Why it’s so difficult for we adults to change our minds even when it would work out in our favor, is one of the great mysteries of the universe. It took more than a year of cajoling from a professional to get me to move past the perception that LinkedIn was simply a form of Facebook for the unemployed. After another few months I was eventually persuaded to attend a class specifically designed to teach how to set up a personal LinkedIn page.
In line with this, I had been employed in the corporate world where for decades the buzzword or term “networking” was constantly thrown at supervisors and manager. Unfortunately, it did not always carry the best connotation for many of us. As with LinkedIn, my view of networking was mostly negative. However, once I put on my listening ears I discovered the term had an entirely new meaning. It was as if a veil was lifted and a new world of possibilities was opened up to me.
I had become unemployed for the first time in decades. To make matters a bit more challenging, the last time I had applied for and had to actually interview for a job was in the mid 70s. In addition, though I had been a hiring manager, many things had changed in the world of screening and hiring practices. As a result, I felt a little lost and unsure of what routes to follow in finding meaningful work.
The class for LinkedIn was my first big step in discovering how this social media venue could be utilized as a great tool for networking. While in some sense it was like its cousin Facebook; LinkedIn was presented in a more professional environment. And as with Facebook, I was able to reconnect with a number of employees and management I had previous worked with, but had lost contact with over the years. In addition I was able to connect “professionally” with a number of people who volunteered with a non-profit organization I worked with. I learned how to utilize this venue to find and join organizations which were directly connected with the type of businesses I want to work for.
As an added bonus, I found organizations or clubs which while not necessarily directly connected with the business world, were linked with individuals who had similar interests. I was about ready to give up on a personal project when this social media outlet enabled me to find someone who specialized in repairing specific types of an old British car of mine.
Needless to say, while I won’t say it is perfect and for everyone; I have become a supporter and big user of LinkedIn. (CMH)