Hello, everyone! Thank you for the overwhelming response to the Turing Distinguished Leader Series. Please see our other interviews conducted for this series. See: Henrik Hussfelt, Director of Engineering at Proxy. Please also enjoy: Darren Murph, Head of Remote at GitLab. Let us know what you think!
This time around, I’m conversing with Kelly Graziadei, founder and general partner at f7 Ventures. Kelly has over 20 years of experience in high-growth tech companies. f7 Ventures have managed and developed thousands of people across dozens of teams worldwide and scaled user growth to over a billion. In the discussion below, Kelly shares insights into managing globally distributed teams.
Welcome to Turing’s Distinguished Leader Series. Today, we have an exciting guest, Kelly, who was a senior exec at Facebook. Kelly now has her own venture firm, f7 Ventures. She is also an early Turing investor. Thank you for joining us today, Kelly.
So, could you tell us a bit of your story, what you did at Facebook, and how that led to f7?
Absolutely. So I’ve essentially been an operator for about 20 years, from companies the size of three people to 300,000. I’ve primarily built and led go-to-market teams over that period.
Going all the way back, I can take it old school to AltaVista in the early days. Then I joined Overture through the acquisition from Yahoo. After that, I joined Facebook in 2010. And there are several interesting stories about my journey to Facebook. But one that I would share is that I essentially had a job offer on the product side and a job offer on the sales side.
I ultimately chose the latter and built out what was the mid-market channel. So in a few short years, grew that to 150 people and a billion dollars in revenue. So it was an incredibly high-growth, fast-paced environment. I ultimately chose that because I’ve always cared a lot about people in teams. This focus has been a hallmark of my career, and I love that we’re connecting on this topic today.
After my time on the mid-market side, I made my way back to product and ran the product marketing team globally for monetization. And I had teams in all four regions and managed a globally distributed team. After about eight years of Facebook, I finally decided that it was time to leave. I had the itch to go back to something smaller. When I joined Facebook, there were about 750 people. When I left, it was 40,000 plus strong, so the company had a truly dramatic growth.
And from there, I went and did an EIR at Foundation Capital. That’s where Jonathan and I met. I was trying to decide what I wanted to do next: “Did I want to start a company? Did I want to go the investor path?” So finally, I married those two things and did both by starting a venture firm with six other ex-Facebook leaders and operators. It’s awesome.
And at Facebook, did you work with Sheryl Sandberg?
Yes, absolutely. Sheryl’s fantastic. There are so many learnings from my time at Facebook. I think Sheryl continues to be a significant influence on the Facebook culture, particularly when it comes to being thoughtful about managing people and navigating your career. I took away many lessons from working with her.
And speaking of which, I think one significant shift in this last year and a half has been the adoption of distributed teams, right? People are now comfortable with the idea of distributed teams. What was your experience with the same during your Facebook days? And now, you get to experience distributed teams through a different lens, which is the f7 portfolio companies getting started today.
So are there any lessons that you have for founders thinking about distributed teams based on your experience from Facebook and the f7 portfolio companies?
Yeah, that’s a good question. I think there are several lessons in terms of managing distributed global teams. If I think of the first two tools in the toolset, I would say you need respect and empathy. And you need to slow down to understand those things.
When I moved over to the product side of things at Yahoo, I had led some global teams, but I’ll just stick to Facebook specifically. There, I went from running a US-based team to stepping into a global role.
Here, you need to keep some basics in mind—things like time zones, for example. Everyone needs to feel respected. They should not think that that one team should always have the team meeting at midnight.
You need to rotate so that each time zone has to flex and give at different times. I think you also have to just be thoughtful around reading the room and reading language differences. If someone’s quieter, allow them to take the floor and be heard.
The other thing is being very clear in terms of goals and communication, including rolling things out clearly, using written and spoken communication for elaboration.
Doing this at Facebook, we had groups and what would become the Facebook Workplace, which was a great way to facilitate that. Having a good set of tools that can help people communicate synchronously in real-time is essential.
That makes sense. And one of the things I consistently hear from founders building companies today is that it’s tough to onboard people the right way to a team. Particularly if you’ve started a company in the last year and a half, how do you ensure that they get integrated into the team the right way? How do you ensure that people develop the right relationships within their group and inside the broader organization when everybody’s globally distributed?
