Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Digital immigrants and digital natives

digital immigrants, digital nativesNo, I’m not taking a political position here, but rather recognizing a cultural one.

I heard those 2 terms on the radio in a business report the other day. Perhaps I am late to the party, but I was unfamiliar with these names until now.

Wikipedia divides the universe into two:

“The term digital native describes a person that grows up in the digital age, rather than acquiring familiarity with digital systems as an adult, as a digital immigrant.”

{Ahem, digital immigrants might recognize the obvious grammar error of using “that” and not “who” in this quote. Digital natives will likely not.}

Thus, digital immigrants, chronologically gifted like me, were those born before the dawn of the internet.

Said another way, digital natives are those who never knew of rolodexes, rotary phones, black and white TV, and telephone party lines. They grew up in an online world of database management, VOIP, cable news, and mobile phones, all devouring data and time and attention.

My experience in public speaking about the merits of LinkedIn definitely has me bobbing and weaving among people from both digital birthspheres, sometimes in the same room, a few technophobes who seem young enough to be digital natives, and frequently, digital immigrants whose work has developed them to masters of the digital universe. For case studies on the latter, see Janet Granger’s book “Digital Influence for Baby Boomers.”

No real LinkedIn divide is more obvious to me than the way digital natives use LinkedIn on a mobile phone and differentiate themselves from digital immigrants who only abide LinkedIn in its weakened version on a tiny screen, yet prefer it offering more on a larger desktop screen. Not a vision issue, a content and control preference. Suit yourself. Just be fluent in LinkedIn, in either dialect.

This generational denominator reminds me of a LinkedIn session I gave to a group of young professionals and at the end, the last question was more a cultural commentary. He summed my session up with a memorable comment “for an old guy you know your technical stuff.”

If I have repeated that story in this blog before, forgive this digital immigrant whose memory hard drive may need defragging, OK? 

 

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Today's LinkedIn Nugget

“I knew I could, but I didn’t know I would”

wallflowerNetworking is so rewarding when in a big, noisy, energetic room you find one kindred spirit, one person so truly fascinating that you want to interrogate (in the best sense of the word) him to know all about the complex and rich career story he has to tell. He is not a networking wallflower.

In this case he ran for a local political seat, and knew he could raise the needed funding, but never expected he actually would raise the minimum, and then some, his eyes sparkling and his verbal pace heightening as he related this story. Spoiler: he came in second, but as he qualified that: a neophyte as a close second to the incumbent.

Not that he doubted himself.

I was anxious to read his LinkedIn profile, which he encouraged me to briefly review.

I knew I could find it a case study in self-description, but did not know I would be moved to blog about it…

Then came the disconnect!

I met this A+, personable, articulate and exuberant individual who has relegated his brand marketing on LinkedIn to a slightly-interesting-yet-slightly-dull LinkedIn profile.

A solid C+ LinkedIn profile, a smidge above average. OK, I can be harsh; perhaps a B-, as if there’s much difference between the two.

He has so much more to say, better, with more depth, and how he speaks in person is how it should read in electronic words on his profile, with his bravado and self-confidence exuding. yet not over-the-top.

I aim to reel him in, as a client, now that he has a new consulting business, to cultivate his worthiness to the business community, after too many years of his corporate drudgery (his words).

And LinkedIn is the place to do this, so how well he expresses why he does what he does will be the required assignment to raise him above the dreary competition.

LinkedIn wallflowers never get to dance. If they could, they would, right?

 

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Calling it as I see it, lately

There’s a sick person on the train and you are stuck awaiting EMTs to transport him/her until you and hundreds others can continue on our way.

Or you miskeyed the address in your calendar and cannot find the appointed meeting place.

Or as recently happened to me, my car was rear-ended and I had to await the police, the fire department, and a tow. Me: out of control of this situation, them: no idea what time I was going to be able to arrive to meet the other 8 people. (I’m fine; my car is not!)

In these situations you make a cell call or to text the other person(s) in the meeting to warn them. It’s what well-mannered adults do, right? And like all professionals, you turn to your mobile LinkedIn app to call up the LinkedIn profile(s) and find their mobile number(s) to call/text.

But they didn’t list their phone number in their LinkedIn contact details!

Uh oh.

Take my advice: be sure your cell number is on your LinkedIn profile. Here’s how.

Then if I need to warn you that I am delayed, it’s easier for both of us. While I pride myself on being early to everything, sometimes I am out of complete control of my environment, even though I thought I planned ahead.

Yes, life happens, a cell phone number on your LinkedIn contact details makes messaging more efficient and timely.

