Most of the commentary about LinkedIn usually has to do to with job search, yet those with a job can also benefit from the use of LinkedIn, if they have any plans for career growth. Four things you can accomplish with LinkedIn easier than ever before are:
- Nurture your existing network
- Expand your network
- Extend and reinforce your personal brand
- Entertain career opportunities = Get Recruited
Let’s look at why these things are important to anyone with career growth goals.
Your relationships with your co-workers can help you in countless ways. They can help you negotiate the political waters, educate you on multitudes of things and help you accomplish projects. You can’t do it alone. A key commodity we trade off as part of our relationships is information. Your co-workers and others you know outside of work will always benefit by introducing them through LinkedIn to people you think they could benefit by knowing. Additional advantages come through sharing valuable information about your profession or industry that you will get shared with you by your LI connections and groups you join.
1. Nurture your existing network.
Who can’t use a few more relationships? All of us can. The people we know today will come in and out of our life (although keeping track of them or finding them again in LinkedIn is a great feature) making it important to constantly be meeting new people. It’s all too easy to get in our jobs and ignore the outside world, but you can’t afford to do that anymore. You need to make connections to your peers in other companies and perhaps even other industries. You can more easily find these people in LinkedIn groups. If you’re sitting there wondering what you would do if you met a peer at another company, I think the best action is to benchmark with each other. It will expand your creative thoughts about your work when you can see other best practices. The boss will think you’re brilliant.
You can’t and shouldn’t hide your expertise. Many people either think their work speaks for itself or that talking about their expertise is bragging. First, you can’t count on who will observe your great accomplishments, so it is your job to help people know what you’ve accomplished. Second, bragging has many characteristics to it, but mostly it is boastful, arrogant and excessive. You are smart enough to avoid doing that obnoxious behavior. By extending your brand on LinkedIn, you help people to understand who you are in more depth rather than simply categorizing you based on your profession. In LinkedIn, you can define your brand all over the place in your profile and you can weigh in on your industry and profession in LinkedIn groups, which will further allow people to see what you bring to the party. This also gives you valuable visibility.
3. Extend and reinforce your personal brand.
A well constructed LI profile and active group participation on LinkedIn can garner you ongoing recruiting inquiries. Of course, this does great things for your ego, but it is also good to help you understand what’s out there that can help support your career direction. You can easily become too enmeshed in the dynamics of your current company; and sometimes need a reminder of your worth. Certainly, when the time comes for you to look for a job the effort to launch your job search will be greatly reduced if you already have a pipeline of interested companies.
4. Entertain career opportunities and get recruited.
LinkedIn is a great, professional website that can support you in all facets of your career from job search to career growth and into business ownership.
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