Do you have any advice for founders thinking about company building today and how they could be intentional about ensuring that the right relationships get built inside the company?
Yeah, that’s a great question. The words that you said that jump out at me are ‘being intentional.’ And I think that’s one of the challenges for an early-stage company. You’re moving fast as a founder, and you have a whole bunch of competing priorities in terms of how to build a fast-moving company.
But what should be on that priority list is being intentional about the culture from the very start. Letting negative culture run away from you at the beginning can be incredibly damaging.
So it’s essential to be thoughtful about that upfront. As a founder, you need to model a lot of that behavior. So how are you prioritizing one-on-one conversations, facilitating connections between people, creating those forums for different individuals to share their work and experience, or learn from one another?
Facilitating those connections where you have different individuals working together is essential. I think there’s nothing more bonding than a shared experience or working towards a shared goal. But again, the most important is being intentional about those things and doing it from day one.
The other thing I would add is to think of moments where people can get together in person. It doesn’t need to be all the time. But just a couple of days of people getting together can last you 12 months or longer. Having some of that personal interaction and bonding smoothens out the ‘long-distance relationships,’ if you will.
When you look at the f7 portfolio and the companies you’re investing in today, how do those founders think about an office at the seed stage?
I think—most if not all—are remote and remote first.
Some had an office at the beginning of the pandemic and then decided to go all remote. It’s a notable change from a couple of years ago. Today, so many founders are thinking about: “How do I build a remote-first team? How do I help people feel connected to the top-line goals?”
The other thing I see for founders is being more thoughtful and formal about their communication at an earlier stage.
That is equally important even with a small team: “What’s the all-hands? What’s the email that you’re sending out? How are you doing one-on-ones?” So I think it’s vital to think of that and not just hope it unfolds as it should.
How do your portfolio companies think about what they will do post-pandemic? For example, do your founders see themselves coming back to an office, or do they envision staying remote, or do you see a hybrid structure?
Yes, I think we’ll see companies staying remote for a while. A few are thinking about hybrid solutions. So I imagine we’ll see more flexible workspaces with people moving into shared spaces.
When I joined Facebook, I lived like an hour and a half from the office. I spent over three hours a day in my car. That’s not a world I would want to go back to.
At least six or 12 months ago, I heard a little bit of chatter that there would still be the headquarters, but people that want to work remotely would have more flexibility. There’s an interesting conversation happening about some of the downsides of that model. It creates a hierarchy or a two-party system. I think we’ll see more companies that decide to go all-remote and all-distributed. This way, you don’t create that hierarchy of people in the office vs. out of the office.
The remote vs. hybrid team structure is something that we think about a lot on the f7 side. We invest in three sectors. One of those is the future of work. So much of the infrastructure we used to lean on for work is changing. I think we’re going to see some exciting changes to support a distributed model.
Yeah! Mental health is one area that f7 focuses on, which we never thought would be a vital core benefit. At Turing, we are evaluating subscriptions to some mindfulness mental health services for our team and the broader Turing developer network. Because when you work from home, loneliness and isolation are significant factors.
Absolutely. And along with that, we also focus on connected communities, which is a bit of what you’re describing. We’re also challenging how and where we form communities because the traditional office-based ways no longer happen. So we need to focus on mechanisms that help people create and feel those meaningful connections.
And what are some interesting categories that you’ve seen emerge in the last year and a half as the world has shifted to distributed teams? It sounds like mental health, and emphasis on that is one such area.
You mentioned connected communities. Are there any other categories that you think we’ll see a lot of innovation in as the future of the office moves to the cloud, for lack of a better word?
Yes. I think this will be an extension of remote work, distributed teams—just the gig economy in general.
What we’ve seen is an overall labor shortage. So people are looking for more flexible options. Not only working remotely but working on their schedule and time. So I think we will see that infrastructure around the gig economy, creator economy, and passion economy.
Another area around the future of work that we’re passionate about is reskilling. The percentage of people that need new job training or reskilling as our jobs and environment change is pretty dramatic.
And there’s a company called Flockjay that does this specific to sales, and it’s just been fascinating. For example, some people who had an average income of 30k to 35k before Flockjay, have an average income of 75k to 85k after using it.
There’s also a company called Read.CV that I’m super excited about. They’re the LinkedIn for this new generation gig economy. And where LinkedIn may be a little bit more reliant on things like labels, Read.CV provides a much more dynamic way to represent your work via projects, writing, or speaking. And so we feel like it represents how people work now.
