An old school friend whom I'd not spoken to for years suddenly connected with me. We'd spent a long time together as teens. Life had moved on, I'd moved up North, changed careers many times, become a whippet owner... This friend was now half way across the world, doing exciting things in high powered executive roles. There was so much I wanted to find out, so I accepted the request and replied with a message asking how they were, how great it was to be back in touch, it was fantastic to hear from them!
After accepting the request with my friendly and personal note, the world was once again silent and empty.
Years before this, I was looking for a new position, feeling panic at what I would do. And there in my inbox were many, many emails of jobs that would be interesting to me. They'd been special selected based up on my interests and skills. Wow!
I began to open up and dig into my future, what amazing opportunities were waiting just for me?
Volunteer roles on zero pay, roles at the wrong end of the country, roles that I had clearly moved on from, roles that I knew nothing about.
And then there was the noise. Constant, incessant emails, requests to connect with people I didn't know. Noise, noise, noise and worse, distraction.
So back to the present. Today I quit LinkedIn.
And maybe you should too?
You see, I've been thinking about how much value this (and many other things in my life) gives me. As the new year moves along, I've been looking to be more mindful of my time and attention. I'm looking to reduce clutter, both physical, electronic and mental. I want to concentrate on tried and tested tools and remove anything that doesn't hold up to careful scrutiny of "is this beautiful or useful".
LinkedIn has not gained me employment. It does not now provide me with useful contacts because most people in my circle's don't really spend much mindful time on it.
The signal to noise ratio is much too much, spammy emails and useless algorithm generated suggestions.
But what about FOMO? Fear of missing out. What if I miss a job opportunity?
Well, I don't think I'm going to. In my industry there are a number of go-to websites where most positions are posted. I have a good network of employment agencies I have used in the past. I have my personal networks of people who really know me.
There is a more effective way.
So, how can you leave LinkedIn and still be visible to prospective employers or people wanting your services?
Years ago I was made redundant from a position that I really enjoyed. After the panic subsided I decided to take action myself. So in addition to the usual methods of contacting agencies, scouring job postings and relying on LinkedIn, I made a simple one page website with an abridged cv / resume. In this I clearly set out both my experience and what I was looking for. I explained what I did not want to do as much as what I was prepared to do in my next gig.
I then bought a domain for £5.99 to host the site.
Finally, I thought about the role I was looking for, and paid for specific Google Adwords targeting that role, in the UK and in my geographic area. I spent about £25.00 for these adwords. My ad had a simple call to action which directed the enquirer to my one page site at my new domain.
Total cost was about £30.00 and half a day of my time.
From this method I received about a dozen enquires, but, and here is the crucially big but, they were all very highly qualified enquiries. In my page I had stated exactly what I offered and my exact criteria. Now, to be fair, whilst this was taking place I the managed to find and be offered a new role with a fabulous charity. This role I found by the traditional route of applying to an advert. But, whilst I was going through the process of applying, I now knew that there was a real demand for my skills and people were willing to pay for those skills. How much better to be going to an interview from a feeling of abundance rather than scarcity?
The beauty of this method, which I will certainly return to in future, instead of wasting time on LinkedIn, is that I can switch it on/off at will. At present, I'm not actively looking to change roles, unless something amazing came my way. So I don't need to pay for any adwords. My domain is always up, and it's a simple thing to quickly update my online cv and start the system rolling again.
So it's bye bye LinkedIn. I'd like to say I'll miss you, but I don't think I actually will.