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Drawing from drawings

Too many aches and pains from exercise led me to attend a lecture by a sports massage therapist where he spoke for a few minutes and intermittently showed a few videos to demonstrate his points.

The picture above is the priceless video he showed (hilariously DULL) in which a professor drones too long about the biology of muscle contractions and stretches occur. Waaaaay too technical as she tries to teach the lay person: “You are going to draw this at home. Once you draw it, you’ll understand it” and proceeds to draw dozens of diagrams of how muscles work.

No, I will not draw this at home, but will draw from it for you here:

After 1 minute (perhaps less) squirms and giggles came forth from the attendees. Me too. Our attention spans shut down. The presenter allowed the video to continue until we were loud enough for him to realize that we “checked out.”

Don’t be like the video professor when you write your LinkedIn profile. Leave the jargon, acronyms and technicalities at the front door. Yes, use multimedia, but effectively.

Remember, not everyone who reads your profile is in your industry or shares your education level.

Besides, you won’t last a half-a-minute with the reader if you bore him or her. The reader will draw the conclusion that you are not worth the time or effort and will click along to the next competitor’s profile.

However, if you love punishment, or crave bone-dry biomechanical illustration, watch the video here. It has a part 2 as well–can you believe it?
Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Vulnerability

linkedin toolWe all face it, some seem more confident than others, successful and together.

Yet, there’s something in what Seth Godin calls their “lizard brain” that holds them back somehow, deters them from being scintillating in person and on LinkedIn, as I find so often.

Over the past several months, I met and got to know a dynamic and affable man who later asked me to coach him as he updated and improved his LinkedIn profile. Self-confident and fun, smart and inquisitive, willing to learn and honest about his strengths and weaknesses. All wrapped up into the need to get into a job that could better use his capabilities.

But vulnerable.

I tossed him various job description that crossed my desk. I only sent him ones I was convinced suited him perfectly or very well; or if imperfectly, with his newly renovated profile, he could address the indirect experience with other soft skills or transferable ones he had amassed. Story recommendations and skills endorsements too. The talking points were there for his interviews.

In each case, his replied: “Not sure it was for him” or “too far” or “do I have the right experience?”

Bah! “Apply.” I urged. “I can refer you to the hiring manager, and the rest is up to you.”

Vulnerability was keeping him from that first step: believing he has the capability to talk himself into the position, grow into the position, and it with him.

He has the tools; he just has to use them.

 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

10 things to do once you have landed…

{Finishing (for now) with the employment theme on LinkedIn, from the past 2 days,}

eagle landingYou did it, you landed that position. Bravo/Brava.

Now what? How can using LinkedIn help you further? You are not done….I have a few ideas.

And you will want to layer these on in a timeframe that makes sense to you, depending on your personality and preferences, but here’s a 10-item laundry list. (I know it’s a lot, but I did say do this over time!)

  1. Place the new job in your Experience section with a brief job description, starting with “I am pleased to announce that I have started my new career challenge as a {generic description} at {company}. My primary role is to {what} {where} {when}.” (Perhaps here is also where you also want to thank the personal referral or source of the new position if this is warranted.)
  2. That change in your Experience section in turn will send a job change announcement to all people you are connected to.
  3. That will result in congratulations from some of these connections.
  4. That means you need to thank them for their kind wishes and use this as an opportunity to revive conversation with those of whom could be helpful in your new position.
  5. Close out the timeframe of your most recent previous job in your Experience section.
  6. Get involved in Groups that pertain to your new position, and listen for a week or so to the conversations here to see what you can learn, add to, or query from these experts.
  7. Thank these fellow Group members for their insights and decide if they warrant a connection as well.
  8. Write new posts or share new articles that you come across in your new position that makes you a sharer of material to colleagues in your field. Be sure this is ok with the social media policy of your company if applicable.
  9. Author essays on LinkedIn that show your expertise and thought leadership on behalf of your company and within your industry. Again, mind the policies.
  10. Finally, keep us apprised of accomplishments along the way: certifications, organizations, courses, publications, patents of applicable, etc.

If you don’t tell us, we will not know.

If you tell us we will cheer you on.

Be open and visible. 

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Door number 1? 2? 3?

{Continuing with the employment theme on LinkedIn, from yesterday,}

hallwayThe search for a new position, whether you are under-employed and looking for something better, or unemployed and urgently seeking matches to open positions, is a long walk with open or closed doors to select from.

How do you best spend the energy and time to win this game?

Since you never know when you will need a LinkedIn profile to speak for you to casual readers, my primary advice is to keep yours up-to-date and polished.

Your archaic backward-looking resume, while still needed, may precede you to an interview. But a smart interviewer will read up about you on your LinkedIn profile, a living document with your past describing how you arrived at your present and your present predicting your future possibilities. Write it well. Your interviewer will appreciate you better and you’ll get to drive the conversation more directly.

