I don’t know how to operate LinkedIn.
I would call myself a social media enthusiast given the fact I’m active on six social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Goodreads, and Tumblr), but I just cannot figure out LinkedIn. It’s like Facebook?? But for professionals?? But people use it as a blog??? I have no idea.
Let’s start at the beginning. First, I only created my LinkedIn account because of an existential crisis. That’s not a good sign. But whatever, it happened. From the very beginning, I was very confused. The profile is very extensive. It’s definitely meant for professionals, but I am a college student. My only professional experience is my fast food jobs I hold over the summer and I don’t think potential employers particularly care for that information.
After spending about an hour on my profile, I was feeling pretty good. I was feeling the synergy* if you will. However, I looked to the side of my profile and I found this horrifying little bubble thing. It said I was only a beginner.
I could’ve died. I had filled out so much of my profile! What more did this little bubble thing want?! I had given it everything I could and yet it still wasn’t enough. If that wasn’t enough for another existential crisis, I looked at some of my classmate’s profiles for examples and was even more overwhelmed. All of them were so professional and connected. Their networks were extensive and even included adults.
But it was too late for me now. I couldn’t just delete my profile and pretend it never happened. No. I already invested an hour of my valuable YouTube-watching time into it. I was going to finish this for better or for worse. I opted to give up on the little bubble thing condoning me for being a beginner and tried to focus on ‘growing my network.’ That meant connections. Connections meant I have to import contacts from emails.
Unfortunately, I have no contacts in my email. I just sort of, you know, email people when I need to. I don’t actually keep any of the contacts.
So out of my seven email accounts (don’t ask), I got one contact: my mother. She doesn’t use LinkedIn. In fact, I don’t even think she knows she has one. Now I had to find my connections the old fashioned way: manually searching for them. It would be SO much easier if I could just import my Facebook friends, but obviously that’s too easy for a prestigious, professional site such as LinkedIn dot com.
I sent out some connection invites, which can be awkward at times because it forces me to define a relationship that doesn’t really need a definition, and waited. For such a prestigious, professional site, no one is really active on LinkedIn. But I was still somewhat in my existential crisis, so I decided to play around on the site to wait for potential replies (spoiler alert: I didn’t get any until then next day).
That’s when LinkedIn really started to confuse me. I thought it was a site meant for looking professional for fancy business people who want to hire you. But there are blogs on here?! People can add photos to their profiles?! Why would they do that?! What photos are they adding to make them look more professional?! Why is YouTube telling me to promote my video on LinkedIn?! Who will see that?!
WHAT IS THIS WEBSITE?!
Overall, LinkedIn is not for people who are easily confused and/or prone to existential crisis. It’s meant for people who have a clear understanding of their goals in life and probably actually understand synergy*. Now excuse me while I crawl into a corner and cry because I can’t grow a network because my only experience is fast food and my own YouTube channel.
*synergy is a term used by professional business people, to my understanding. You’ll understand once you get a LinkedIn account.