David Fleming
It's All Academic   www.davidflemingsite.com   
In Sync With LinkedIn

June 29, 2012:  In Sync With LinkedIn

I must admit that until today I have never fully understood the power of LinkedIn.  When working with Lee Hecht Harrison two years during a job search, LinkedIn was touted as a crucial piece of job networking.  However, it is a fascinating article in Forbes that has illuminated LinkedIn’s influence for career placement.  You can read this article here.

So, some random observations as I reflect upon what I have learned here:

1)       I wonder if the editors struggled with an alternative title to “How LinkedIn has turned your resume into a cash machine” that resembled “How LinkedIn has turned your employee talent into a cash machine.”  The ability to lure and poach employees from one company to another is really at the heart of what the super users of LinkedIn do.  As the article points out, we should lose no sleep over this, given that companies have downsized, right-sized, slash-sized their employee bases over and over for several decades now. 

2)      Initially, I considered “invitations” to connect on LinkedIn with a cautious eye much in the same way that I don’t necessarily want to befriend everyone I have ever known on Facebook (let alone some I don’t know).  That changed for me even before I read this article when I got an invitation from some guy who remembers me from his fraternity days at West Virginia University.  There’s only one problem:  I didn’t belong to a fraternity at WVU (well, unless you count the very unofficial Zevon Beta Epsilon—ZBE—group I hung out with).  I figured, “what the hell?  I’ll connect with this guy and see if I hear any interesting stories of debauchery.”  That didn’t happen, of course, as luckily LinkedIn doesn’t encourage members to share details about their lives that will forever make Facebook really, really annoying.

To cut the quick, then, I have now a significant amount of LinkedIn connections whom I don’t think I have ever met, don’t know, but who may, you never know, help me someday professionally. And it is fascinating to learn about career paths in areas not related at all to higher education.

3)      LinkedIn has turned out to be a much more satisfying experience than Facebook for me, which is turning into nothing more than a mass of “cutesy” pictures and sayings being recycled over and over.  LinkedIn Today gives me headlines from around the web every day, and any need I might still feel to get a weekly newsmagazine, trade publication, or popular journal is gone.  I have been able to filter the feeds by my interests to the nth degree.  In addition, my choice of LinkedIn groups also guarantees me at least some daily stream of interesting reading.  The downside of all this is that I do feel as if I am wired professionally 24 hours a day.  I justify that by telling myself that I am always looking for good blog material, but I have started to reach a discomfort level with my checking in on the various news feeds and discussion posts.

Ultimately, I’ve decided to add the BlogLink to my LinkedIn profile.  I’m not entirely sure what it will mean about increasing interest in this blog.  Maybe nothing.