NEXT#119 Baby Boomers And LinkedIn

Posted on : 09-01-2012 | By : Lynn | In : Career Stuff


A few days ago a good friend , who happens to be one of the nation’s top digital publicists, sent me a query from HARO (Help Out A Reporter) which was for a PBS show focused around great baby boomer online communities.  They specifically wanted to hear about those online communities that aren’t being shouted about off of the rooftops like some of the bigger and well-known SNS.

Of course I broke the rule immediately by giving a shout out about LinkedIn even though it is one of “those” bigger sites that is well-known. But I did it because although most people in the business world at least know about it and I hear a lot of people talking about signing up or saying they’re signing up because they know it’s a good site to hooked up with not many (in my opinion) are really taking advantage of diving into the community of LinkedIn.

I began using LinkedIn in 2006 upon the suggestion of said good friend when I left a steady paying job of ten years as an associate partner at a technical recruiting agency to provide my services as a Life Coach full time. I knew just enough about technology and communities to be dangerous (which means not enough to understand how to really engage myself and others in the virtual world). I must admit that for a good year or so I pretty much was a ghost presence on LinkedIn. In other words, I could tell people that “oh I’m on Linkedin” but that was pretty much it until another good friend asked me if I had ever explored their Question and Answers feature? He encouraged me to dive in and read some of the topics til I found one (or some) that interested me and then jump into the conversation.

I was coming from a background of seeing how prima donna developers would flame someone out on a board or in a chat room so I was very hesitant to just jump in to LI. Overtime though I couldn’t help myself. What started developing was a give and take, a back and forth between me and many people from all over the world. I’ve always considered myself “highly sensitive” but it wasn’t until I “felt” my first energy exchange using LinkedIn that I realized really getting involved in a community so that you got to know people and they got to know you could be very special indeed. In fact, I’m writing a book about this called “energy surfing” which I hope will make you curious about instead of wary. I’ve made many friends over the years in LI and have over 500 contacts though I have tried to be very careful about who I “accept” as my friend. Just as we can experience friendships at different levels in the “real” world, you can experience that in LI as well with the added bonus that without the interference of our physical bodies and the distractions that all that entails it is almost as if we’ve been giving a safe harbor (as LI is monitored) for our souls to play and work.

Sounds a little wacky I know, but I’ve saved some of the dialogues between me and others on LI to give examples in my book (once I’ve obtained their permission of course) of what I’m talking about. I think that I “felt” will be evidenced in the discourse but only time will tell upon others reading it. Anyway, LI isn’t just for businesses and there happens to be a lot of baby boomers out there in the world working harder then ever. What I love about this community is that it offers an intergenerational plus multi-cultural exchange so it’s not just one age group or one race or one religion or one type of people, it’s a diverse smorgasboard.

So if you’ve been sitting on the sidelines just touching your toes to the water there’s no time like the presence to jump in.  Go sign up for a free account first to check it out and then when you’re ready, check out the Questions and Answers section and explore what groups you’d like to join.    January is just beginning, what are you going to do differently this year?


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