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My Medical Device Sales Career

LinkedIn 103: Why The Hell Do I Need LinkedIn? What A Pain In The....

Yes, LinkedIn is not fun, not even close to being fun like Facebook!  In fact it is a pain in the ass!  There I said it.  I was all ready to launch into a LinkedIn 103 segment that merely spelled out the mechanics of how to artfully snare as many relevant level one contacts as possible.  Alas, that last Blog (LinkedIn 102) started a flurry of responses from the great people who belong to the IT Health Group on Linkedin. Thank you for redirecting my Linkedin Coaching series back to the bigger question, "Why do I need LinkedIn"?  So that will be addressed in this segment. I am sorry for my readers who realize that this probably should have been LinkedIn 100, but that is ok, sometimes one has to go backwards in life to capture what they missed to get it right now; heavy huh? See the entire Linkedin Training Series.

 

So, do you need LinkedIn? Frankly, some of you may decide it just "ain't worth the time to learn and do it".  After all, it is simply not as fun as Facebook, in fact, it is WORK!  Ask any Job Seeker trying to connect to people to find a job, respond to a job and entice people to accept their invitation to Linkedin with constant fear someone will hit the dreaded Ignore button or worse, the Spam Button.  Recruiters have the same maze to work through!  What a pain in the...oh, I already wrote that didn't I?

 

So, since LinkedIn is work, one needs to decide if they really need it.  As Kathleen Davis asked, "I don't want to take lessons to use something that takes so long to load all your information and then what? Link up with recruiters or somebody selling something. No thank you. What is the purpose of Linkedin?" She questioned whether she really needed it, well she might not as she concluded, but Whitson Morgan's reply does address why some, if not most people, may not know they need it until after the fact:

Whitson Morgan • Kathleen, I didn't say the only use for LinkedIn is how I use it. I just said that's where I've positioned it in my situation. For you, it may simply be a social networking site, or perhaps it allows you to connect across the country with people doing what you do. Or maybe it's truly not useful for your line of work.

One thing I can say is that when I was laid off, I did not have a strong network. And I paid for that mistake dearly. So, another of my goals is to always have a strong network in place, to help discover and capitalize on opportunity should I ever find myself in that position again. Perhaps that is the primary redeeming value of LinkedIn - that it allows one to keep a finger on the pulse of your network in a broad sense, with a lower overall effort.

 

So for Kathleen not so necessary, for Whitson very necessary and as I addressed in my LinkedIn 101, it becomes your insurance plan to help you get a new job when you absolutely need it and a way for people to find YOU when you are not looking for one.  Wouldn't you rather know about a great new job that is better than the one you have?  That new opportunity may never find you if you do not have a presence on Linkedin.  It is a great place to be found as a passive candidate and is becoming more important daily as THE PLACE to be found!  

 

So Thank You again to Kathleen, Whitson, Nila (yes Nila, I will give you tips in Linkedin 104 to address your questions), Grant and Julie (do send your SO!) who helped me re-direct my writing back to the true beginning of my series; just how important could LinkedIn be for YOU?  In this marketplace, regardless of most occupational segments, people just don't start with a job out of college and retire in that same job.  In addition to the obvious career connections Linkedin provides, they do have an important feature called Groups (like how I found all these nice people who commented on my earlier Blog).  These Groups are formed around common interests, yes like careers and related business segments, but also around health issues (think diabetes, cancer and etc.), as well as Stocks, Personal Finance and much more.  It can be a rich source of information from experts in a field you want to learn more about. Groups will be central to my next Linkedin 104 Blog.

 

So back to the question, "Why The Hell Do I Need LinkedIn?" You may never need it until you do.  Either way, it still is a pain in the....oh, I wrote that already didn't I?  You decide if it is worth it!

 

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