That’s super interesting, Kelly! The reskilling piece is interesting because it matches what we see. So we recently conducted a survey with our developers at Turing. One of our questions was: “What could we build for you to make the Turing platform more useful?”
And right at the top was: “help with upskilling.” And right now, we are focussing on what I would call horizontal and vertical reskilling and upskilling.
Horizontally, we want to give people feedback based on their profile that if they pick up this XYZ skill, they’ll become more valuable in the industry. And then we want to help them acquire that skill either in partnership or doing some things ourselves. So that’s horizontal upskilling, where we help them up-level in some of these adjacent areas.
The vertical upskilling that we think about is that Turing internally has an engineering ladder similar to Facebook. We have IC3, IC5. We have tech leads and tech lead managers. So we ask ourselves, what can we do to accelerate a developer’s growth from IC3 to IC4 and so on. And, interestingly, reskilling is something that comes up in a variety of contexts. People want that growth.
And it’s so fascinating because if you think about where people get that growth or education, you think about a university setting or a job setting.
Now, we’re at a place where tenure in a job is decreasing. Our people are doing more gig economy type work, so we need to think: “Okay, where does that development happen? Who’s going to be responsible for that development?”. So I think we already see some innovations there, and we’ll continue to see them.
Yep. And in that sense, Kelly, in the last year and a half, have you seen any interesting new tools emerge that have made it easier to operate a remote-first team that either you’ve invested in or you’ve witnessed f7 companies adopt? Any new tools that make it easier than ever to work as a distributed team?
I would say, on the one hand, simplicity in certain cases wins out.
One of the challenges right now is the various channels that people are trying to manage, from Slack to WhatsApp, email, text, and Messenger. Personally speaking, I’ll be like: “Wait, someone reached out to me, and I need to check like six different channels to track that.” I don’t know if there’s a solution. This problem is all the more reason why companies need to figure out what tools people should be using.
That makes sense! Are there any best practices that you would recommend tactically, operationally for founders in building and managing a distributed team in today’s world -both based on your Facebook experience and from what your portfolio companies do? And could you highlight the pitfalls to avoid when managing a distributed team?
Yes. So from what I’d said earlier, being intentional is important. You go from a team that’s been two, three, four people, and then all of a sudden, you have 15- 20 people. How you operate as a company is different from three people to even 15 people. So I think it’s vital to get ahead of that and map out your communication plan.
This practice can feel awkward as a new founder: “Oh, that feels overly formal. Am I doing an all-hands with 15 people?” But you can call it something different or whatnot. So yeah, mapping out those touchpoints is essential.
I strongly suggest prioritizing one-on-ones first as a founder and a manager of a team. Helping connect the dots for others and getting to know one another is essential. It’s crucial to create a culture where the leaders own the entire team’s success, not just their function or their corner of the world. They should bring a group of people together to say: “Collectively, we own the success of this.”
And, of course, they should discuss the KPIs they’re trying to hit and empower people to bring their ideas and give them freedom and flexibility as to how they do that. When you create that ownership mentality, it helps generate respect for one another. It creates more cohesion. It forces people to talk about and understand one another’s priorities.
Lastly, getting people together and creating shared experiences and connections that breed long-term trust is helpful.
That’s super helpful, Kelly. And speaking of one-on-ones and how important they are, what’s your advice on how to have an effective one-on-one in this fully distributed world?
It’s interesting. I feel like through my operator career; I’ve experimented with the one-on-one in many different ways. There are some basics. Be consistent with the one-on-ones. Don’t change everybody’s time when things get crazy because then people start to feel like they’re not a priority.
Try to get away from a one-on-one that’s simply an update that you could share through email. And one of the things I’d do was ask my team members to send me the update in emails before the one-on-one. And my commitment is that I will read it before the one-on-one, and then we can spend the time on critical topics.
The other thing I would do is to set aside一outside of the one-on-one一some dedicated time just for a career development conversation. Just to check in and see how things are going. So I think setting aside time for those types of conversations is important in a fast-paced environment. It also helps people feel valued.
And what’s your cadence for one-on-ones, and what’s the duration that you typically have?
Yeah, so I would typically do weekly one-on-ones in 30 minutes.
