When I first started my career coaching business, I honestly had no idea as to the types of clients I would attract, and I didn’t have a clue as to the level of necessity, interest, and opportunity as a paid service there would be to help people use LinkedIn to find a new job.
You don’t know what you don’t know
It took me years to truly understand and recognize I had successfully learned and developed a specialized skill set in an area that was a source of pain, frustration, and confusion for so many people.
There were many reasons for this, one reason simply being, “you don’t know what you don’t know.”
What I did know was that I wanted to help more people transition into jobs and careers they wanted by applying the many contemporary job search strategies I had learned about during the writing of my first publication, “The Job Inner-View”. I didn’t yet know the unforeseen future of just how pivotal of a role using LinkedIn would play into my mission.
However, what came as the biggest surprise to me over this time was: how many of my clients were still employed when we worked together.
Adjusting to change to help job seekers
Further into this article, I identify two great additions LinkedIn added in 2017 to help this specific demographic. Feel free to immediately scroll down to view, or you can continue reading to learn more about how I came to understand and identify their specific fears, obstacles, and challenges.
Initially, I wrote a book on contemporary job search strategies with the intention to primarily help all the people who were unemployed, underemployed, or working 2-3 jobs (that often had nothing to do with their given field) embrace all the tools and changes I had discovered and adapted to myself when the economy had tanked in 2008.
My book also addressed adjusting to the dramatic impacts made on the job search process by rapid advances in technology, and what I learned from interviewing dozens of leaders in the recruiting and hiring space during the writing of my 1st publication. Much to my own disappointment, I’ve often found it exceptionally more difficult to inspire the level (or quality) of change to these demographics as I had hoped for.
Instead, I’ve experienced a more positive impact and less resistance working with people who are currently working one full-time, “soul-sucking” job, very unhappy with their current circumstances, and ready to leave ASAP.
Embracing the needs of a special demographic
As I’ve slowly embraced and focused on better serving this specific demographic over the years, I’ve experienced more fulfillment, better results, and a deeper awareness of the value I had to offer them.
For example, many of these people in these circumstances come to me in a lot of pain and frustration; often feeling emotionally isolated, and physically, mentally, even spiritually “bankrupt.”
They are not only working in a grueling, draining, toxic workplace, but are adding on an additional 10-15 hours a week on average looking for new work coupled with raising a family, being a spouse, and having an actual life!
What I’ve consistently found is that once we collaborate and put together an effective strategy tailored to fit their individual needs and strengths, we reduced their search to 2-3 hours a week in addition to our 1 on 1 calls. Equally (if not more) importantly, they quickly begin feeling more confident, optimistic, energetic and significantly less stressed.
Soon, they start functioning better in all other areas of their life. I’m sure you can also imagine how much better they show up to new job interviews (and even their current job) with this renewed spirit and energy.
Helping others optimize LinkedIn while on the job
One of the primary areas I’ve also helped this demographic with has been optimizing their LinkedIn to attract new jobs while they still work at their current job.
Now, if you’re reading this, you probably understand (and can identify with yourself) some of the complexities, apprehensions, and perceived “obstacles” many of these people have when they come to me.
Below are four of the more common ones:
- Fear of “getting caught” looking for work on LinkedIn by their current employer.
- Fear of their coworkers somehow catching on that they are using LinkedIn to look for work.
- Unsure of using LinkedIn for professional branding or how to “present themselves” to transition into a new role, position, industry, etc. when it would likely be very risky (and confusing) to communicate that while they still work for a specific company and industry.
- This being the first time they’ve EVER had to navigate doing something like this, (looking for a job while still working somewhere else, particularly, attempting to do so on a public social media platform where millions of other people can see them) they often have a significant apprehension and unclear strategy of whom in their network to connect with and reach out to as they navigate this uncharted territory, and often remain stuck.
Worried about nothing?
I hear these same types of fears and work through these seemingly “precarious” scenarios with my clients, or other people I speak with in a similar situation, all the time. And knock on wood, but after six years, I’ve never had a client’s worst fears of getting caught come to fruition.
Hopefully, that is comforting and good news for you to hear. The other good news is that over the years, LinkedIn has continued to make changes and improvements to help job seekers currently working safely and successfully use the site to find a new job.
Working with new LinkedIn features
While I strongly suggest that you (particularly Executive and Senior professionals) work with a professional who specializes in optimizing LinkedIn, LinkedIn is designed to help you effectively stand out amidst the millions of other “all-star” executives. Below are two great additions LinkedIn has added in 2017 to help people attract new opportunities and stay “under the radar.”
1. Switching your profile to “secret job search mode.”
A few months ago, LinkedIn rolled out a feature that privately lets recruiters know you are looking for work. Not only does it remain completely private, but by using this feature, it strongly optimizes your LinkedIn profile and helps you show up higher in recruiter’s search results.
2. Privately adding your desired industry to your profile.
More recently, you can now put your desired industry and it doesn’t display publicly. Aside from the obvious value this provides if you are looking to change industries but don’t want that information publicly displayed, it is also a very powerful search tool that recruiters use in their advanced search for candidates.
One of the statistics I learned from the staff over at LinkedIn while recently working for LinkedIn as a hired contractor on a new pilot program was that “Over 300,000 people search by industry on LinkedIn every week. Members listing the right industry are more likely to be discovered.”
To select your desired industry on your profile, you go into edit mode in your “Introduction section” and hover over the arrow in “Industry.”
More LinkedIn tips and strategies
Another tip and strategy I frequently use with people in this particular situation is to begin reconnecting and adding clients, coworkers, employers throughout their career-life on LinkedIn.
Because so many of my clients are often in such a state of anxiety, confusion, and just plain feeling worn out when they come to me, they forget that LinkedIn is first and foremost a professional networking site, (not a job search engine) and that adding and connecting with your professional connections is an aim that anyone on the site could be doing that doesn’t implicate looking for another job. Being reminded of (or just learning) this fact brings a huge sigh of relief to my clients.
My clients and I will put together a strategy consisting of setting specific, time-based goals which often includes making lists of specific people in their professional network on LinkedIn to reach out and reconnect with people they feel safe sharing about their current situation, hopping on phone calls, meeting in-person, emailing, exchanging professional recommendations with, etc.
What always amazes me, and especially amazes my clients, are the types of opportunities that can quickly begin to present themselves as they are consistent in doing this. Additionally, many of their fears subside as they start to open up and share more about their current situation with others, learn that they’re not alone, and begin receiving assistance and support in their new journey.