When I did the big desk purge, I promised I would get back to the rolodex later. Today was later. This exercise dovetailed nicely with my soul searching on titles. The rolodex has been with me for years. I inherited it from Lori Mahoney, the Production Director at Fitch before me. She had filled it with contacts I might need in my position: epros, writers, editors and printers. Lori did a great job leaving me a well running department with all the resources I needed. I decided to make it my own and add my stack of cards that I’d been collecting over the years. When they eliminated the position, it traveled with me, and grew.
In the digital age, you shouldn’t keep cards more than a day. Any ace networker will tell you that you want to go through collected cards the very next morning after your event and connect with those people on the appropriate social network – not just so you will remember them, but so they will remember you! Real dynamos will look you up while you are standing there in front of them and then hand the card back to you. I find it tough to keep my train of thought and be a good listener while looking at my phone, so I prefer the morning-after approach (if I do it at all).
In the spirit of full disclosure, I started in on this process of cleaning out the rolodex during my last few days on the job. I started grabbing cards off the top of the pile and connecting with those people on Linked-in. It was a nice activity to fill up a few moments between other tasks, but this time I am serious about seeing this dinosaur gone forever.
I decided to do a quick sort of the whole thing rather than spend too much time with each card. As you can see in the photo (if you squint) I made six piles based on the most likely place I might use to connect with them in the future:
- My address book (email and phone only)
- Web bookmark (I am more connected to the business than the person)
- Who? (I don’t remember ever meeting this person and they are not in a business I would seek out)
The largest of the two piles were the Linked-in and the “Who? After trashing the “Who?” pile that I went through each in turn and made sure I had everyone covered. There were some surprises. Not everyone was on Linked-in (gasp!) or Facebook (double gasp!), some people are no where to be found (can’t be true!). Many people are now at different companies or got promotions or lost their jobs all together. The most surprising were people in exactly the same position as they were in 2004.
This activity also forced me to update my Linked-in profile, including a link to this blog. As of now, I am no longer showing up as my old title. Good thing too, since they are interviewing people for it this week. I changed my headline to “Communicator.” It kind of falls into the dorky category but, it will do for now. Maybe I’ll even get a card made up.