Where did you learn to manage distributed teams? How do you get high performance from a distributed team?
Yeah, it’s tough. I feel like I learned from making mistakes and getting feedback from my team. I think the first shift, when you’re switching from an individual contributor to a manager, is the trickiest. Before the shift, how you were valued was based on your output as an individual contributor.
One of the mistakes people make when they pivot to being a manager is they’re still doing things as individual contributors. Management is like this extra thing on the side.
This mind-shift of managing is the most important job of the jobs on your list. And that’s how you have the most impact in the organization. That’s how you get the most scale. And then, you need to prioritize activities you need to do as a manager. The one-on-one is the first thing that gets canceled when things are busy. Don’t do that. That needs to be one of your top priorities.
Ask yourself: “How have you set goals for the team? Have you enrolled people in that goal-setting process?”
As a manager, you can be like: “Great! I set the goals for our team. I sent them all out.” But here, you didn’t ask anybody on the team for their opinion or feedback. So it’s vital to have those conversations with your team. Listening and understanding what’s important to them, being clear on the priorities, getting feedback, enrolling people along the way, making sure they feel respected and heard is the way to go.
I think there can also be this fine line. One of the pitfalls for me is that I probably over-rotate sometimes. It’s also a fine line to say: “Okay, great. Thank you. I heard you. I’m going to come back and let you know what I’ve decided and how we’re moving forward by tonight.” So listening doesn’t mean consensus一that’s another important thing in all of it.
You do learn on the job. Be reflective. Talk to other managers and ask them how they made the transition and if there were any tools or things that were useful for them?
And were there any books, podcasts, mentors who impacted how you think about managing?
Ooh. Good question. This book called the ‘30, 60, 90-day Plan’ can be valuable when you’re making a job transition. There’s one called ‘Essentialism’ which I like. It’s about prioritization and doing what’s most important.
Thank you, Kelly. I wonder if there’s a way to fast-track people to become excellent managers in an engineering sense and in a more general management sense. I guess larger companies have internal programs for management training and so on.
They do. I think there’s a company called Rising Team, which is essentially around managing more effectively, but I think there’s also a learning component around that. So I expect we’ll see more in that space.
Hopefully, what’s positive about that is that it will make some of that material and tools more accessible. In contrast, sometimes, you had to wait until someone deemed you ready for management within a company setting. I think these tools will help people who care about leadership and managing teams do that more readily.
Sounds good, Kelly. So in the last year and a half, the one thing that has changed is founders can fundraise from anywhere, and remote fundraising is a thing. Turing has raised about $52 million so far. And out of that, more than $40 million were raised remotely over Zoom. So I guess now I officially raised a lot more remotely than in person. So is it true that to build a big company today, it doesn’t matter if your base is in Silicon Valley? Or would you say that Silicon Valley still has inherent advantages?
In terms of founders that you back, do you see more people coming from outside Silicon Valley, or has that been no significant shift?
I think there may be a definition of Silicon Valley that isn’t specific to location. But, I think there’s still something powerful in terms of the Silicon Valley network.
But what we’re seeing is that it’s becoming more distributed. People are moving to various places, whether Austin or Miami or New York, or wherever that may be. But I think some of those networks and relationships are still really important.
You probably experienced this on the fundraising side, but it’s still very much a business of who did you work with that somebody else knows that can say: “Jonathan’s fantastic. You have to invest in Turing, and he’s going to build a fantastic, incredible business, and he’s thoughtful.” And so, it’s still something that relies heavily on those recommendations and trusted relationships.
But I think that will hopefully expand over time. And again, it’s less about the place, and it’s more about the sort of ethos and network of who you’ve worked with within tech. And it’s not because you had coffee with them in Palo Alto. It’s about how you’ve gotten to know each other or work together in different ways.
What we’re experiencing enables us to expand and establish those networks beyond Silicon Valley faster than ever before.
And the million-dollar question. What is your default going to be post-pandemic? Would it be a Zoom meeting for a first-time founder, or would it be an in-person meeting?
Oh, good question. I mean, there are pros and cons to both. The great news about Zoom is you can do many meetings in a day, but at the same time, with in-person meetings, you get more richness in terms of the relationship. So maybe the first meetings are on Zoom and the second meetings are in-person.
That sounds great. So Kelly, could you talk a little bit about f7 and what areas you invest in, and where people can go to learn more?
