I had a colleague e-mail me earlier in the week looking for a PR professional, in Los Angeles, who specialized in business, not law. Did I have a referral?

I thought about it and came up with a great candidate. He’s in my Outlook Contacts, we used to work together, so I know he’s good. I run into him from time-to-time on the streets in downtown L.A., so I know he’s still in the biz.

I decided to test his e-mail before sending my friend his contact information, letting him know that I was going to refer him, and it bounced back bad.

We’re friends on Facebook, connected on LinkedIn, however, I didn’t see any updated contact information on either platform. To tell you the truth, since there really wasn’t anything in it for me, I didn’t try any harder than that to find him. I just sent my buddy an e-mail saying I didn’t have a referral.

So my question to all of you reading this is, “Can someone find you on the fly if you left your firm today?”

  • Is your LinkedIn contact information updated? Do you have both a corporate and personal e-mail on the account as a back-up in case your e-mail is shut down or becomes corrupted?
  • Do you have a personal e-mail available on your Facebook info page (that can only be seen by friends)?
  • Is your Twitter account active and do you check it? If not, you should set it so you get e-mail notifications for direct messages or posts that mention you (via the @ sign).
  • Do you have a Google Profile that will allow you to be found easily in a search (especially if you have a common name)?

We no longer live in the world of life-time employment. I never assume that any professional is still employed where they were the last time around. One of the “perks” of sending out holiday cards are the returns. LinkedIn will also send you a report of all your connections who have changed jobs over the year. No more guessing.

But LinkedIn won’t know you’ve changed jobs unless you actually update your information today. And, really, a year is too long to wait to find out that you switched jobs. Don’t make me play a game of Internet hide-and-seek. Make it easy for people to find you. So go do it. Now!

Edited to add:

I’d like to contrast the story above with what happened right before the holidays.

My buddy T notified his Facebook community that he was leaving his job on December 1st and to contact him at XYZ@gmail.com. He was going to do some consulting while he decided what path to take moving forward in the new year.

Right before the holidays I was contacted by an ALM publication to write an article on law firm trends for 2012 for an on-line publication, but it was due on January 3rd. Considering it was December 23rd, and there wasn’t anything really in it for me (I’m in-house, not a consultant, so I’m not ALWAYS trying to get my name out there), I chose to pass. There would be no time for me to do it over the holidays as I had nothing in the can, so to speak, that I could easily update and revise.

I thought of T. He was doing some freelance consulting, and this could be a great opportunity for him.

I popped over to Facebook and shot him a message. He responded immediately and sent me his professional e-mail address. I connected him with the ALM publication, and a bada-bing, bada-boom. Love connections all around.

Once again. Top of mind. Easy to find. It all worked out.