How can developers benefit from being on LinkedIn?
LinkedIn has been around for almost two decades now and yet some developers are still reluctant to use it. I get it - you risk getting spammed with messages by recruiters, sales people etc. That is certainly not very appealing. Yet, there are advantages to using the platform that might make you reconsider.
Creating a support network
Most users think of LinkedIn as a glorified CV database - and they are right, to an extent. Recruiters will simply use it to look for candidates, but this doesn’t take away from the wealth of knowledge shared on the platform every day.
There may be better platforms to extend your technical knowledge, but I find LinkedIn is the place to be when creating a professional network. Connect with people you’ve worked with before, people you know from events and even people you want to learn from to stay on top of what’s going on in their professional lives.
By simply being there when the people in your network celebrate their successes, when they get promoted or get a great new job, you’ll maintain important relationships that may very well end up being the defining factor in your own career.
Getting feedback from your peers
Being present is one thing - and obviously quite important - but as long as you're on the platform anyway, you may as well use it for learning. The best way to do so in my experience is by joining discussions or in fact, starting some of your own.
I often hear that it’s not easy to post, not everyone has a wealth of experience and expertise to share or maybe there are some things they just can’t share publicly. But there’s real power in sharing your journey, too.
Say you’re working on a project and got stuck - why not describe what happened and ask for input from your network?
Maybe you made a mistake and want to help others avoid it? Or ask how others learned certain things that you are interested in?
By being transparent with your professional growth, you allow others to grow too. You prove that you’re continuing to learn and you keep an open mind. Don’t worry if you’re not an expert yet - everyone has something of value to share.
Finding a mentor or… becoming one yourself
Perhaps the most rewarding of all are the individual connections you can make on the platform. It’s great to find peers you can get feedback from. It’s even better to find a mentor that will guide you through the intricacies of a career in IT.
After all, we all want someone to look up to, someone to encourage us, to point out where we can improve and to help us realise what our strengths are. I’ve personally found many such mentors on LinkedIn.
Sometimes there’s an opportunity to meet in person, sometimes it’s just an online connection (possibly a video chat on top of the regular conversation). Maybe you’ll speak just once and maybe it will last for months or even years. Maybe you’ll find a mentor on the other side of the globe? However this happens, think of the amazing opportunity you have to connect with some of the brightest minds in your profession - wouldn’t it be a shame to miss it?
For those of you who have more experience, LinkedIn can also help you become a mentor yourselves. It’s extremely rewarding and can also help you develop professionally. In a senior or lead role, you will most likely be expected to mentor junior colleagues and having that previous experience can go a long way when you’re looking for a role.
Last but not least, LinkedIn is a great place to find a job! You may not be looking for one just yet but landing your dream job isn’t always as easy as sending out an application.
For one, your dream job may not be advertised - in which case you may only learn about it if a recruiter reaches out to you.
Also, you’re probably not always reviewing job boards and career pages of companies you may want to work at. You may not need to change jobs right now, but if the perfect thing came along, wouldn’t you take 15 minutes of your time to learn more?
Finally, with the new functions introduced on LinkedIn last year, you can now share information about the services you provide or inform recruiters that you’re actively looking for work. Just make sure to update this information once you’ve found a new job!
And if you are looking for work at present…
Take a look at our careers page to find a position that matches your skillset. We’d love for you to join our team!
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