Absolutely. Thank you for asking. So for f7, we’re focused on pre-seed and seed-stage companies. We typically look for super scrappy founders, so we usually invest post MVP pre-revenue. So there are three sectors that we’re focused on that we’re doubling down, particularly with the events of the past 18 months.
‘Future of Work’ is one with a particular focus on the worker and the trends we’ve discussed. The second is ‘Mental and Physical Health,’ and then the third is ‘Connected Communities.’ So those are our primary focus areas.
And then, if you want to learn more, you could visit f7ventures.com. Find us on Twitter @F7 Ventures. Don’t hesitate to reach out if there’s something we can be helpful with. One of our big motivations for doing this was to take our depth of operational experience and translate that in a way that hopefully is helpful to early-stage founders.
We’ve all built and scaled in fast-paced environments. We’ve also made a lot of mistakes. And so, we’re motivated to be trusted partners. You don’t have to posture your position, and we’ll also roll up our sleeves and help when things are great and when problems arise. So that’s a big part of what we do.
Awesome. Thank you, Kelly. And for everyone reading this, I can personally vouch for all that Kelly has mentioned here. Kelly’s been a phenomenal partner and investor as we’ve grown Turing.
Kelly and her team can help you scale and build a big company from her experience helping scale this relatively small company that you might not have heard of: Facebook.
Thank you, Kelly, for being on Turing’s Distinguished Leader Series. And this will be super helpful for all the companies building on Turing and many companies building outside of Turing. If you’re building outside of Turing, you should build on Turing.
Absolutely. It has been so good to connect, as always!
Image Credit: Provided by the author; created by unklyak; www.freepik.com
Application Dependencies: Are They Holding Back Software Innovation?
In software development, a dependency is a piece of software that another piece of software relies on in order to function. An application’s dependencies are the external components that the application needs in order to work. These can include libraries, frameworks, and other software packages that the application uses.
For example, if an application is written in Python and uses the Django web framework, then Django would be a dependency of the application. In order to run the application, the Django library would need to be installed on the system.
Managing Dependencies in Software Development
Managing dependencies is an important part of software development, as it helps to ensure that an application has all the necessary components it needs to run correctly. This can be especially important when deploying an application to a new environment, as all of the dependencies will need to be installed and configured correctly in order for the application to work.
While dependencies make it possible to develop applications faster and add advanced functionality quickly without having to build them from scratch, they also introduce serious risks that can bring software development projects to a halt. I’ll describe what types of dependencies commonly exist in software projects and how they impact software innovation.
Types of Software Dependencies
Functional dependencies are components or resources that are necessary for an application to function. They result from the tasks that enable businesses to achieve their desired outcomes. It is important to identify and map these dependencies to detect and address issues, removing redundant dependencies.
Sometimes, you might need an unavailable dependency, such as one still in development. Mocking is a technique used in software development to create simulated versions of components or dependencies for testing purposes. Mocking allows developers to test the behavior of a piece of code in isolation by replacing its dependencies with mock objects that mimic the behavior of the real dependencies.
Developmental dependencies, on the other hand, are dependencies that are only needed during the development and testing phase of a software application. These dependencies might include tools for testing, debugging, or building the application and are not necessary for the application to run in production.
For example, an application may depend on a testing framework such as JUnit or PyTest during development in order to run automated tests. Still, the testing framework would not be required when the application is deployed.
Similarly, an application may depend on a build tool such as Gradle or Maven during development in order to compile and package the code, but the build tool would not be needed when the application is running.
Non-Functional and Operational
Non-functional dependencies are dependencies that relate to the overall behavior and performance of a software application rather than its specific functionalities. Examples of non-functional dependencies might include dependencies on particular hardware or software configurations or dependencies on system-level services such as networking or security.
Operational requirements can be hidden in functional requirements, so they only become apparent later in the project. To resolve an issue with such dependencies, it is important to establish policies, identify the root cause of the issue, and determine the appropriate resolution.
Dangers and Risks of Application Dependencies
There are several risks associated with application dependencies, and the danger increases with greater reliance on external software components:
- Security vulnerabilities: Dependencies can contain bugs or flaws that can be exploited by attackers. It is important to keep dependencies up-to-date and to regularly check for and install any available security patches.
