Using creative sources for research and support.

Coming off of a whirlwind travel weekend, Monday then hit me with the challenge of coming up with a theme for this week’s column. The few ideas I had in reserve didn’t inspire me. So I did what I often do lately when looking for help: I asked my friends on Facebook.

My post, calling for any interesting career-growth related topic, yielded 27 submissions in four hours. Suggestions ranged from when to give up on a passion career and just take a job, to when to give up on a job to shift to a passion career. What to do to get noted for a promotion, to what not to do at the company holiday party to avoid getting noticed negatively. How to evaluate this year’s successes, and how to plan for five years in the future. And those are just a few of them.

Facebook, I’ve determined, is like walking into a big party and instantly having access to a several people’s thoughts and conversations, delivered in an orderly way that I can sift through at a reasonable pace. If I choose, I can also throw my own opinions and needs into the mix.

On the career front, I tap into Facebook to help locate people to serve as resources for my clients who are conducting career research, share job postings that pop up in my newsfeed, and congratulate colleagues on their professional successes. Additionally, I post some of my own wins, because cyber celebrating with 500+ friends is far more rewarding than doing a happy dance in my office by myself.

Yet I’m careful to avoid sharing comments and pictures that I’d be uncomfortable seeing on the front page of a newspaper (yet another column topic from a friend). Keeping my content constructive is essential, because it’s a public forum after all.

On that note, I want to thank those friends who offered their input regarding my future column topics. I’m now well stocked with inspiring ideas. And I encourage you to tap into the world of friendly career support on Facebook when you need it, too.