Use Linkedin To Help You Manage Your Career
Linkedin is a Global Professional Networking Platform that you can use to manage your career.
Nowadays, in a modern dynamic work environment you have to actively manage your career. HR or the person you report to is not likely to see it is their job to manage your career and this is more the case as your career progresses. Linkedin is a tool that can help you if you use it properly and regularly – its mission after all is to “connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” because according to Linkedin “you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great”.
View Linkedin As A Virtual Global Conference
I view Linkedin is an open virtual conference where you can meet people and they can meet you – on a global scale. Just like at a conference you are not always sure who you will meet but just like at a conference you can control how much of your time you take with someone once you meet them.
Possibly the best contacts you make at conference may be unplanned or even outside of the formal confines of the conference, so I recommend you keep your Linkedin profile as open as possible with regard to who can send you an invite (bump into you at the conference) without knowing your email address.
You are in control and can choose to; ignore the invite, or automatically accept it, or take a small amount of time to see the profile of the person inviting you to Link-up (at a conference you may spend a minute or two to speak with someone who bumps into you and move), or having looked at the invite and the profile of the sender accept it and take some further time to send a message back just like at a conference you could take a business card, exchange some further information and commit or plan to meet up later. You are in control, so be open.
Daily I get a number of invites to link-up with professional people around the world and I find it easy enough to manage these invites in a busy day and just like at a conference some of these turn into great connections over time whereas others I just ignore from the start.
If you are a Linkedin member you are in a 24/7 global networking conference so you may as well embrace that and deal with it: It is easy enough and will have long term benefits to you.
Don’t join Linkedin then lock yourself in a restricted space – that is not networking
By restricting who can send you an invite by insisting the sender knows the email address you use on Linkedin – remembering the email address you use on linkedin is likely not your company email address on your business card but is usually a private address, so it is very restricted. You are therefore cutting out 99.99+% of Linkedin users from reaching out to you via an invite; as they do so at the risk of being cut off by Linkedin for breaking their archaic invitation rules that contradicts their mission to “connect” and seem contrary to their own promotional activity whereby they constantly and actively ask you to send a Linkedin invite to people who might know but usually don’t know.
The idea with Linkedin is to network and connect – so allow that to happen.
Why would you be a Linkedin member and self-impose restrictions stopping people reaching out to you you: Go and form a secret society! It is like going to a conference, advertising your presence to all the conference goers but then locking yourself in a side room that can only be entered by very few people who already know you and luckily remembered to bring their very restricted RSVP and for those others that knock on the door who you don’t know you put them at risk of being arbitrarily barred from the whole conference. That is not networking and will stop people who may be of benefit to you, your business, and your career over time from reaching out to you.
Be open to Invites.
Customise All Your Linkedin Invitations
Always customising your Linkedin Invitation gives you a much greater chance of getting a positive outcome to any Linkedin Invite you send than just suing the standard default invitation supplied by Linkedin. There are plenty of explanation and demonstrations on how to do so using You Tube.
Yes customisation takes time but no more than if you introduced yourself at a conference and said why you wanted or needed to speak with someone. It is just polite.
You only have 300 characters so you must be concise in what you say. Always say why you want to linkup and better still show the person you know something about them by mentioning in those 300 characters something on their profile you liked – it may be as simple as noting the number of common connections or groups you already have.
It is not all about you it is about them too as you want them to accept your invite during their busy day.
When someone accepts your invitation you will have access to their contact details and should acknowledge the acceptance of your invitation and welcome them to your network. Again, it is just polite and also professional.
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