- Compatibility issues: Dependencies are not always compatible with the version of the software they are being used with, or they might rely on other dependencies that are not present.
- License issues: Dependencies may be subject to different licenses, and using them in an application may create legal issues if the terms of the license are not followed. It is important to carefully review the licenses of any dependencies before using them in an application.
- Maintenance and updates: These are essential in order to stay current and secure. If a dependency is no longer maintained or supported, it can become a liability for the application that relies on it.
- Complexity: An application with a large number of dependencies can be more complex to maintain and deploy, as all of the dependencies will need to be managed and kept up-to-date. This can result in something called dependency hell.
How Application Dependencies Impact Software Projects
Application dependencies are an important aspect of software development that can significantly impact the success of a software project. Understanding and managing these dependencies is crucial for building and maintaining high-quality software systems that are resilient, scalable, and easy to maintain:
Application dependencies can make the software more complex to build and maintain.
For example, if a software system has many dependencies on external libraries or frameworks, it may require more coordination between different teams and systems to ensure that these dependencies are properly managed. This can increase the time and effort required to deliver the project, and it can make it more difficult to make changes to the system in the future.
Application dependencies can affect software stability and reliability
If a change is made to a dependent component of the system, it can have unintended consequences on other parts of the system that rely on that component. This can make it more difficult to ensure that new features or changes are safe and reliable, and it can increase the risk of regressions or other issues.
Application dependencies can impact the scalability and performance of a software system
If dependencies are not properly managed or optimized, they can become bottlenecks or points of failure that limit the ability of the system to handle high levels of traffic or workload. This can impact the usability and reliability of the system, and it can reduce the value that it delivers to stakeholders.
Therefore, it is important for software teams to carefully understand and manage application dependencies in order to ensure that their projects are successful. This may require using tools and practices such as dependency mapping, automated testing, and continuous monitoring to track and manage dependencies effectively.
In conclusion, application dependencies can have a significant impact on software development projects. While dependencies can provide valuable functionality and save developers time and effort, they can also increase the complexity of a project, introduce security vulnerabilities, impact performance, and cause conflicts.
It’s important for developers to carefully consider the dependencies that their applications rely on and to try to minimize the number of dependencies as much as possible in order to keep the project simple and maintainable.
By keeping your project simple and maintainable — developers can help ensure that their applications are able to take advantage of the latest innovations and technologies and are able to adapt and evolve over time.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Mikhail Nilov; Pexels; Thank you!
Leveraging Social Media To Grow Your Career In 2023
Employees are ready to change their jobs, with nearly half of American workers planning to look for a new job in the coming six months. According to a new Robert Half report, which surveyed 2,500 professionals, around 46% of them said they plan on making a career or job change in the first half of the year.
Job-hopping has become a workplace trend among young working professionals in the post-pandemic labor market. A recent Gallup study found that 60% of surveyed millennials – ages 27 to 40 years – are more likely to look for different opportunities this year. The percentage of non-millennials workers looking to switch jobs is roughly 15% lower.
A majority of Generation Z candidates have also claimed that they are likely to make a job change this year. In a 2022 Lever Great Resignation report, around 65% of Gen Z professionals said that they are likely to leave their job by the end of the year. Moreover, 13% of them are twice as likely to quit their jobs in the next month.
Job-hopping has become almost synonymous in the post-COVID workforce, and younger professionals are fueling this trend by leaving unfulfilling roles and moving on to greener pastures.
Yet, with so many professionals changing jobs, or looking to switch careers, even against the backdrop of a looming recession, many of them have geared themselves towards social media as a way to build a professional brand and market themselves to potential employers.
Using Social Media For Career Growth
Keeping your social media professional can be a hard ball to juggle. In a 2020 Harris Poll survey, around 70% of employers said that every company should screen candidates’ social media throughout the hiring process. Additionally, the majority of employers – 78% – believe that all their current employees should adhere to a work–appropriate social media profile.
Employees should care about what they share and post on social media. Although the debate over whether social media screening during the hiring process is ethical is still ongoing, candidates willing to leverage social media to develop or boost their careers will need to set up a social media strategy that can help them land the job they want.
Much of our digital identity is pinned to our social media accounts, and a lot of what we share, like and the people we interact with via these channels can speak a great deal of the types of person we are outside of the workplace.
