In the old days, it was a bit of struggle for a young professional or college student to knife their way into a company’s structure or track down an expert that would be willing to provide career guidance, tips and advice.
I distinctly remember attending “career day” each year in high school where we were asked to select three careers of interest and sit through workshops listening to various speakers talk about their respective jobs. Granted I grew up in a small town, but the available workshop options were always severely limited and typically of zero interest for any creative types. In fact, I may or may not have decided to skip out on these workshops and opted for a day at the beach instead.
Social media and the Web have obviously had a huge impact on the way we now network and connect with one another. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if “career day” at some schools has now been replaced with regular weekly networking chat sessions. It may already be happening, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea for CareerBuilder or Monster to coordinate weekly chats or tweet-ups between local professionals and schools for students to interact in real-time.
In the past year or so, it’s been most impressive to watch more and more job seekers and those just starting their career get savvy with the way they market themselves and connect online. Between social networks, the blogosphere and Twitter, points of access and connection are plentiful for someone looking to find a virtual mentor. Especially in PR/marketing, one can finally sense the movement toward mainstream recognition that social media isn’t going away anytime soon but rather fully evolving as another integrated part how we all communicate.
Edelman Digital’s Allie Osmar runs a nice blog called the Creative Career with a few other young professionals here in Chicago. They offer a nice, simple mentor program to connect aspiring PR/marketing pros with current pros.
If you know of other online resources or had a particularly great experience with a virtual mentor of your own, be sure to drop a name/link below for others to connect!