Monday, July 29, 2013

Why Social Media May Be a Good Career Fit for A Jack of All Trades (Me)~~Especially in a Superstar Economy

I never thought of myself as a "Jack of All Trades" because I have never been very handy or able to create things with my hands. However, during a discussion with a friend about an article I read about web designers, it occurred to me that I could be that type of personality. This article described how web designers usually fall into one of three categories: programmer, marketer, or graphic artist. It said how the programmer focused on functionality, the marketer on who the website should target, and the graphic artist on how the website should look. The article went on to say that you really should look for someone or team of people who focus on all three things. I told my friend that I would naturally focus on all of those things equally and not really gravitate toward any one of those. That is when my friend said to me, "That's because you are a jack of all trades."

I went on to think about this idea and asked myself was that really true. Teaching was such a great fit for me for so many years because I liked the variety in the job. I was able to teach so many different subjects and design my day according to my students' needs. We could start the day with science and experiments, transition into a discussion about books during reading, and then explore and discuss mathematics. All the while I could analyze my students' learning and the content, plan and research teaching units, and work with other teachers on a variety of school teams including data analysis or planning a school carnival. Then I thought about the way I differ from other programmers. I know I love to code like other programmers do, but I find myself wanting to not only code but use and embrace many aspects of technology. I also want a job where I am really connecting with others.

The more I think about it, the more I see working in a career in social media as being the best fit for a jack of all trades. So I made it a point to reflect on all the social media out there and how I have been using it to satisfy all the parts of my personality.

Twitter is the place where I share and review tech news of all kind. It is a great way to connect with people from all over about any topic. I love Twitter. It is my favorite of the social media sites. Twitter feed is fast and informative.

Google+ is where I can connect with others through Google's communities. I get questions answered, find out what projects people are working on, and get specific instruction on a variety of tech skills from programming to social media. I found making connections with others in programming the most productive on this site.

Pinterest is where I feel that I can dive into my other interests outside of IT. I enjoy the beauty of clothing, architecture, and nature. Aesthetics provide me with much stimulation and serenity. I connect with friends and strangers alike on Pinterest all based on what we are into. I have also begun to use Pinterest as a site where I can post my own images that I find beautiful in my everyday life. Those are my hashtag boards. 

The potential for Instagram is limitless. I use Instagram to help me project a certain feel that I want to come through in my pictures. Then I share the pictures with my Instagram followers, on Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter whenever it is appropriate.


I have been a member of Facebook for some time. Facebook is a place where I can connect with family and friends about the personal things in life. I am able to keep updated on what is happening with people I care about but don't have the luxury of seeing very often.

While this is more of a professional connection site, it is a great place for me to organize what I have been doing to develop professionally in the world of IT. It allows potential employers to view what I have to offer. However, it also allows me to connect with different groups about the things I am interested in like running and theoretical physics.

This is a great app to connect with others about where you are and what you are doing. For example, I like to connect with people I work out with at the gym even when we aren't there at the same time. Here's me checking in and getting ready to run with my neon running shoes!

Vine is an app I have only recently started using. It is incredible fun and the potential for teaching is great. I plan to use it in a future blog post to teach the difficult concepts of programming.

I read the other day about the idea of the superstar economy and that we are currently living in an economy of this type. A superstar economy occurs in a global economic situation where employers can choose from a variety of candidates from around the world. Therefore businesses have the best and brightest to choose from and won't hire just competent people. You must be the best and brightest. That situation presses the issue that you better be exceptional at what you do.

I really do want to do it all. It's not that I am unfocused. I'm a multitasker by nature. I love programming. I want to design apps from the bottom up. However, I also love reading and learning about all aspects of technology. I enjoy the aesthetics of graphic design. I love using and exploring different apps and thinking about the possibilities of use for those apps in meeting different people's needs. I love connecting with others and sharing ideas. I also love educating people about technology.

So maybe in this global, superstar economy, social media is the right fit for me after all. I know a lot of students feel maybe programming isn't right for them but don't want to give up on it because of the promise of job security. However, when the stakes are high for what's expected of you in any given field these days, it might just be better to find the absolute perfect fit for your personality instead of just one part of it.