LinkedIn Can Change Your Life

Posted: March 10, 2011 in Week #7

“I am always astounded when people tell me that they do not “need” LinkedIn.  That’s crap.  Unless you live under a bridge and plan to keep it that way, everybody can benefit from using LinkedIn.”
—Tara Wagner, writer of My Love Affair with LinkedIn

That’s pretty much the consensus of everyone I’ve spoken to over the past year. Then, why until now had I not signed up, you ask? Well, I never thought LinkedIn was for a person like me. I don’t have a college degree, I’ve never worked in a corporate environment, and I’ve spent years hiding behind my résumé. With the exception of a couple jobs as a restaurant server, and a once-in-a-lifetime gig assisting an established and popular interior designer, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life as a self-employed artist. At 28, I’m working to narrow my career trajectory to one clear-cut path, and my past work experience doesn’t reflect where I’m headed. So now I’ve turned to the social media universe for much needed instruction and inspiration. LinkedIn is clearly that crucial next step.

Dan Coerber, a close friend of mine, recently landed his dream job through LinkedIn. His story is rather incredible and I thought I’d share it with you to prove that LinkedIn is changing lives. Here’s how it all went down.

A friend of mine suggested LinkedIn a few years ago when my company had gone out of business and I was looking for a job.  I put in my profile, looked around, found a few connections—then didn’t think much of it.   About two years ago, I was considering changing jobs, so I started updating my profile again, adding more connections, joining a few groups, and finding people in similar industries to connect with.   I was somewhat skeptical that it would be beneficial to me until I started getting messages concerning job opportunities from two places: the groups I was joining and also recruiters who searched for and found my profile.

Like Dan, signing up and then not really thinking much about it is what a lot of us have done. If we’re not actively nourishing the social media side of us, then how can we expect to keep up with where the money is at? We have to silence the skeptical voice that murmurs in the back of our heads. For anyone staring at a crossroads in their career, LinkedIn is the place to be.

Last year, I received an email from a head hunter on behalf of a company in Dallas.  He said that based on my profile he had a job I would be very interested in and asked if he could fly to Los Angeles to meet with me.  Within a few months, I started with that new company in a better job than I could have found on my own—the job was never publicly posted!  Now, I keep my profile updated and regularly check activities and postings in the groups I joined.

Dan is the poster child for how LinkedIn can facilitate huge changes in one’s career. Not only has LinkedIn opened doors for him and landed him a great new job, it keeps him up to date with trends in his industry, introduces him to people who are the subject matter experts in his related areas, finds him potential hires, and allows him to be visible to others for the same. Here’s what he said about why he feels LinkedIn is beneficial to anyone and everyone in the world today:

LinkedIn has the connectivity of Facebook and the public-ness of Twitter, but it pulls out the “noise” of the social to focus on the vocational: trust me, it will be vital to your career and especially your future.

If the trend in social media begins with Facebook and Twitter, then it only seems natural to make LinkedIn the next step in rounding out one’s online presence. Social media has proven to enhance our personal lives, and with the help of LinkedIn, our professional lives will be transformed. I now feel an obligation to maintain my LinkedIn profile on a daily basis. My future—and yours—depends on it.

To add me as a connection on LinkedIn, click here.

  1. sharisax says:

    Billy, thanks for these stories. I will be certain to use them in the other two social media/LinkedIn classes I’m teaching now.

  2. Grannelle says:

    Congrats, @Billy. As you’ve obviously determined, it’s never too late. Good luck w/ your ventures on LI, and may they bring you every success.

  3. marianabra7 says:

    Very nice article! Inspired me! I agree with you it is a very powerful way to build a business connection, and i didn’t know until few days ago! Let’s keep our linkedIn updated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s