Where do you start? A question everyone has asked themselves once or twice or many times , “where I do begin”, “how”… These are the questions we find posed to us as we venture into the field of building our careers. Some of us may be in High School, University, or ready for that 9 to 5 job or even building our own empire. We all have to start somewhere right? I’ve heard many talks over the years of how most successful people became successful through the connections that they may have had with people. They say who you know may determine how successful you become. There is truth to this, but it may not necessarily be all the way true, but there is no doubt that it certainly can determine the levels of challenges that you will face and your ability to ease through them and eventually overcome them.
Building a network from a young age can assist you in your later years. A network does not need to only consist of people you regard as highly successful, people you look up to, or people with many years of experience. Yes, they also form part of your network, especially if you have developed working relations with them. But a network consists of everyone that you may consider as essential to your growth and potential success. This could range from anyone really, including your primary and high school mates, people you’ve met at varsity, your neighbour, your supplier, people you have met during a networking session, friends you’ve made abroad, basically anyone who could assist you and be of value in your venture. Different people have different offerings, and you are more likely than not to scout someone who may have some information, product, or service that you need, that you don’t already have to your disposal, through your network and other people’s networks. Hence, having a variety of contacts could only be beneficial more than detrimental.
This is why we love the social media platform known to us as LinkedIn. This is a broad and professional space that connects people from all over the world with one thing in common, building, and growing the professional space. Just like other social media platforms, it’s filled with pages that you can follow from businesses and institutions to individuals. You will find that a few of your contacts are already on LinkedIn and you will be able to connect to people even further, people or brands you haven’t met or interacted with before. The idea behind the platform is to expand global and economic conversations beyond the news media; which leaves a lot to our discretion. This platform provides an opportunity to hear directly from the business, institution, or person of interest in the internal affairs in which they are facing. It always shares with you the professional moves that some of your peers are making, and you can draw immense inspiration from that.
At just a touch of a button, you can begin to develop a relationship with people and companies all over the globe. In most instances, it would be with people you may have never met before, but just by reading their profile, you may find that you may have a common history or interest. It’s also that simple to send someone a message about wanting to work on something together, a proposal, setting up a meeting anything really. LinkedIn is also one of the go-to platforms if you are in search of a job. Most job-seeking websites will also ask for your LinkedIn ID, as many employers consider your professional social media representation during the employment process. In some cases, your profile may be used as a form of your brief and direct CV. So consider it as a brief introduction of your professional self and your past career endeavors.
I recently reconnected with a friend I had known from high school, and one of our first exchanges apart from verbally talking about what we were up to in our careers was our LinkedIn profile. Immediately after this, we became more honest about what challenges we had been facing and what opportunities we were looking for, and just like that we instantly realized that we could assist each other simply because we knew what the other could provide that we were lacking. The simple gesture of going through each other’s profiles gave us a detailed insight into each other’s ambitions and accomplishments. Now imagine such and greater opportunities springing to your doorstep from a company or an individual you’ve always wanted to work with because you had set clear and concise details of your career moves. Who knows, someone may be out there looking for someone just like you.
In the simplest terms creating a LinkedIn account and being an active member of the platform could bring an array of opportunities to your doorstep. The world is always on the lookout for fresh new talent that could transform the playing field of any industry. Take the initiative and take advantage of this platform in as much as you do with other social media platforms. This one could be the most rewarding of them all. Setting up and utilizing your account is one of the ways to reflect self-love and a love for what you do to influence and transform the world. What’s even greater about this platform, especially if you haven’t had much practice on how to successfully grow your network, is that it is digital. And so, if you are hesitant about approaching people in real life, which most people initially are, you could always start here and build your way and confidence up to later feeling capable of physically introducing yourself and your brand. Do not miss out on the opportunity to expand your network, build real and beneficial professional connections, and to move up your career ladder. Set up your LinkedIn profile today.