Trust Your Strategy, Not LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a very powerful SUV.
I get in it for a road trip.
I turn it on, take it to the car wash.
Then I realize that I have no idea where I want to go.
The maps in the back seat pile up and spill over, leaving me in limbo.
Where do I go now?

Relying on technology to make career decisions is probably the biggest mistake any job seeker could make.

In the 1970s, British economist E.F. Schumacher wrote that the downfall of our economic system will, in part, be rooted in our misconstrued belief that technology will solve our problems. 1970s!

This year, we still hold this harmful belief and I see it harming job seekers who begin to use social media with no strategy, no map or direction. Relying solely on some automated function built into the technology by some network engineer at midnight 5 years ago.

LinkedIn is just a tool, YOU are the artist

When you log in to LinkedIn, the first thing you see is a list of folks who you “might” know. Whoopie!

Problem is that the people you might know may have little to do with the industry that you are trying to get into now. LinkedIn doesn’t tell you the people you need to know now who can connect you into the industry of your dreams.

Have you asked yourself exactly how you are going to meet those people?

They’re there! With 80,000,000 possible connections on LinkedIn, the people you need to know are there. Your job is to find them and make your best impression.

LinkedIn as a Yellow Pages, or as a Laser Beam

There are basically two schools of thought on this issue. The first camp, calling themselves LinkedIn Open Networkers, LIONs, believe there is more power with a larger, diversified network. They vow to never say, “I don’t know him” when they’re ,invited to connect.

In contrast, there are the “LinkedIn Libertarians” who follow LinkedIn’s original premise of networking with folks you’ve at least had a conversation with, or with whom you have something in common. These folks accept invitations only from people if there is some kind of real connection. Perhaps they met at a trade show, or were referred by someone, or worked together for 20 years.

The first part of your LinkedIn strategy will be deciding which camp you fall into, and at what stage in growing your network.

Don’t let a website make the decision for you. YOU are in control.

Decide on a destination for your LinkedIn efforts and map your way back to the present moment. What is your next step?

Joshua Waldman is an Author, Speaker and Trainer specializing in helping people re-gain control of their careers in today’s economic and technology climate. As the author of “Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies”, he enjoys presenting keynotes and workshops on personal branding, online reputation and advanced LinkedIn strategy. With the mission of helping professionals break away from outdated and ineffective job-searching strategies, he runs CareerEnlightenment.com, a successful career blog. Joshua has been featured on ABC News, Mashable, International Business Times and Simply-Hired. For more information about Joshua or his book visit: http://careerenlightenment.com/book

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