By J.T. O'Donnell Anyone who has been on Twitter for a while knows about #followfriday phenomenon. (For those of you who don't use, or dislike Twitter, please hear me out.) #followfriday is when a person opts to tweet the names of their favorite people to follow on Twitter, and of course, they do it on Friday. It's a quick, focused and highly effective way to recognize and share the work of people you admire. It's also a way to learn about other people you should be following on Twitter. Honestly, the idea is simplistic yet brilliant (and aren't those the best kind?). It's no surprise the concept took off like wildfire. Everyone wins with #followfriday. As I was pulling my own #followfriday list together for this week, I realized as professionals, we should all be consistently doing a similar form of career reciprocity OUTSIDE of Twitter. I mean, how hard is it to pick one day/week, and carve out 15-20 minutes of our time to identify people we admire and respect professionally and share their strengths with others? Actually, it's pretty darn simple.... For example, on LinkedIn, you can recommend anyone you are linked with. Simply open your account, find a colleague's profile and complete a recommendation - all in less than 5 minutes time. Just imagine how you would feel if you suddenly found out a colleague (past or present) voluntarily, and without request, took the time to recommend you online so your professional credibility would be improved? Or, what about sending someone you admire an e-mail or making a quick phone call with the intention of giving them a professional compliment? We are talking about a simple act of kindness that A) not only makes someone we know feel good about themselves, but B) makes us feel better for doing a good deed. AND YET, taking the time to do the things I have suggested above seems to elude us all. Days, weeks and even months pass and we just can't seem to find the time to do this sort of career maintenance. Well today, I'm going to make it really easy for CAREEREALISM readers to do get it done. It's time to give 5 professionals you know a round of applause! I'm challenging you to bestow 5 people with the ultimate compliment. It couldn't be any easier to participate. Simply list in the comment section below 5 AWPs (Applause-Worth Professionals) you admire. They can be current or past co-workers, managers, clients, vendors, etc. Anyone you've worked with. List them and provide one sentence why they deserve AWP status. Then, shoot each person you chose an e-mail letting them know about their AWP status and include this post as a link. We'll be tweeting the post all day to help your 5 AWP list get maximum exposure, giving everyone's choices the recognition they deserve. Don't delay and no excuses! Get your list posted below and out of the way. Think of how great you'll feel the rest of the day for doing such a good professional deed.
July 17, 2009