Linkedin does such a great job of keeping you in contact with your professional network that I personally believe it will replace your Rolodex or address book. It’s inevitable.
It updates itself, allows you to ask questions of your entire professional network in one shot, and keeps you in touch with your offline groups and associations. With a new member every second, it won’t be long before nearly every one of your colleagues is on it.
In the Information Age, people can Google your name and find out if anyone’s complained about you online, anytime you’ve been in the local paper, or just about anything else that people write about you. When using Linkedin, you will be able manage the information that’s publically available about you and create a search result that is positive, professional, and near the top of the search results. This is especially important for leaders, physicians, and others who depend on their reputation for their livelihood.
You can also gain new information and insights from other professionals in private group settings. This can come in handy if you have a simple problem/question, but don’t want to pay a consultant for the answer. Your peer network can and will help. I use several groups to get peer support all of the time, and I swear by it. Guide to asking questions on Linkedin
In the coming years our industry will face severe shortages for just about every type of work. One benefit to Linkedin will be the ability to post job openings or do networking in order to find the right candidates for openings in your department.
Just like facebook, some great communities have formed on Linkedin to provide peer support and helpful Q&A. Here are some of my personal favorites:
- Nurse Circle
- Doctor’s Forum
- Clear Medical Network
- Healthcare Financial Management Association (HFMA)
- HIM Circle – The Forum for Health Information Management Professionals
- WI ACHE Young Professional Network
I would recommend using the search box on the top right of the Linkedin screen to find other associations that you are a member of offline.
If you have any questions, feel free to post them as comments below. I’ll try to help you out!