By Petros Kkolas
Stumbling through LinkedIn is the usual professional who swiftly scrolls through his daily updates, what, or why would someone choose to engage? Or simply, why should a professional read this? Is it worth his time, effort, or energy? Well, it does if you are still, as I am, a student in the vast world of social media; a lifetime learner who doesn’t consume his brain over yet another scientific “how-to” report on efficient use of LinkedIn but cares to read clear facts through a simple story. My story.
So, if you are still reading let’s go back to 2009 when I made my first contact with the world of LinkedIn.
I registered most of my professional details including my early stages of experience in all the fields with which I have been involved. Surprisingly, I realised that I couldn’t find any people I actually knew in this social network. It was literally a social network full of strangers. Compared to Facebook, where I made sure to add everybody I knew since elementary school, every LinkedIn search amplified my professional loneliness. Overwhelmed by a network that seemed to turn me down more viciously than any woman I ever met, I quit. I forgot everything about LinkedIn — and like many of you out there, at one point I even forgot my username and password. LinkedIn was really useless to me, as I couldn’t even understand the “levels” of friendship (1st, 2nd, 3rd) that LinkedIn makes such a fuss about.
Years have elapsed since I began bumping onto the LinkedIn logo in every blog and website I visited. LinkedIn was becoming a hot topic of discussion. Then I realised that this may be “the next big thing”, not for gossiping (i.e. Facebook) but for actually doing something for your professional “wellbeing”. I bought a book entitled “The Power Formula for LinkedIn Success” by Wayne Breitbarth. I spent hours studying it and trying to understand everything on LinkedIn. As I unravelled the potential of the material before me, my curiosity was sparked. This thought kept drifting in my head: “If I can use LinkedIn efficiently, then I can land my dream job in the UK.” So I started spending hours every week to develop my LinkedIn profile to the most minute detail, not because I have O.C.D. but because I realise the power of marketing yourself.
At least 3 years after completing my profile I am confident that the amount of time invested is paying me back, as I can declare LinkedIn to be a major part of my professional life.