After that last post I had a couple of relatively low-tech readers comment on how they have no use for a social network like Linked In. I thought this topic deserved another post. A few people in my immediate network have recently been laid off. Its a tough time, and tough times require tough measures. Sometimes that means operating outside of your comfort zone to, possibly, touch more people in your network. That’s where a tool like Linked In deserves your time and attention. You don’t have to be comfortable with tech to recognize the value in a tool like Linked In. For instance:
- it makes your network entirely portable. If you get laid off tomorrow, you simply walk away from your work computer and log into your network at home.
- it automates the maintenance of your contacts – when they update their information, your information about them is automatically updated.
- real networking happens with this network – you can tap into your contacts for introductions to their contacts and build your personal network on the fly.
- Web based networking has a much broader, more immediate reach. You can decide to hunt for a job tonight, after the news, in your pajamas, while sipping a glass of warm milk, versus waiting until tomorrow and pinging your contacts one person at a time via email or phone.
- you have instant, one-click access to entire professional histories and snapshots of professional organizations you may never have thought of as relevant in your own search.
- you have an instant link to your contacts websites, to start doing your homework to better position yourself for the next opportunity.
- you have the ability to take advantage of the six degrees of separation between you and anyone you might need to meet.
- it gives you access to job postings in your network right when they become news, sometimes even before the general public.
It’s not hard to figure out how to navigate within Linked In. And it’s really easy to start tapping into the value of it. You might think you have all you need with email and your cell phone. But you’re wrong. Get past your social network phobia and connect with people. Because that’s the real value of the web. Connections.