Perhaps you’ve used LinkedIn to find a new position and you want to get up to speed quickly. Or maybe you have been in your current position for awhile and would like to move your career to the next level at your company. How can LinkedIn help you become more effective in your current position? One of LinkedIn’s goals is to become a resource that professionals rely on to be more successful at what they are doing professionally. It aims to place information and people at the fingertips of its members in order to make our jobs easier.
Regardless of how long you have been with an organization one of the most important things you can do is to begin developing relationships with your colleagues. If your organization has a Company Page on LinkedIn you can look at the Profiles of your colleagues who have LinkedIn profiles. If you are new to the company this is a great way to start putting names with faces and to begin building your network within the organization. Even if you are a long time employee this can help you learn more about your coworkers.
If your company does not have a Company Page you can use the Advanced Search feature to look for current and past employees. The other benefit of advanced search is that you can use other parameters such as location, function and title to narrow down your search if you choose.
Connect with your colleagues at work, particularly those in other departments that you work with as well as individuals you want to stay in contact with even if they leave the company. If you are in sales, others within your organization may be connected with people at prospective accounts and can provide you with introductions or information about the account that can be helpful.
Share content published by your organization as Status Updates. If your company is publishing a large volume of content you may have to be selective in what you share, but you should be sharing information that is of value to your professional community. For example, if you are a sales account manager, you might share White Papers, case studies and third party industry research. This serves to raise your visibility within your own organization as well as within your industry.
Keeping up to date on developments in your industry is always a good idea and LinkedIn can definitely help here. There are over 2 million LinkedIn Groups covering virtually every professional subject area. Search for Groups relevant to you and join them. Look for Groups that are active and LinkedIn makes it easy to do this by showing the numbers of members and discussions in the search results.
LinkedIn is an excellent resource for getting answers to questions and if you have not tried this yet, you may be pleasantly surprised at how willing other members are to share their knowledge. Of course, you do not want to reveal confidential or proprietary information in your questions, but you can often save a great deal of time by asking for help in certain instances rather than digging for information on your own.
Build your network before you need it. Most people will change jobs, even careers, multiple times during their professional life. Even if you are happy where you are, make the time to build your network and develop relationships now. This is far easier to do while you are employed than it is after you have been downsized and are under pressure to replace your income.
Drop a note to your former colleagues, particularly those with whom you had a good relationship to let them know where you are now so you can stay in touch. In addition, you may also want to ask them for a Recommendation on LinkedIn if they are in a position to provide one based on your former working relationship.
If you have tips on using LinkedIn to advance your career within your current organization, please share them with us.