduate degree from a Ivy League University put you above the rest of the world if your Facebook is loaded up with drunken pictures.

Some of the best companies get this and have for years. They understand that a person is more than just the few words they put on a resume and a handful of recent accomplishments. These companies look at a person for who they truly are and research to ridiculous extremes. And they rightfully should!

What’s in a Resume?

A resume is just to get you in the stack with all the others. The great companies out there receive thousands per month and only hire a few. Many of them are not even open positions, they are a product of networking that allowed the seat to be filled.

They no longer have to accept what a person says about themselves, their social media networks will prove it. We can find out more information about a person than we ever care to know just by doing a simple search.

I have read resumes from graphic designers who said they did work for certain companies when I knew they, in fact, did not. How? Because I had seen the source of the project on Twitter. Or I knew the person directly that actually did make it. Or the best part, they forgot to change the link of the image so it still linked to the original owner’s website.

Paper resumes are dead. Your social networks are your resume. – Tweet that!

So what’s in a resume? It has it’s place. But it’s really just for legal reasons. And I’m honestly not sure what those are.


In today’s connection economy, it’s all about who you know and your level of integrity. If I can’t trust you based on what I see on Twitter, I’ll never hire you. I won’t even interview you and waste both of our time.

But that’s just the tip. The fact that you know this person or that person is often enough to get you an interview and maybe the job. Of course, skills are required. You have to be awesome but that typically goes hand in hand with the people you know. I hope you understand by now that you are the people you hang around with.

Real connections using social media are, comparatively, few. I can relate to this as I have a little over 400 followers on Twitter right now but have to admit that I’ve only truly connected with a handful of them. Obviously we can’t connect with everyone, but we must make sure we are being intentional.

I can tell you from experience that truly connecting is where the magic happens. When we talk with people who share the same ideas or goals we have, we feel empowered, motivated and accountable to make something awesome happen. We forget about all the other people who don’t agree with us and focus solely on those that do. That’s the joy of having a tribe of people that passionately care about what we care about.

That’s real connection.

That’s today’s economy through social media.

That’s our lives through social media.


This has opened up the door for countless other things in our lives to fall in place. It has allowed us to connect with people we never thought possible.

Case in point.

I had been talking with Michael Hyatt off and on over the course of a few months on twitter. These were very short messages and, really, only a handful of them.

But I was making contact with someone that is a celebrity my mind.

I then went to a conference of his here in Fort Worth where I had the opportunity to meet him and introduce myself.

When I said my name, he replied, “Oh yeah, I remember you from Twitter! Very nice to meet you in person!”

I was flabbergasted. To think that he recognized me out of all those people that talk to and about him everyday was awesome!

That says something awesome about him, sure, but what about the ability we have to connect with those we hold on such a high pedestal? That’s never been possible before!

Now, I don’t have Dave Ramsey’s phone number or anything so I can’t call him up for advice (unless i call his radio show), but I can certainly message him on Twitter! Will he respond? Maybe. He has before. The man gets who knows how many thousands of messages per day. I don’t really expect a response.

But that is what social media has done. It’s opened up the possibility for us “average Joe’s” to connect with those we see as authorities and actually have them hear us! How incredible is that!?!

I tell you, I’m excited about this new economy, social media and how it will play a vital role in our lives over the coming years.

I’m excited that I no longer have to wait for permission to make an impact. To throw an idea out there. To start my journey to changing the world.

And I hope you’re as excited as I am about it! It’s going to be AWESOME!

So, what do you think? Any stories you can tell about truly connecting? How do you think it will affect our careers in the future?


9 thoughts on “THRIVE: Social Media and Real Networks”

  1. You are right – there has been too much focus on knowledge and not enough on connections. A college degree is no longer a guarantee for a job. The thing is most jobs aren’t ever posted – and those connections are what get you in the game.

  2. Jared, your observations about the power of social media are right – on. I joined Twitter just over a year ago, and was amazed when people I met flew in to meet with me based on that connection. And the ability for us all to learn from each other is remarkable. (And Michael and Dave are both the type of people who would respond, care and connect.)

    1. Yeah, it’s amazing how awesome people are. I may have a distorted view of the world outside of my community but I think the web allows us to find so many people we’d never meet otherwise. Those connections are a vital part of my life and I know many others feel the same. And yes, Dave and Michael are awesome people!

      Thanks for reading!

  3. I have used my twitter followers feed to find new blogs and connect with other writers and leaders. Social media is a powerful tool to connect with people. Great thoughts Jared.

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