I'm a LinkedIn creep and I have no shame in it. It started when I was in college and I was gaining more exposure to professionals through college job fairs and other career programs. I loved connecting with people who were in positions that I wanted to be in one day- Director, VP and CEO. In most instances, I would have brief convos with the professionals, graze past a couple light topics but never diving in deep on a topic- basically just enough to spark my curiosity.
I had two main questions each time- how did they get the job and can I do the same thing? I wished I would've spoke with them longer and often wondered what their resume looked like. Then I discovered LinkedIn. It was liking having access to everyone's professional career story- what school they went to, their first job, which moves stalled them and which moves propelled them. I started recognizing how certain companies gave you a career stamp that was invaluable or how picking the right start-up was life changing.
I began seeing what steps I could possible take to reach my end goal. I effectively began using LinkedIn to map my career, making decisions on modeling others who I saw as successful. Modeling and mapping saved me time, gave me confidence and opened my mind to the possibilities where my career could go.
LinkedIn is known as the business professional Facebook. It is a powerful tool you can leverage during your career climb. It is known for its effectiveness helping recruiters and candidates fill positions, helping professionals connect and gain skills but I think its most powerful use is for conducting career research aka creeping and using it as a tool to map your career.
If you want to learn how to leverage LinkedIn, within our soon-to-be released career course "The Career Takeoff", we detail how to reverse engineer your career path- specifically how you can find people to model your career path after to reach the position you desire. In "The Career Takeoff," I share a story of how taking a position outside of the typical accounting path lead to a $20,000 increase in salary. My decision to take the position was heavily influenced by LinkedIn research.
Be on the lookout for The Career Takeoff!