One of my goals for this class is to become more connected and up to date with technology. In order to achieve this goal I decided that whatever tool we examine each week, I would either create an account for it—or update the one I currently have (using the strategies from lecture and the readings). This week…LinkedIn. Believe it or not, I have never had a LinkedIn account, and was surprised how easy it was to set up. When I signed up my email contacts were suggested to be added to my profile… and wow has a lot happened in the last 24 hours! First off let me say that when selecting who I wanted to be part of LinkedIn community, I really thought about each person I sent a request to. I was a bit torn initially. Should I just add everyone? I want a lot of contacts, right?… But at the same time I want to be linked with people who actually know me, can attest to skills, and I can vouch for them in return. Therefore, I did not just add anyone, or people I only had one meager exchange with. Instead I was pretty selective. And literally within minutes, my phone was beeping and buzzing with email confirmations. I am linked with past and current professors, employers, co-workers, friends, and family. I was shocked how many people were on this site! My brother, mother, all of my friends…WOW, did I feel behind the times!
The most challenging part of this site was trying to create a profile that really highlighted my experience. I am not finished with it yet, but I decided to really take my time and not rush through it. One thing I put down was my 4.0 GPA in our program (which I am very proud of). What was really cool about this is one of my professors from last semester (Susan Higgins, who teaches Children’s Books Ages 5-8) recommended me and stated, “It is very impressive to me that Jaiden is maintaining a 4.0 grade average in graduate school.” In exchange, I also recommended her stating, “Professor Higgins is a wonderful instructor. She challenges, engages, and encourages her students to work to their full potential.” How cool is that?! I also did some research for my mother last month for her job, so she listed me as a research consultant! And I was even contacted by an ex-boyfriend who asked me to meet up for a drink! Wow, all of that in 24 hours. If I haven’t even finished my profile and it’s only been 24 hours, imagine what is in store within the next week.
Setting this account up has really helped me to understand, the whole, “you scratch my back…” idea. When Professor Higgins recommended me, my first impulse was to return the favor. When I saw my family and friends on there, I was inspired to create an account that was really up to par, and search for other people I knew. When comparing this site to Facebook, I can see the importance in the separation of the two. There were many people I added on LinkedIn that I would not want to be associated with personally, and many of my scummy friends on Facebook I would have no desire to have as contacts on LinkedIn (LOL) or to be associated with professionally. Setting the goal of adding new networks into my life is working out very well for me thus far. I am really excited to see where it is going to take me. Not only is it helping me to actually comprehend the material we are learning, but also if I continue to get recommendations and make connections with the right people—I am confident that a job could be in my future. Thanks everyone for reading my post. And if anyone has any ideas or strategies to help me utilize this tool in a productive way, I’m all ears!