By Tim Klepaczyk
About a year ago I found an ad in the Sunday Tribune for a position that interested me. I’d heard that Smart Grid was a good career-change option for RF and microwave engineers. To be more accurate, it is more of a sidestep, but certainly it would be something new to me.
I wondered if someone in my then-small LinkedIn network (less than 100 contacts) knew somebody at the company that posted the ad. Indeed, I found someone with whom I had only three degrees of separation. So I e-mail’ed my friend, asking him to introduce me to his contact who knew that person at the company.
You can understand my disappointment when Bob said, “My contact doesn’t know the person to whom you want to be connected.” What up wif dat? I know all my LinkedIn contacts well! How could you link to someone you don’t know? It defeats the purpose of LinkedIn, at least as I understood it at that time.
Indeed, there’s some truth to that, but in the last few months my attitude has changed. Did we trade business cards at some social function? Great, let’s get LinkedIn! Did we both attend the same job networking meeting, even though I didn’t speak with you? Great, let’s get LinkedIn! While I still make the point to have at least a casual acquaintance, I’ve come to realize the most important value for LinkedIn is to be connected. In fact, now my network is so much larger (more than 500) that when I’m seeking to connect to someone, it is usually an easier second-degree contact.
Have I met you? Let’s get LinkedIn!
Tim Klepaczyk is an RF & microwave engineer with over 20 years of experience in applications & sales and product design & validation. He also loves writing.
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