Why am I using LinkedIn anyway?

I don’t see what value, if any, my time spent managing my LinkedIn profile has given me. I have nearly 1000 connections on the site now, but I have only used it to contact people a few times, and people have only used it a few times to contact me. They could have contacted me in a bunch of other ways, through sites that I use much more frequently.

I feel like I’m throwing away my time working on my LinkedIn profile and getting nothing back for that time spent. I remember thinking that building connections there would be really useful if I decided to find a new job, but I have a new job, and getting that job had nothing at all to do with my LinkedIn profile.

This type of analysis, by the way, is related to mathematical game theory. I have a choice I can make: to continue using LinkedIn, or to discontinue my use. In my brief discussion above, I have resources I can allocate (time) and a hope for a benefit that I will get out of the activity (employment). Everyone else who uses LinkedIn has the same choice. If people stopped sending me connection requests or adding new skills to my profile, then deciding to end my use of LinkedIn would be easier, but I feel social pressure to continue my use of LinkedIn, and consequently, I apply social pressure to others to continue their use.

Thoughts?

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8 Comments

  • David,
    I too have a LinkedIn profile, but I don’t really use it or spend time on it. It is a hold over from when I was in business and it was more valuable there. I haven’t seen the pay off of LinkedIn as an educator, but that is because I think LinkedIn is focused on private sector business more than education.

    Just my 2 cents on it.

  • Yeah, I have a LinkedIn profile too, but I don’t really think much will come of it. I’m not actively looking for a new job (quite happy where I am, in fact), but my wife and I face a small possibility of moving in the next year or two. So I figured, it couldn’t hurt. Really though, if I’m looking for a job, I don’t think principals are going to be seeking me out on LinkedIn. I don’t have the space to adequately talk about who I am as a teacher on LinkedIn.

    Also, I sat in on a ton of interviews last year. There was never any mention of any candidate’s LinkedIn profile. So I don’t know if there really is benefit for teachers.

    But hey, you never know, right? 🙂

  • Just delete yourself and see if anyone is upset. People have even been known to delete themselves from facebook!!!!

  • David Wees wrote:

    I’m going to wait to see if those connections have any value first. I think my best bet for now is to just stop keeping it super up to date, and reduce how much time I spend worrying about it.

  • I too have and keep my LinkedIn. I don’t update it often and also don’t worry about it too much. I just don’t want to let it go.

  • I know I am in the minority on this topic, but I cannot see why you would spend any time and energy on this if you don’t see positive results. We all have SO much that calls for our attention and we need to be smart about conserving our energy and our focus.

  • Tariq Ahmad wrote:

    I have seen Educator use it for the following reasons

    1. Get Industry to have Guest Lectures in case fo higher eductaions

    2. Get Industry visits for students in lower classes (eg. factory visit, car plant visit, etc)

    3. Get your projects sponsered

    4. Get internships for summer jobs for your students

    LinkedIn is finally just a tool like a paintbrush. Its just how you wield it.

    Hope that help.

    Cheers.

    Tariq

  • David Wees wrote:

    Those sound like fantastic ways to use LinkedIn. Thank you Tariq for pointing them out.

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