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Leveraging LinkedIn To Escape The Career Net

 

I’m speaking to and hearing of many people at the moment who are feeling trapped or stuck in their career

One put it particularly succinctly: 

“It’s like I’m caught in a net and I cannot find a way to get free”. 

It got me thinking that if you are feeling stuck or trapped in any way at work right now, one of your biggest tools in escaping the net, is actually to use your net – your network  

It's called 'Networking' for a reason 

It isn’t called 'Net-lets-see-what-happens', or 'Net-people-will-just-find-me'.

It’s called networking because you’ve got to work at it.

A network needs building and nurturing and looking after.

It takes time and it is time very well invested. Also, you can have a lot of fun and meet some very interesting people doing it.  

If you wait and see you will be too late 

There seem to be so many people in business and in their careers who are saying that either they’ll wait to see how things look when we get out of the pandemic, or they can’t do anything now because of the pandemic.  

If that’s you, WAKE UP!

We are already on a phased unlocking towards whatever the world will look like next.

How long are you going to wait?  

To give you an example, in a business network meeting recently I learned of a portrait photographer who has said that his business is dead and he can’t earn any money until clients can come to his studio again.

Compare that with another local photographer with exactly the same target market who said “well if they can’t come to me, I’ll go to them” and has been doing great business creating family portraits on their doorsteps and in their front gardens from the street.  

The time to act is now. 

Wait no longer to grab your career by the scruff of the neck and take control.  

Time to network - make the most of LinkedIn 

There are over 28 million UK users of LinkedIn. The working / available to work population of the UK is around 36 million people. Do the math. If you’re not using LinkedIn effectively you are probably missing out. If you aren’t in the UK, the ratios in your part of the world are probably just as compelling.  

LinkedIn as your shop window 

Now is a great time to update your LinkedIn profile to make sure that the people who you want to find you, actually stop by and connect.

Key elements are:  

  • A good profile picture of you (head and shoulders, a professional look) and an interesting and appropriate backdrop picture 
  • A headline that will grab people’s attention and tell them what you deliver 
  • An 'About' section that conveys the key impacts and differences you make for your target audience and gets across something of who you are 
  • Recommendations from colleagues, managers and clients to demonstrate how good you are.  
  • Keywords: Make sure your profile includes the words and phrases that people will use to search for you 

This will ensure that you have the basics in place for your profile to stand out; that you are presenting a good shop window for anyone passing by which will invite them to enter. 

LinkedIn for research and connection 

Whilst you could just leave it as a shop window, you’ll get much more benefit if you are proactive. That could be seeking out people who could hire you, or looking for people who could help you with research into new career options. 

  • Use the search facility to find people who work in organisations or industries that interest you 
  • If you don’t have first level connections there, then look for second level connections and ask a mutual contact to introduce you 
  • If you are connecting with someone you don’t know, always put in a short message to indicate why you are connecting and encourage a response 
  • If someone you don’t know asks to connect with you, drop them a note to ask what it was that caught their eye in your profile and prompted them to connect. 
  • Find LinkedIn groups dedicated to the professions and industries relevant to you. They are full of people who could help you progress your career 

Remember, LinkedIn is not usually where the whole conversation takes place. But it is where conversations start.  

LinkedIn to build your reputation 

A lot is written about personal branding. It is how others see you. It’s your personal reputation and you can do a lot on LinkedIn to build and enhance your reputation.  

  • Contribute to active groups relevant to your industry or profession, either by responding to other people’s posts or creating your own.  
  • Post regular updates or articles: share your own thoughts, experience and tips 
  • Curate information: share interesting articles you read with a short comment on what you learned, and asking others to comment with their thoughts 
  • Video has a big impact, so don’t be shy about recording a quick video or doing a short piece live from your phone 
  • Save time by using a scheduling tool such as HootSuite or Buffer to schedule posts 

NOW is the time to take action 

Whatever your current career situation, try to implement at least one of these ideas today 

Networking is something to give regular attention to, always with a mind to the path you want to take your career on next.  

Which above tip are you going to implement?

What are your thoughts on networking?

Do you think you could be better leveraging it?

Are you currently action on Linked In?

 

 

 

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