Out of all of the social media applications that people use today to connect to other people, Linked In often gets the short end of the stick. On the surface, its a good idea for people who want to network to find opportunities, but don't know exactly how to 'work a room or event'. However, once you go in and put your resume up on the site, its like 'what's next?' I know that was me until I decided to finally give it a shot. You see, I am trying to write more and more about sports and what better place to connect to the movers and shakers of the sports world than Linked In. So I started my (second) freelance writer profile and made most of my options/choices completely different from my profile that contains all of my HRIS experience. I am now following people that I would have never found putting my HRIS. I have started to put in place things that will help me not only in my 'career' but in my personal life also. I know I know...its still kinda weird looking around on the site and there's always a question of 'how do I get people to notice me without putting in headlines or posts?' That's basically where I'm at now. I'm actually 'connected' to a bunch of people that could maybe help me move forward in the sports writing world, but what do you say? 'Hey Jemele Hill, I know that you are now an anchor on SportsCenter, but can you point me in the right direction to work for ESPN?' She would probably delete it and block you as a contact. Then again, maybe she would point me in the right direction, I just don't know what to say on an introduction email. If I do decide to just say 'F it, I'm going to write her' I will let you know how it goes.
A few things that I have started to implement into my life via Linked In:
- Lists: Most successful leaders in any platform always has a 'to do' list that they update and check off whenever they do accomplish something on the list
- Be humble and open: I think that might be one of my main reason starting this blog/website. When I tried this before and sent it to a few friends, I got really good and positive feedback, I just doubted myself like 'they are supposed to tell me that, they are my friends and family' but in this new year, I've decided to give it a other shot, this time by being more open. Maybe someone else is having these same thoughts, or maybe not. But either way, being open gives you and whoever you talk to an open and honest line of communication with no BS. Most leaders and successful people live by that motto. Also, being humble plays a big part. You never want to come across as somebody who has it all and flaunts it because you may have people start to root against you.
- Never be afraid to advocate for yourself: Most of the time, people (like myself) aren't wired to say 'Hey, I'm good enough for that opportunity and I want it' Its just not something that is a comfortable thing to do. But starting with a few side projects that you guys will hear about soon, I'm doing it and I have a few article I found on Linked In to thank.
There are more and I suggest if you are thinking about changing up something in your career, take another look at Linked In.
Remember to take care of yourselves,
- John Cannady