THE BRAZEN CAREERIST- 140 words: How Twitter can improve your life

It's safe to say that the majority of the world thinks Twitter is a waste of time, but here are some ways that Twitter can save your life:

1. Twitter lets you find people like you

The core of every career problem is actually loneliness. Twitter helps solve this problem because you can find people like you. That voice inside your head telling you that no one has your problem? Do a search. Every problem you can imagine is tweeted about somewhere.

The more people you find who are like you, the more you can connect with others and feel okay with who you are, and then you believe in yourself and you start to move on. Twitter is a live index of people and the weirdness we harbor, which is a gift to the world of loneliness.

2. Twitter solves specific problems

You can tweet into the world, and ask for help, and someone will answer. Twitter users ask questions all the time– usually how to. "Where's a good place to eat near the intersection of?" Or "What adapter do I need to run PowerPoint from my Mac into a projector?" You will get an answer in twenty seconds.

Twitter answers questions so efficiently because there is such an incredibly wide range of top-performers. There's a directory to find anyone on Twitter, by company or title or location. This means that whatever you want to do with your life, there is someone there who can help you. And you know they want to help, because that's why people are on Twitter—to connect with people.

Social media is about networking, and networking is about helping people. This means that you have millions of people waiting to help you.

3. Twitter helps you find what you're good at

If you force yourself to start tweeting, you force yourself to think about what you're thinking.

Most of us focus on what we're doing: our to-do list, our schedule, etc. Once you focus instead on what you're thinking, you free yourself to start really connecting with people.

For some people, 140 characters in Twitter is enough– and a gateway to longer ideas.

You'll learn for yourself how to best present what's in your head. Then you can be more than just a static resume, more than just a list of your contacts. You can be a known for your ideas.

4. Twitters delivers insta-specific info

Twitter helps you get better information and give better information. And, in an information economy, you can't have a more important tool than that.

Twitter is a way to curate information in a way that makes news useful to you.

5. Twitter makes you brave

Maybe you think all this is stupid and misguided. But let me tell you something. I am not an early adapter. I resist new technology until I think it's proven. I hate learning new contraptions, and I don't even know how to program my expensive-because-it's-programmable coffee maker.

But even with my technoskepticism, I know that you have to try Twitter. Because bravery begets bravery, and trying new things keeps you fresh and interesting, even if you are trying new things that you don't believe you really need to try.

It's why I went to the rodeo, it's why I worked on that chicken farm, it's why I read Car and Driver magazine when I'm getting a manicure. You have to force yourself out of your comfort zone if you want to grow.


Penelope Trunk has started several companies and worked for many more.


1 comment

Unfortunately many people who live in this area may have to turn to twitter & other social networking sites to help find employment, if Del. Joe T. May has his way. He added an amendment to HB30 HB30 Item451 h1) which can eliminate the Virginia Transportation Research Council in Charlottesville. The 62-year-old VTRC has a national reputation for its excellent research program in transportation issues. Research studies have been there for Del. May, other legislators, & JLARC. Millions of dollars are passed through VTRC to state research universities for research. VTRC has been requested to do 2 legislative studies during the 2010 session. 2 questions: How can a delegate who does not represent this area be allowed to affect the lives of so many who live and work here? Why does Del. May want to destroy the nationally recognized Virginia Transportation Research Council in Charlottesville?