Pinterest, aaaahhhh, Pinterest. Where have you been all our lives? If you haven’t yet heard of this virtual pin board, you must have been living under a rock for the last year because it has just about taken the world by storm. Not only has it been a way for us creative folks to find ideas for new DIY projects, but it has also been a place to become (p)inspired about life, love, work, travel, and just about anything else under the sun.
In fact, on Thursday nights before writing my weekly posts, I often spend a good hour or so pinning my favorite things to one of my 47 boards. (Yes, I said 47.) Pinterest is a world of endless possibilities, and for me there’s no better place – other than real life or reality TV, of course – from which to draw inspiration.
Though some might underestimate Pinterest as just another way to waste time on the internet, I disagree. Pinterest is powerful. Each and every pin has the potential to stimulate self-exploration, bring possibilities for career and life to light, and to motivate and inspire self and others. If I had my way, everyone would have a Pinterest account. Here’s why:
Pinterest puts you behind the wheel of your self- and career-exploration in a very fun and engaging way. By creating pin boards and pinning from virtually any website, you can express yourself and collect your interests in one place. Whether it is photography, education, technology, food, or design that tickles your fancy, Pinterest allows you to develop and explore your interests (and your fire) more fully.
Showcasing the things that you care about will help you understand more about your values and give you further insight into your unique personality. I’ve seen many boards devoted to bucket lists and other life goals, inspirational quotes, and daydreams about the future – whether the design of a living room or the birth of a child. Pinterest is a unique platform to showcase the things that hold the most meaning to you.
By browsing the millions of pins contributed by other Pinners, you might also stumble upon an area of interest that could lead to a new career path or venture that you might not have considered prior. Why not create a board devoted to an industry or a career that peaks your interest and use it to gather further information? Follow the pins of experts in your field and collect interesting and relevant pins from other sources. It could become a way for you to weigh different career options – especially with the help of insightful comments from other Pinners.
Reportedly, nearly 12 million people and companies are currently using Pinterest. It is not uncommon for companies to use Pinterest to creatively share information about their products, mission and values, employees, and company culture. Some employers even use Pinterest to recruit by linking to available jobs! If you are interested in searching for opportunities, use keywords like “hiring,” “recruiting,” “human resources,” or “job opening” to search for related pins or boards.
Further maximize this opportunity by building an online portfolio to brand yourself. Create a board bearing your name and sell yourself as a job seeker in the “description” section so that employers will know you are currently looking. Within your portfolio board, be sure to link to websites of prior employers, projects and accomplishments that you are proud of, or even writing samples or presentations. Refer visitors to the most current copy of your resume and include “please share” in the tag as well as a prompt to contact you with job opportunities that would build on your background and skills.
Use pins to link to your LinkedIn profile, Twitter account, or even a professional blog/website. (See the humble beginnings of my portfolio pin board as an example.) Commenting on and liking others’ pins will create an opportunity for networking around shared interests. As you showcase your interest and growing expertise in these areas, your personal brand will get strengthened and your followers will grow. Make sure to optimize your profile by including links to your social medias in your bio or portfolio so that others may easily connect with you on other platforms.
I bet you didn’t know you could do all that on Pinterest, did you? (You are welcome!) If you haven’t yet gotten into Pinterest, I hope I’ve inspired you to at least see what the fuss is all about. If you actively use it, I hope you are motivated to start using it more productively as you chase your fire! To learn more about Pinterest and how to use it, visit my “Pinterest Love” board. (Yes, I know. I might just be a little obsessed.)
Go find your (p)inspiration, friends!
PS – Do you find Pinterest useful in ways that I did not discuss? Please leave a comment below!
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