Reading David St Lawrence’s post about networking (there’s actually a couple, but that one’s the killer) – and he’s introduced me to LinkedIn. Now for a geek like me who sometimes finds it difficult to get this ‘networking’ thing happening, Linkedin is a godsend (whoever or whatever your god might be!). David was also generous enough to link to me, opening up a considerable number of contacts.
How does it work? You set up an account, put some CV-style information in about yourself, and invite colleagues and people with whom you have a good working relationship to ‘link’ to you by doing the same thing. You can load up Outlook contacts, use an Outlook add-in to harvest email addresses from your mail folders, and the site will tell you if any of them arealready on Linkedin. If so – invite them to link to you. After a week, I have over 400,000 people whom I can contact about a project, employment, information – all via people who know people who know people …
There are a number of sites with tips about maximising your network numbers, but that would seem to defeat the purpose somewhat, so I will probably just allow it to happen organically.
All this becomes more relevant after reading 50 and Fired, which David links to in this post. It’s my fiftieth birthday next month, and while I am pretty happy in my current position I’m getting the feeling that my face doesn’t fit anymore – that I am feeling some dissonance between the technology direction my employer is taking, and my own views on the application of IT in a business. It’s not too hard to put up with at the moment, as there is plenty of interesting work going on, but I can see the possibility that it will be uncomfortable enough in a couple of years (maybe less) that I will be wanting out. So now is the time to be seeking (and acting on) all the networking advice I can find, because I have some ground to make up.