One of my favorite local talk show hosts was chatting about an interesting topic last week: FOMO.
Yeah don’t worry, I hadn’t heard of it either. At least not in acronym form. Turns out, “FOMO” stands for “fear of missing out.” OK, now *that* I’ve heard of.
This particular discussion was lightly chiding folks who “suffered” from FOMO. Let’s just say my favorite talk show host has a a bit of a snarky side to him.
But, then I started thinking about FOMO from a professional point of view.
This is a key topic that keeps coming up when it comes to digital marketing. People fear they are “missing out” on something if they’re not keeping up with the latest technology, the latest platform or the latest social media tool.
I’ve heard it countless times.
And I’ll be honest. I’ve suffered from professional FOMO from time to time. No doubt.
For me, it’s a result of a few different factors:
* Competition. I’m a competitive guy. I want win–badly. And, when it comes to digital marketing, staying out in front can be construed as key to your success. Plus, I’m constantly paranoid about what others in our industry are up to and how they handle this challenge.
* Client requests. Clients are constantly asking me about the next big thing in social media marketing and PR. They want to feel like they’re a step ahead, too. And they expect me to keep them there. Sometimes I have the answers they’re looking for. And sometimes I don’t (but I always research and come back with the answer eventually). But the pressure to stay one step ahead is always there.
* Insecurity. I’m being brutally honest here. Like many small business owners and entrepeneurs (although I wouldn’t characterize myself as an entrepeneur), I’m paranoid. And terribly insecure when it comes to my business. But, I tend to think that’s what good business people do–different story for a different time though. For me, insecurity is a big part of this. I’m constantly worrying if others know more about certain topics than I do–and what that means for my future.
My FOMO has manifested itself in many different ways over the last few years.
Making sure I was all over Twitter.
Making sure I was reading the right sites/blogs.
And making sure I knew all about the latest tools and platforms.
But, once I got my business going and really started to think about this, I thought, “this is ridiculous. I can’t possibly keep up with all this stuff.”
No one can.
And that’s when it hit me: I’m not missing out on anything.
That extra hour on Twitter in the evening–what was it really getting me? Couldn’t I do without that and spend the time with my wife and/or kids instead?
That time I was spending reading blogs on the weekends–couldn’t I channel that into shooting hoops with my son or playing golf with a friend instead?
All that time spent researching new tools–couldn’t I use that to work even harder for my clients and hone my new business strategies?
The simple answer to all these questions is “yes.” Of course, I could. And, I did. For the last couple years now, I’ve spend far less time on Twitter. I’ve read fewer blogs. And I’ve spent less time trying to stay on top of the latest tool or platform–and more time working for people I see every week/month right here in the Twin Cities.
This isn’t to say I don’t value Twitter, reading blogs and connecting with people via socnets. I’ve found great value in the past in those areas. And I have no doubt I will down the road, too.
But, it’s not because I have a “fear of missing out.”
What about you? Are you a professional FOMO sufferer? I offer the comments as my therepeutic davenport below … 😉
Last week a friend of mine sent me a concerning email–but one I’ve seen far too often over the years.
He has been interviewing with various companies around town for positions–and not having a lot of luck as of late. That’s understandable–even in an improved market, it can take a few months (sometimes up to a year for more senior-level folks) to find the right fit.
What WASN’T understandable was how the companies treated my friend.
The interview process can be tough–on both sides. Candidates sometimes use interviews to gain an upper hand with their current employers (to ask for a raise, in most cases). And sometimes, candidates completely flake out. I’m not excusing this behavior. It happens. And it shouldn’t.
But, what I want to talk about today is the behavior I see on the company side–and how I believe it impacts future recruiting and overall company reputation.
Let’s look at a few of the mistakes I see/hear companies making, and what impact they may have on the overall reputation of the organization:
Mistake: Failing to call candidates back after making a decision
This has got to be the most common mistake on the list–but it’s definitely the most curious. After all, how hard is it to make a few phone calls and follow up with those people you brought in for that final interview? That takes all of about 15 minutes, right? Now I’ve applied for a lot of jobs over the years and I can probably count on one hand the number of times the company has made a call to me after I didn’t get the job. But, the companies that made those calls–I remember that. It showed me a lot about who they were. Those that didn’t? I remembered that, too. And to this day, I still have a tough time referring people to those organizations. I can’t believe I’m the only one who operates that way.
Mistake: Leading candidates on under false pretenses
I’ve heard numerous stories about companies who have made a hiring decision, but interview 1-2 additional candidates “just to have a back-up” in case the first selection doesn’t work out. I understand the benefit to the company here, but this just seems disrespectful to the “backup” candidates whom you’re putting through the paces. Why not just interview all candidates at the same time, make a decision and go from there? This one’s all about showing some respect to your candidates. They will remember if you burn them. And they may not come back again if you do.
Mistake: Letting the hiring process drag on…and on…and on
Another mistake I think companies make when interviewing–taking FOREVER to do it. If you have a need, fill it. Quickly. Not too tough, right? Now, I realize companies run into issues with buy-in. And things change from month to month with earnings and priorities and such. But, dragging an interview on for months at a time (which is more common than you might think) just doesn’t make sense. If you think the process is going to take a while, communicate that with the candidate. Make it clear that things may slow down considerably. Why is this important? Because the candidate most likely is interviewing with other companies. He/she wants to make informed decisions. How can they do that if your interview process is taking six months? I guess I would tell companies this: Keep your interview process inside two months (which still feels long), or hold on your decision to start interviewing. It’s really not fair to either side.
Note: Photo courtesy of bpsusf via FlickR Creative Commons.