A Day in the Social Media Life of a Global Mobility Professional

A global mobility professional has to be a social creature simply because of the nature of his job.  And in a hard-wired world where almost every word is said to be Tweeted, and every other photo is posted, his making social media a part of his professional life is inevitable.  A global mobility professional’s time on these sites isn’t just a way to relax, let off steam, or vent with friends.  It’s a way to build his network, look for the next rich source of talent, or find that one key motivator to make a potential assignee sign up.  Working his way around social media becomes as much as a skill as negotiating with a candidate or selecting corporate housing units from the West to the East Coast.

LinkedIn, which incidentally was bought recently by Microsoft for $26.2 B, is the first on the global mobility professional’s list simply because the staggering 433 million members in its database are professionals, many of whom are looking for the next best opportunity where they can shine. A global mobility professional will find that his assignee’s resume is the best place to start.  A little digging would show recommendations from former colleagues, mutual acquaintances who can describe the assignee more objectively, and posted articles that show his interests as well as thoughts on important issues and the industry he works for.

Instagram is another version of his assignee’s resume.  His photos and images might as well be a visual representation of his profile.   Pictures and videos taken of events the assignees had launched, conferences he had organized, and non-profit organizations where he had volunteered his weekends can be the online equivalent of his portfolio.  An online resume tells an assignee’s accomplishments – professional images of work he had done posted in Instagram actually show them.

One of our blogs points out that a global mobility professional never stops his education.  He constantly upgrades his skills and increases his knowledge. Social media is one platform that can augment that learning, sometimes without actual cost.  YouTube has thousands of learning videos posted by educational institutions and thought leaders who want to share what they know about various topics.  Facebook itself can become a learning site; global mobility professionals can create their own private groups where colleagues can share best practices, or the more senior officers can mentor the younger workforce.

This ongoing online communication is just the basic building block of a much bigger social media platform that other companies, recognizing the potential in these sites, have created to facilitate communication, interaction, and project management tasks among their employees.  LeasePlan, a vehicle leasing and fleet management  company based in the Netherlands, operates 400 blogs where 6,000 employees from 30 countries exchange notes, discuss challenges and come up with solutions, and practically be on the same page as far as the organization is concerned.

Though not on the same grand scale, a global mobility professional can create his own social ecosystem peopled by his network of assignees, headhunters, immigration consultants, property development owners, and other VIP’s that he needs to have on his speed dial.