Jargon, Buzz-Words & Inactivity

Posted by on May 28, 2013 in careers, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Jargon, Buzz-Words & Inactivity

The other day I read this article about talent communities. The author explained what talent communities are and how important it is to have a talent community of your own. In case you don’t know, “a talent community is an interactive group of people joined together by a common interest or affinity.” It was good to get this definition because I had absolutely no idea what a talent community was. This article was actually the first time I had ever heard one mentioned.

This recent ‘talent community’ experience reminded me of the first time I heard someone use the term ‘networking’. At the time I had no clue about networking either. It sounded very new and only clever people seemed to know about it. Apparently what these smart people did was get together in groups and make personal networks. I had no idea how they did this, where these groups met, what these clever people said to each other and why their networks grew as a result. All I knew was networking was smart and important and that I needed to be doing it too. Before too long I went to my first networking meeting and, being honest, I felt more than a little cheated because it was just a room full of people talking to each other.

A number of years later I haven’t heard a better way to describe ‘networking’ than ‘talking to people’. So why do we use buzz-words and new fangled phrases to describe simple, accessible, human things? Especially when they are things most of us know how to do already, and we’ve done them for years? I guess there are plenty of responses to questions like these but the responses I want to focus on are yours.

When you come into contact with a new word – especially a hot/new buzz-word that’s on everyone’s lips, you can respond however you like just don’t let your response be inactivity (or anything else that stops you in your tracks). Not knowing what a talent community is doesn’t mean you haven’t already got one. Maybe you’ve had one for years and given it another name – colleagues, friends, buddies, mates, whatever. Having no idea about networking doesn’t mean you haven’t spent your life talking to all kinds of different people. You’ve done this for years and I’m willing to bet you already have a fantastic network of contacts. All you do is just call them by their individual names each time you meet them.

New jargon and buzz-words are unavoidable. As work and life evolve around us perhaps they’re essential too but they aren’t all powerful. Some buzz-words you’ll hear once then never again. Some you’ll hear for the first time and make them your own. At work, on a job search and in your career the most important things to be clear on are what you’re doing and where you’re going. A new description or definition will sometimes come in handy but it’s rarely the be all and end all, and it should never get in the way of your activity or make you value your activity less.

Ooh, a big red button. Is that an operator’s manual?
[Image courtesy of Kecko on Flickr.com]
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