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Playing the LinkedIn Catch-Up Game

Catch Up Faster Speed License Plate Get MovingFrom my experience as an executive career management coach, it has become apparent to me that only about 20% of the population are using LinkedIn for career management, with the other 80% failing to understand the benefit this platform can bring.

LinkedIn is not just a tool to be used after a termination or during a career transition. It’s a social media application to be used year-round for both the gainfully employed and the unemployed.

When employed, a modest level of interaction and connectivity should still take place. Don’t drop off the face of the earth while you think you are in a safe position. You aren’t, and the pink slip can come at any time.

I actively encourage my job search clients to spend five hours per day on LinkedIn. I teach them how this application has so many benefits to broadcast your personal brand and to connect with key decision makers who can be influencers in your career.

It is strikingly obvious when people aren’t using LinkedIn to the maximum. I’ve had clients who landed new executive appointments in 2012 or 2013, and invariably have used LinkedIn only sparingly since. Yet when their termination arrives, they furiously try a game of catch-up to recapture attention and their foothold in social media.

In a flurry they share, they connect, they recommend and they endorse, which immediately brings to my attention that they have recently been given the pink slip. When I call them to express my support they ask how I knew that they are in career transition.

When I point to their extraordinary LinkedIn activity of the last week or so, they wake up and realize the error of their ways, and often express gratitude for bringing this to their attention.

But beware not to get hooked on LinkedIn or it can consume a voluminous amount of hours. Use it prudently, professionally, and meaningfully. Know where you want to gain an audience. Know where and how you want to broadcast your message, and know how to do that.

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