I admit it. Google's Sitewiki and Facebook's new search features scare me. If they become fully realized, I'll be busier than a one-armed paper hanger in a, well - I'll be busy. And yet, that work is far off enough that it doesn't feel that pressing. Surely we'll have time to catch up? No. If you fall behind in the next two years, it's going to be very difficult to catch up, because internal alignment with social media is the new holy grail, and that always takes time.
What's funny is I've been preaching the gospel of integrated marketing, but social media headhunting is still heating up for community management and copywriting. As you can imagine, a lot of people contact me hoping to break into the social media field. I am terribly sorry, but I simply don't have time to reach out to all of you, and to be honest, there's not much I can do for you. You don't break into the field. You can create the position internally, but work as an intern or leaving your job to consult is not a good choice. Your best efforts come from inside a company. If you're taking a position, you're going to need enough authority to make decisions and make changes. Listening and responding gets real frustrating when you can't actually help the people who are responding.
So while my little section of the job market is heating up, I still see the long-term value in being in a established position and using social media to make you more productive. Facebook skills are great, but do they bring in more money than PPC? And what lessons can we take from PPC on how to improve your Facebook traffic? That question is one everyone should be able to answer, and yet, I don't see much written (of course, it could be because no one wants to share their secrets).
So in terms of skills, I'd say this - stay with your company and look for ways to effect change using social media in your current position. If you want to make a change, use social media to learn a new industry that you can port your skills over to, but don't count on online writing and responding to be your holy grail.
It doesn't pay that well.