My friend Lindsey Pollack put out a blog recently entitled,“Why you should use LinkedIn (if you aren’t already.”) It built upon a NYT article titled, “At social site, only the businesslike need apply.”
According to the NYT: “The average age of a LinkedIn user is 41, the point in life where people are less likely to build their digital identities around dates, parties and photos of revelry. LinkedIn gives professionals, even the most hopeless wallflower, a painless way to follow the advice of every career counselor: build a network. Users maintain online résumés, establish links with colleagues and business acquaintances and then expand their networks to the contacts of their contacts."
A couple weeks ago the Savvy Gal herself, Diane K. Danielson, (co-author with Lindsay Pollack of the Savvy Gal’s Guide to On-line Networking) came in to speak with the women of EMC on the subject of networking. She covered several of the tools available to build your network, and the logic for doing so from a professional and career-building standpoint.
After her presentation, we had a Q&A session and talked about culturalnorms inside a company for the happily employed with tools like LinkedIn.
PHOTO: Diane K. Danielson, CEO of the Downtown Women's Club, writer and author.
Question: If you put yourself out on such a site, it could be a signal that you were somehow disloyal or in the market looking for a job?
Answer: My view is that it is more than“okay” to be on LinkedIn and other networks like EMC’s internal "EMC ONE" where you can connect and further value for yourself and your company. It no longer means you are disloyal or in the market looking for a job. I've found it can mean the opposite. (If you’re a professional who is not on LinkedIn by now -- or a company who blocks its use inside the firewall, -- I start to question if you 'get it'.)
I’m still discovering what it can do for me and my company every day. (I suspect I am a major 'under-user' of the tool.) Following are a few of the cool things I have experienced or discovered with it:
The issue, as I see it, is keeping your profile up-to-date. It still feels a bit awkward in a selfish / self-promotional way, and we all have lots of other "real" work on our plates.
You can find me, and my somewhat neglected profile, on LinkedIn at http://www.linkedin.com/pub/3/333/928.
--------------------Talk Back: ------------------------------------
Do you think LinkedIn remains scary? Are you keeping your profile up to date? If so, what motivates you -- and what is your system -- for doing so?