Go slow, just don't stop

turtle photo by Audrey Michael

photo by Audrey Michael

It does not matter how slow you go as long as you do not stop.

That saying–from Confucius, who else!–is going to be my mantra as I reinvent myself, out of a job and my comfort zone.

I will learn how to use social media so I can advise businesses in turn how they can use these channels to be successful.

No biggie, right. WRONG. I have a love/hate relationship with technology. It excites and terrifies me at the same time. I love what it enables but I’m in misery trying to use it. Don’t let anyone change my computer or TV settings—I may never get them back again.  I don’t even own a cell phone or a PDA.

And yet I developed and managed a very successful intranet for a very large crown corporation and as a regular presenter at conferences, advised many other communicators on intranet strategy and best practices, including usability and how it contributes to the bottom line.

What’s behind all this

For 21 years I was a very successful communicator loving my work at Canada Post. Then came the job cuts, including mine. I didn’t expect it. Who does.

Early retirement doesn’t cover my line of credit, maxed out after a divorce–yes, my third, and yes, the same year as losing my job!  I also took on the care of a 14-year-old. Where’s that quiz you take to measure the personal effect of change.  Divorce, losing your job, financial pressures—my stress marker must be off the scale.  Adding a teen to your household should be enough. By the way, I also battle lifelong depression.

You can see that I’m going to be honest here!

Despite facing issues like this much of my life, I have a track record of succeeding. And so, here we go again:  it’s time for me to reinvent myself.

I will learn how to use social media so I can advise businesses in turn how they can use these channels to be successful.

I’ll be applying the same approach I took in developing our intranet as a strategic business tool, researching and learning from the best, although in this case, the best isn’t as obvious.

And I’ll use this forum to distill and demonstrate my findings as I go. My posts won’t always be a direct correlation of applying and sharing. The specifics of how I set up this blog, for instance, will likely come with my next posting. This first column (can I call it that?) sets the stage.

OK, step one: a working computer.

I’m serious here. I only just got my seven-year old model back. It got corrupted by the 14-year old referenced above.

Step two. Set the portable heater at low. My home office is over an unheated crawlspace. It gets very cold. At low, the warmth of the heater keeps my toes from freezing, but doesn’t dull my brain.

Step three: Focus. Ignore the squirrels partying above my head.  Fight the temptation to try yet again to find out how they’re getting under my roof.

Step four is harder—where to go online? It’s a bit like entering a packed exhibition hall or a Saturday-morning market, full of noise, bright colours and lights, a sea of rows/directions.

For me, the go slow has additional meaning. As I research items that spark my creativity, I find it’s much too easy to get sidetracked on a thought-provoking tangent that takes me far from the original knowledge I was trying to gain. Somewhat like the chaos of my former work cubicle. A former VP of mine used to shake his head every time he walked by my overflowing space.  Remember that, Alain?

So the “go slow”, is also to remind me to stay grounded and work through all the steps.

My journey has begun.

Today,  I pointed out to a former bosses’ bosses’ boss, that the length of his URL was rather long for twittering. Hey, I’ve offered professional advice!

I also retweeted his latest blog on seven deadly sins of CEOs.

Applied learning.

I feel gooooood.


One response to “Go slow, just don't stop

  1. I don’t think you’re alone. A lot of the “consultants” out there have a habit of talking to themselves with all their buzzwords. I’m still trying to figure out what a “Certified Social Media Specialist” is.

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