How social media can screw up job search.

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For years, I've been a huge proponent of harnessing the power of social media tools for job search. 

Huge.

Never in history have we as professionals had so many tools at our fingertips ... tools that allow us to present our brands to the universe, at the click of a button.

Tools that enable us to find and chat with company leaders, research organizations that we'd die to work for, and rally our friends and associates for support along the way.

I get giddy sometimes just thinking about the magnificent power of social media.

But a recent conversation made me realize something -- there's also huge downside to social media when it comes to job search, or progressing our lives in general.

We let it eat up all of our spare time.

Worse, we let it eat up all of our spare brain space.

The conversation was with a client who works full time, has two small children and feels constantly stressed by the lack of free time in her daily and weekly schedule. She wants to find a new, better job, badly. But feels she just has no time to dedicate to making it happen.

Same woman spends at least 1-2 hours a night on Facebook and Pinterest. 

"After I put the kids to bed, I just mindlessly surf," she admitted. "Sometimes, I feel like I have a specific purpose, but most often, I just want to veg out and see what I stumble upon."

A recipe. A nugget of wisdom from a friend. A purse that she cannot live without. Photos of the heartbreaker who dumped her in her senior year of high school (he looks old and unhappy now, ha!) A picture of some hideous chia seed smoothie with an absurd "Yummmmmy" caption. Certainly nothing groundbreaking, my client admitted.

But she keeps going back to it, night after night after night.

And her job search isn't just sluggish; it's non-existent.

So if you're finding yourself in that boat where you hate your job, feel you're underappreciated, know you're underpaid, or would give your left arm to work for that company across town ... yet you never seem to have the time to do anything about it?

Consider logging your social media time for a week. Every minute you gravitate over to Facebook, log it. Every Pinterest board you open, log it. Every life moment you interrupt so you can Instagram it, log it.

Add up that time, and then consider the pay off. Do you feel like a better person, a happier person, a more fulfilled person because you now know what '70s star you'd be or what color homecoming dress your neighbor's kid just picked out?

Could you have allocated that time to move yourself forward instead?

I'm guessing the answer is yes.

We're all so busy, so overscheduled, so frantic and frazzled with the pace of our lives.

But if you really want a change ... get the hell off of Facebook for a while. 

And get the hell on with your amazing life.

Photo: Flickr Creative Commons (Chris Lott)