Thursday, July 21, 2005

Career intelligence

You gotta love the guy! He helps so many people.

I confess I'm a big fan of Dr. Phil. Before watching the show at 5 PM, I would just lie down on the couch and... "All right, Doc, give it to me straight!"

His slogan (above) could actually be good advice for anyone who's serious about competing, career-wise, in the new economy.

Notice the sequence: You can't get smart unless you first get real, that is, until you know the facts about yourself and the real needs and requirements of companies and/or clients.

But I wonder how many LinkedIn users are actually using it to gather career intelligence (intelligence is information that enables you to make a better decision; the information that you get from the TV news or newspaper is NOT intelligence since it does NOT enable you to make better decisions).

Peter Drucker actually wrote that we need to become more information literate. In other words, we need to know WHAT it is that we need to know. If we don't know what we're looking for, we will never find it.

It's like looking for a needle in a stack of... needles!

Now, if you really knew WHAT kind of career intelligence you absolutely need to have to make better career decisions, would you describe it on your LinkedIn profile so your connections can forward the intelligence to you if they come across it?

For example, in my case, as a KM consultant, I could put on my LinkedIn profile: "I would appreciate any information on what companies are currently doing in terms of managing their organizational knowledge. In exchange, I'm most willing to share everything I know about KM."

LinkedIn users currently do not, I believe, have this knowledge-sharing reflex. It may take a while, but I think it will make LinkedIn much more useful than if we only use it for discrete transactions like finding a job or candidate.