With an estimated 225 million unique monthly visitors, LinkedIn is a great place for networking, elevating your personal brand and letting people know what you do well.
I know what some of you may be thinking: “But I’m (just) a housewife. I don’t have a job. I left my profession years ago.” For many of us, this may be true. Some of us haven’t worked for any compensation in years, while others might have happily abandoned the industry for which they were trained or educated a while back. Then there are those of us who are moonlighting here and dabbling there with a reclaimed passion.
Well, the truth is, LinkedIn is for all of us, too. Here’s why housewives should think about joining LinkedIn if they haven’t already, and why those who do have a profile should do more to maximize the returns.
Less Than Six Degrees of Separation. Did you know that researchers have determined that the average person knows about 600 people? In an increasingly interconnected world and globalized society, the distance between folks is shrinking. While the common saying for years has been that there are six degrees of separation between people, the possibility that those you want or need to meet are even fewer connections removed is in your favor. You can exploit LinkedIn to your advantage, leveraging your existing connections to make introductions to others and to conduct some “soft surveillance,” masterminding you way down the rabbit hole towards people who can help, advise or inspire you.
Finding Opportunities. You may have no interest or zero need for a traditional job right now. But LinkedIn is not only for the typical jobseeker when it comes to researching opportunities. Under the “Jobs” section, you can find a vast cornucopia of volunteer opportunities with nonprofit organizations and feel-good causes. From marketing and administrative help to IT consulting and fundraising assistance, many nonprofit organizations in your neck of the woods are probably on LinkedIn hoping that smart, available and interested people like you will answer their pleas for help.
Externalizing Your Value. Maybe your old colleagues think you fell off the face of the earth. Perhaps your old bosses believe you lost your mind when you decided to walk away from a traditional job or retire while you still had years of good health and productivity before you. LinkedIn is a great place to exude comfort and confidence in who you are, independent of receiving a W2 from an employer. Of course, as you build your profile, you can incorporate your previous job or career history. But you also have the agency to build your own narrative and redefine yourself according to terms that work for you. If you are a former PR exec turned freelance photographer, your story could inspire many. If you were a working mother who stepped away unexpectedly once your kids got in junior high, people will be curious about and interested in your journey. Going against the grain and the usual LinkedIn script may benefit you in ways you never imagined.
Are you on LinkedIn? If so, what is in the “job title” field? How has the social networked benefited you?