What’s in Your Wallet?

Bank Transfer Day LogoThis is a question Capital One asks consumers in its popular series of television ads promoting their brand of credit cards. However, on Saturday, November 5th, 2011, in honor of Bank Transfer Day, consumers were more likely symbolically saying “Remember Remember the Fifth of November!”

This refrain is the opening line of a popular English rhyme celebrating Guy Fawkes’ Day (a commemoration of the November 5, 1605 “Gunpowder Plot” intended to blow up the English Parliament).  The poem and the date have since evolved into a rallying cry against oppression and government abuse of its citizens.

Likewise, the goal of Bank Transfer Day, which was launched from the laptop of 27-year-old art gallery owner Kristen Christian, is to to encourage consumers to voluntary switch their financial accounts from large commercial banks to non-profit credit unions and community banks.

What inspired Christian to start Bank Transfer Day? In the following HDNet interview with Dan Rather she explains that, in large part, it was Bank of America‘s (recently rescinded) decision to charge its customers $5 a month to use their ATM cards for purchases:

Interestingly, the logo being used for Bank Transfer Day is based on the design of Guy Fawkes masks which are also worn to commemorate the celebration — and have also been used by #OccupyWallStreet participants (though Christian’s efforts are not directly connected to that consumer movement).

The poem and the ideals it embodies were also popularized in the 2006 film “V for Vendetta” which was based on a series of graphic novels of the same name written by by Alan Moore and illustrated by David Lloyd. Hugo Weaving portrayed the character who delivered the famous poem in the scene below:

Will Bank Transfer Day be successful? Predictably, banks have not commented in public, but financial institutions must disclose their deposits every three months to comply with federal regulations, so perhaps we will know more about the impact of Bank Transfer Day in February 2012?

Regardless of the actual financial impact, however, Bank Transfer Day represents a positive and productive paradigm of consumer activism.

In many ways it was similarly inspired, though with much more bite than the bark in my December 25, 2008 parody of the bank bailouts, “‘Twas The Night Before Bailout!

In closing, with Bank Transfer Day upon us, perhaps the more relevant question today is “Where’s your wallet?”

Update: According to a March 2, 2012 Los Angeles Times article, “More than 1.3 million Americans opened new credit union accounts last year, up from less than 600,000 in 2010, the National Credit Union Administration reported. That brings the number of credit union members to a record 91.8 million.”

Is social media the new resume? Chris Hutchins thinks so.

On Friday, May 1, 2009 I caught up with Chris, the founder of Laid Off Camp during a meeting of the networking and collaborative career resource at Blankspaces.

I invited him to expand on a statement he made during an interview with Leo Laporte on  the March 8, 2009 TWiT.tv “This Week in Tech” show (where he was joined by Brian Shaler):

“Social media is the new resume.”

In response to his statement, I asked Chris the following questions which he answered in the video below:

  1. Why is social media the “new resume?”
  2. Does social media help represent a candidate in a more three dimensionally way? Can it give employers a fuller sense of who a candidate really is?
  3. Have you had an experience with a recruiter using 1.0 tools who could not adapt to the 2.0 landscape?
  4. Have you had any experiences with a firm that made an effort to understand you as a person, but were still ineffective?
  5. Are there certain industries for which social media is naturally a better fit?
  6. Is there greater risk or reward with using social media to reveal the “real you?” What is the role of an employer in that risk or reward?
  7. What is your long-term vision for Laid Off Camp?
  8. How can employers participate in and benefit from Laid Off Camp?

Chris was gracious enough to spend some time with me and very candidly addressed each of my inquiries:

With the passage of time, Chris is now working for Milk — a mobile application development company based in San Francisco, CA  — although Laid Off Camp remains a proud part of his professional past.

Update: On March 16, 2012 Chris announced via his Twitter account that Milk, and it’s staff, had been acquired by Google. Chris is now a product manager at Google.

Speaking of the passage of time, since this interview was originally recorded, social media has continued to evolve as an exceptionally viable means by which individuals can market themselves and secure full-time employment and/or contract work — in social media or other industries.

Notably, according to a recent LA Times article, a growing number of employers are hiring people to mange their social media presence.

If you are curious to learn how businesses are using social media to recruit candidates, you might find this infographic from Mashable of interest.

One particularly active resource for social media positions is the crowdsourced Social Media Jobs Group on Facebook.  Another resource includes the Social Media Jobs account on Twitter.

Mashable also offers helpful advice about how to get a job using Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. If you’re not sure where to start, this Mashable article will teach you how to create an online resume with a website, videos, documents, and LinkedIn.

One recent humorous take on using social media to find a job involved Matthew Epstein donning a fake moustache in a creative and compelling effort to land a job at Google.

Although his initial goal was not realized, his campaign garnered significant attention and helped get him hired as a product marketing manager at Sigfig, a web-based investment and financial management service.

Ironically, some criminals are also finding “jobs” using social media, so please be careful what you share online!

Personally, I have been actively using social media since roughly November 2008 (I actually created my Facebook account a year earlier, but didn’t begin using it immediately).

Since that time the various social media tools and platforms — including Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn — with which I have experimented have helped me find several adjunct teaching opportunities.

I also launched a personal website with which I have consolidated my social media profiles while also offering a centralized resource through which I communicate who I am and the value I can add to any organization.

Additionally, this blog also provides a platform with which I can share knowledge while also promoting my skills to potential employers.

Without question, social media has been a tremendous career enhancing tool!

Beverly Macy and Matthew Gilbert at UCLA Gravity Summit on February 25, 2009In one such example, I was hired to teach marketing courses at UCLA Extension almost entirely because of a referral from Beverly Macy.

Beverly is the CEO of Gravity Summit, a professional speaker and co-author of the book “The Power of Real-Time Marketing” (affiliate link). She also teaches a social media marketing class for UCLA Extension.

I first came to know Beverly on Twitter (in late 2008 or very early in 2009), just prior to the first Gravity Summit conference at UCLA in February 2009 (which I attended).

Beverly and I later connected via Facebook in August 2009 and, in July 2010, she referred my resume to her contacts at UCLA.

After several months of administration and preparation I finally began teaching online the first of two courses with which I am now entrusted: MGMNT X 460.394, New Media Marketing (Online). In the fall semester I added MGMNT X 460.300, Consumer Behavior (on campus), to my repertoire.

I anticipate continuing to teach these two courses for the foreseeable future and am very grateful for the privilege to do so.

Suffice it to say that, were it not for Twitter, I would have never come to know Beverly, and had I not come to know Beverly, I would have never had a chance to teach these classes.  I am forever grateful to Beverly, Twitter, and social media in general!

In what ways has social media played a part in your own career development and/or job search?