Aside from employees using these platforms to grow their network, or search for possible job opportunities, employers and recruiters are using it to look for any possible red or green flags that you might bring to the workplace.
Social media has moved beyond its traditional form, and today it’s become a digital ecosystem that helps to connect like-minded professionals and their potential employers.
How To Use Social Media To Boost Career Opportunities
Searching for a job is more than browsing through recruitment websites and job listings on LinkedIn or Google. The internet, and social media is a vast place, with near-endless possibilities, and when it comes to growing your career through social media, you will need to know a few things first.
Have A Social Strategy
It might sound strange at first, but having a social media strategy will help you come in contact with the right people faster. Your social media strategy should include building an online identity that reflects your professional and personal side.
You can use different platforms for different connections or networks, it’s all about how you present yourself through your brand. Think of the type of content you share regularly, does it reflect who you are as a professional? How often do you post, or reply to comments and messages? Are there any areas where you can improve or update the information to help you grow your network of contacts?
Write some questions down to get you started, and start working on building an online identity that can get noticed by like-minded individuals in the same industry.
Network With Industry Professionals
Nowadays it’s easier than ever before to reach out to a company or recruiter through their social media, and the same goes for connecting with professionals working in the same industry.
Instead of using social media to only share insightful content, or engage with your friends, try to grow your professional network. On top of this, it’s important to engage with these people as well, even if it’s simply exchanging a few words now and again.
Be active in your mission to get to know the people that are out there, and spend a bit of time researching their profiles to better understand the type of skills and qualifications these people may have. Networking is one of the best possible ways to move around your industry without putting in much effort.
Grow Your Skills
Looking at other people’s social media profiles, whether it’s Twitter or Indeed.com, or even Instagram will give a better idea of the type of skills you might need to develop to help grow and make the next big career jump.
Often professionals will share their skills, and what they’re experts in at the top of their social media accounts, this way it is easier for recruiters to know who the person is, and for like-minded professionals to engage with them.
If you compare the skills of several professionals already working in the field you’re interested in, you will get a better idea of where you might need to upskill yourself by completing some courses or doing a bit of reading.
Advertise Your Expertise
When we say advertise, we don’t necessarily mean flashy and colorful digital adverts that you’d hope will get the attention of your potential employer.
Instead try and convey your expertise through the type of content you can share such as blog posts, news articles, industry research, or even projects you’ve worked on. Additionally, you can also share your job title and relevant experience in the bio section of your profile.
The better you are at showing people your expertise in a professional, yet unpretentious way, the faster your feed will fill up with similar content and other experienced individuals.
Update Your Profiles
This is relevant to almost every social media profile you have, regardless of what you use it for. People often neglect social media platforms they don’t use anymore, and while it can be tedious to spend so much time updating photos or replying to messages, decide on a couple of platforms you’d like to use and stick to them.
Make sure that the platforms you end up using have a recent photo, and that all other relevant personal information has been updated such as your job title, industry experience, and your current city. You don’t need to do this every week, only when needed, or when you’ve changed jobs or moved.
The better you curate your social media, the easier it will be for employers and recruiters to notice you as you actively begin to network.
Social media can be a professional tool, despite it receiving so much negative clout in recent years. Although it’s hard to determine whether possible employers or recruiters will screen your social media accounts before or during the hiring process, it’s best to always keep a well-groomed online identity – especially if you’re looking to make progress in your career.
Make well-informed decisions, and think about the type of content you’re sharing. Remember to engage with like-minded professionals, and have conversations online through the information you share with your followers.
The better you are at curating one or two social media platforms for career purposes, the quicker you’ll be able to expand your network, and grow your professional skills. Don’t think too much about it, try and have a balance as much as possible, as this will help you to enjoy your social media experience while maintaining a professional, yet fun digital identity.
Published First on ValueWalk. Read Here.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Fauxels; Pexels; Thank you!
Have You Heard of These 6 Amazing Ways to Use AI in Construction?
Artificial intelligence might have started as the fictional villain of sci-fi stories, but it’s quickly becoming indispensable in many industries. The construction industry is one among many beginning to adopt this new technology. How can companies and contractors start employing AI in construction? How could this industry 4.0 technology change the industry in the coming years?
1. Programming an Extra Set of Eyes
Drone cameras have already become invaluable for contractors, especially for site surveying and inspections. While they can help keep inspectors and workers safe, they still require a live person behind the camera and the controls. In the future, users could train AI to see, analyze and understand the images they’re observing, reducing or eliminating the need for a human operator or drone pilot.
