Recently, I was asked to mentor a newly-minted college grad. She is looking for a job and isn’t sure how to break into my field. The first thing I asked her was to send me her LinkedIn profile, but she immediately scoffed.
“I don’t use LinkedIn,” she said offhandedly.
Ok, lesson #1 – establish a profile and get active on LinkedIn. Whether you are happy in your current job, looking for your next position, just starting, or even close to retirement, LinkedIn is the place to be. And I would argue that it isn’t just another social media platform; it’s a community.
When I was furloughed from my job last year, thanks to COVID-19, I immediately looked to LinkedIn. It is a one-stop-shop for networking and job searching. Whatever you are looking for – career advice, dream jobs, latest trends, or best practices – this is where you need to be.
Last year, I met many new people who were strangers and welcomed them into my network. Each one offered both kindness and support in my time of need. Some connected me with people they knew in my field. Others invited me to network groups and webinars they thought I would benefit from. From Toastmasters group, an authors’ events, to countless 1-1 meetings, I always came away with helpful advice, information, job leads, or an important connection.
The only thing these people ever asked of me was to return the favor or pay it forward. I was on the lookout for jobs where my new found friends could apply or people I could introduce them to. I offered up my resume writing and editing skills free of charge because it was the right thing to do. And I wanted to help others as they had helped me.
LinkedIn is the best place for good karma. If you put yourself out there, offer up your skills and ideas, and keep an open mind, the rewards are plentiful. For me, my reward was a wonderful new job where I feel valued, respected, and maximized.
Now, you may be thinking – she must work for LinkedIn. But, I don’t. I’m just a big fan. And like that college grad, I also thought LinkedIn was overwhelming and daunting at first. But here is a little advice, there is no need to jump in with both feet. Just dip your toes in and see what happens.