Learning While Teaching: Giving Back to Your Community Ultimately Gives Back to You

Giving back to your community can take on many looks, facets, and ideas. Whether you give money, time, charitable goods, or advice your effort is important. In our business at Inner Architect we are currently giving our time and expertise through free work shops to unemployed professionals in our home town. The following is an article written by Susan Hanshaw, CEO of Inner Architect, on our latest experience reaching out to our community.

Learning While Teaching

One of the ways we at Inner Architect give back to our community is by teaching  job seekers how to use digital media to support job search. Earlier this week Dean and I gave our quarterly pro bono presentation at Marin Professionals, a support and networking organization for job seekers who are 40+ years old with college degrees.

Challenges with adoption

We started speaking at Marin Pro in the fall of 2008 with a program we called “Blogging to Employment” which we delivered to a very skeptical audience. Although the group seemed intrigued, they challenged us pretty hard about the power and practicality of the tool we said could be leveraged as a vehicle for standing apart as a job candidate. Faces in the audience were looking at us like we were a couple of early adopter geeks evangelizing a passing trend.

Over the last three years, the skepticism has waned, although the group has generally remained uninspired to adopt. I am thinking that perhaps we’ve begun to see the beginning of change in the group that sat in on our presentation earlier this week as a number of heads were nodding in agreement as we gave rationale about how social engagement can open doors.

Social engagement success story

I shared a story of how one particular fan of one of our law firm clients has gotten on the radar of the managing partner simply by liking or commenting on their Facebook page 2-3 times a week. I shared that this fan has never asked for a favor, but if she did we (the people behind the firm’s logo) would roll out the red carpet to help because we are so grateful for all her support.

One more reason to adopt

I do hope to see more of my friends at Marin Professionals adopting social networking and digital media. We’ve all heard the hard facts about finding a job if you’re 40, 50, or 60+.  Don’t we all seem more youthful if we’re doing stuff that many people think is only for kids?

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