Human inspectors will still be necessary, but if programmers can teach an extra set of AI-powered eyes to recognize when something is incorrect or missing, it could help streamline these processes.
As a bonus, these AI eyes could potentially recognize or identify errors and safety issues human inspectors might overlook. Observational AI systems rely on pattern recognition and spend most of their time observing hundreds of thousands of images to ensure they can correctly identify their targets.
They don’t experience the problem of familiarity. It’s like editing a piece of text. The more often the author reads it, the more likely they are to overlook errors rather than fix them. AI observational systems don’t have that problem, making them more efficient for safety applications.
2. Turning Data into Actionable Insights
Construction might be one of the slowest industries to adopt new technologies. Nonetheless, that hasn’t stopped the slow introduction of smart building. Incorporating devices into a construction project generates massive amounts of data. Without an AI or machine learning system, that information languishes in digital limbo. Skilled analysts may be able to make heads or tails of it, but putting it to use requires additional tools.
In construction, AI can sort through massive amounts of data, find patterns and deliver actionable insights that can improve productivity and worksite efficiency. It can use equipment maintenance data to create a better care schedule, preventing costly downtime due to equipment failure. With enough information, it can even predict when these maintenance cycles should occur based on past data.
3. Adopting Virtual Assistants
Alexa or Siri might seem like something users only need after their shift ends, but these virtual assistants and many others can help improve outcomes. Digital helpers designed for construction applications can manage communication, bolster inter-team coordination, schedule and track appointments, and more. Advanced assistants can access data generated by the above technology and help with budgeting and estimation.
Modern helpers may take time to customize to a company’s specific needs, but their benefits vastly outweigh the time investment. Utilizing natural language processing (NLP) can make these virtual tools even more powerful. NLP allows users to speak to their virtual assistants as they would to the person next to them.
4. Incorporating AI Into Wearable Technologies
Like virtual assistants, wearable technology might not seem like it has much of a place in the construction industry, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Fitbits and Apple Watches might not offer much, but they are far from the only wearable devices available in the construction industry.
Monitoring an employee’s heart rate and other vital statistics can indicate when they might be in distress. Fatigue monitors can prevent on-the-job accidents by alerting supervisors when someone is operating heavy equipment while not adequately rested. Impact sensors can detect when someone experiences a fall. Connecting these wearable sensors to a centralized AI in construction sites allows the system to monitor employees in real-time and send alerts as needed.
5. Procuring and Supply Chains
Supply chains across industries took a significant hit during the COVID-19 pandemic. The price of some construction supplies skyrocketed, and the supply chains for other materials slowed to a crawl — if they were still available. Incorporating AI into procurement and supply chain systems can help improve efficiency and reduce the chance an upset like the pandemic could derail these supply chains again.
There are applications for AI and related technologies throughout the supply chain, from manufacturing and harvesting to those last-mile deliveries. Sensors can collect information about everything from location to distance traveled. They can monitor temperature and humidity for materials requiring more climate control, making it easier to protect all necessary supplies while in transit. Pairing these sensors with an AI system can make sense of data while generating actionable insights.
6. Integrating Robotics and Automation
Contrary to the story popular media tries to spin, robots aren’t appearing in workplaces intending to steal jobs. Instead, they could help improve workplace efficiency and reduce on-the-job injuries by completing mundane, repetitive, or dangerous tasks. Introducing robotics and automation can lower the potential for stress injuries since construction workers are most frequently diagnosed with this type of ailment.
When it comes to dangerous tasks, AI-powered robotics or automation are ideal. These applications can include everything from cleaning tanks or operating in low-oxygen environments to completing tasks in situations that would otherwise be unsafe for human life. While it is currently possible to use these robots manually via remote control, adding AI to the mix would free up workers for more critical or complex tasks employers can’t automate.
Looking to the Future of AI in Construction
There are so many amazing applications for AI construction that it’s easy to forget it’s still novel technology. It will take some time before the industry is ready to adopt this technology and capitalize on all its benefits. AI could make all the difference for companies looking to differentiate themselves in this competitive field.
Featured Image Credit: Provided by the Author; Photo by Sam Moghadam Khamseh; Unsplash; Thank you!