Whether you’re thinking of re-careering or starting a business, or you just want to rev up your existing career or business, recent trends point to a way 50+ women especially can capitalize on their strengths.
Online recruiter Jobvite has reported that 94% of recruiters use or plan to use social media to find candidates. Although the company will obviously have a bias in their numbers because they make social media recruiting software, even being conservative and lowering this percentage shows a distinct trend.
Couple this with the Hiscox studies showing that female entrepreneurs are experiencing a more rapid rate of growth than male entrepreneurs and that one reason for this growth is women’s use of social media in all aspects of their businesses, not just for hiring.
Fast Company recently highlighted stories of women and men using social media to launch new careers or businesses, including:
- Kay Roseland, who was laid off in her 60s, decided to get certifications in social media and start a blog. Then through social media contact, followed by face-to-face contact, she ended up landing a job blogging for Infor.
- At 50, Gail Dosik went from the fashion industry to culinary school, then started her own Manhattan bakery, building word-of-mouth through social media and email.
- Attorney Diane Danielson recareered into marketing in her 40s, jumping into an on-the-job crash course in social media and web-based marketing, ultimately landing a job when she wasn’t even looking for one simply through her online presence.
For women, being social can mean big business, especially for those in midlife and beyond. One of the most persistent stereotypes about boomers and matures is that they are unwilling to learn new things and are not on top of the latest technology. The stats show otherwise (see, e.g., studies by the Kauffman Foundation and Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management), but public perception often lags behind reality. One of the best ways to change the stereotype is to be a visible example of its opposite.
On top of this, we are at a critical point coming out of the Great Recession during a time of unprecedented technology and increasing numbers of people putting their money where their values are. This means we are in a position to shape what business looks like going forward, including using our businesses and careers to build genuine connections with others, combine our values with our business practices, and make a profit in innovative, meaningful ways.
All of these capitalize on the current strengths of many women and of social media. Right now, you are in a unique position to redefine business, not only for yourself but for generations to come, by combining the two.
Perhaps the examples above or other success stories are exactly the path you want to take, or perhaps you will simply follow your own natural path in building relationships and using social media in ways that are comfortable for you.
Whatever you do, from investing in your social media education or business practices to simply increasing or innovating within your existing social media use, remember that online and off, showing up and having presence are essential components to opening yourself up for opportunities, sometimes when you least expect them.
Today and into the future, building relationships is building your business, even if—especially if—that business is you.
How do you use social media and other online tools, such as blogs, in your personal and professional life?
Featured image by Sean MacEntee.