And once that new job is in hand, keep that profile continually updated. LinkedIn after all, is not a job board or resume substitution. It’s the currency of new business prospects and relationships in all you past, present and future work positions.

Walk the hallway, be ready to show your stuff on LinkedIn. select from the various doors, and keep striding on!

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

A matter of career persective

stairsThe search for a new position, whether you are under-employed and looking for something better, or unemployed and urgently seeking matches to open positions, is a long walk with open or closed doors to select from.

How do you best spend the energy and time to win this game?

Since you never know when you will need a LinkedIn profile to speak for you to casual readers, my primary advice is to keep yours up-to-date and polished.

Your archaic backward-looking resume, while still needed, may precede you to an interview. But a smart interviewer will read up about you on your LinkedIn profile, a living document with your past describing how you arrived at your present and your present predicting your future possibilities. Write it well. Your interviewer will appreciate you better and you’ll get to drive the conversation more directly.

And once that new job is in hand, keep that profile continually updated. LinkedIn after all, is not a job board or resume substitution. It’s the currency of new business prospects and relationships in all you past, present and future work positions.

Walk the hallway, be ready to show your stuff on LinkedIn. select from the various doors, and keep striding on!

Careers have ups and downs.

Some experiences are enriching. Recruited, Hired, promoted and rewarded.

or

Almost everyone has lost a job sometime in their career. RIFs, mergers, economic downturns, or fired.

Yes, it happens to almost everyone so almost everyone can empathize with you in that situation between spots even if they currently are not. They want to help you move forward.

You have to want to move forward too.

Telling your career story is part of that healing. I am always asked how to state under- or un-employment on a LinkedIn profile and I always respond that you must show your future-oriented optimism, yet be truthful.

If the company was bought out, as happened to me twice, once in my early career, and once in the last corporate position I held, then state such.

Ultimately it was a good move for me to go on to the next spot.

If the job was not working out, and it was a mutual decision, or even a one-sided decision (them), then state the skills you gained and successes you attained while there.

I too worked for immoral, sick managers, top down, but I don’t say that vindictively on my profile. I show what unusual things I was able to accomplish in those years, a credit to me, despite the challenges.

One class I taught contained refugees from the Bernie Madoff companies. And you think you have a tough time talking about your situation????

Good or bad job, or in-between, be real, be honest, state the highlights, and practice how you will speak in your interview to those points on your LinkedIn profile.

You will win this game of matchmaker if you properly show and tell how well you competed.

Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Getting inside your head with #LinkedIn

open mindI had a revealing conversation the other day as I cajoled a prospective client to tell why she does what she does.

She mentioned that she reviewed my LinkedIn profile ahead of our appointed talk and admired how I lay out my ikigai* (already the start of a her being a good student, recognizing the value of this concept).

She admitted that getting her to do something similar when we work together would be a stretch.

To which I admonished, you need to get out of your own way!

I told her I tend to have this knack for getting to that message as “I get into your head.”

I promised her that I would:

  • clear the cobwebs out of what Seth Godin calls the lizard-brain causing the all-too-usual, safe inability to tell “why” her,
  • tweak what she reluctantly writes and re-writes about her value proposition to the job market,
  • help her chart a new, well-crafted profile in her new chosen industry, and
  • show off her best skill set to boost her into the next career chapter.

She just has to want to open her mind, try hard and think with me.

It’s a probably going to be struggle for her.

And I mean that in the nicest way…I think we are both up to it.

_________________________________

*ikigai (pronounced icky-guy) and it means “a reason for being,” a Japanese philosophy I just became aware of that I want to share and would like to have you add its concepts to your LinkedIn profile. It consists of 4 intersecting circles, each one comprising 3 subconcepts and the intersection of all segments define your ikigai, your raison d’etre, your reason for being. See my 5 blog posts 26-30Mar18 on this topic.
photo: “Open Mind” by Lawrence McGarvey, at the Katonah Museum
Today's LinkedIn Nugget

Now why didn’t he think of that on #LinkedIn?

shuddaccuddawuddaLast month, my colleague was quoted extensively in an article published recently in a major magazine, highlighting his unique POV on the financial markets.

He sent it to me (and many others) via email, a subtle advertisement and an accomplishment for us to comment on.

I replied with congratulations and then suggested he post it on his LinkedIn page in 2 places and I supplied him this link, a brief video of me answering a question of what to do on LinkedIn when you publish.

His reply “That’s a great idea! Thx.”

I enjoy offering great ideas to help you look amazing-er on LinkedIn…