Branch Out – Career Networking on Facebook

About a month or so ago, I decided to check out a new Facebook app called Branch Out.  I enjoy the freedom of being an independent/freelancer, however I am always open to learning about new opportunities and doing career networking both on-line and off-line.  I hope to eventually find a permanent position at a great company – when the time and opportunity is right.

In any event, LinkedIn has been great for connecting with colleagues (past and present) and others (recruiters and whatnot) who have told me about jobs I’d be qualified for and might be interested in.  The “Jobs” area is good for scanning to see what jobs are available by title or geographic location, of course.

I always wished Facebook had similar features since I do spend a decent amount of time on Facebook everyday. The potential for business and professional networking is huge, which is why I keep a professional profile there. I am connected to a lot of great business people – many whom I know “in real life” and some I’ve never met but we share a lot of the same professional interests. In some cases, we’re also connected on LinkedIn.

When I discovered Branch Out, I figured I’d give it a go. What’s the harm, right? It’s still very new so not too many of my Facebook friends are using it. So it’s not really helping me with career networking at the moment, but I like that I can see where people work or have worked at a glance. And in the future, as more people join, perhaps they will use it to post jobs.

However, one very important thing I noticed it does is tell you who has removed you as a friend.  I realize that as social networking sites go, “friends” will come and go. But I haven’t found another app or resource that can tell you who drops you.  Imagine my surprise when a former recruiter decided to remove me.  I actually completely understand his reasoning for severing the connection – he’s no longer a recruiter and we may not have anything to offer each other professionally. I get that. But I still valued our connection. I would have liked to still keep up with him.  Cie la vie.

So, hey, if nothing else, you can use Branch Out as a way to keep track of your friend removals. Me? I hope to find it much more useful for positive connections and career networking in the future.

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