I think I have a problem with linkedin. I was laid off in January and have spent a great deal of time meeting new people and lending the proverbial hand to people when they are facing a problem in their business. My issue is that linkedin is not designed to accommodate the “individual”. I know it is set up for business but I think that business is changing and linkedin better adapt. I ran into this problem when someone sent me a recommendation that could not be displayed because I did not have a “position” to tie it to. The recommendation was for strategy consulting but it was not a paid effort, simply one person helping another. We had a strategic conversation offer coffee and the result was increased clarity about the direction of this person’s business. In order to overcome this issue, I decided to enter a new company for myself and that was simply “Perry Maughmer” because I am now in the business of being me! The challenge is that linkedin does not lend itself to people just being themselves or those with mutliple endeavors/interests.
I think we are experiencing fundamental shift in the way people work and here are some points to ponder:
- Many more newspaper and magazine articles on freelancing (like this one).
- With 6 million people out of work (at last count), how many will look at their next job the same way as their last one?
- Neither people nor organizations will regain the trust factor lost in this economy.
- The newest buzzword is “personal brand” (about 125,000,000 hits on a google search).
- People will begin to diversify their income and build multiple streams to decrease risk.
People have always been the foundation of business and now, with the explosion of social media, we are seeing it more clearly than ever before. Now people are understanding that they are a brand and a voice and they are the reason business comes into organizations, not vice-versa. People will now begin to understand their brand could take top billing and when they join an organization, they are lending their name and network to the company in whatever respect they choose. This means we have to be more selective in this process so we do not damage our brands in the process.
Linkedin better think this through and get ahead of the curve so individuals can fully utilize their profiles without needing company name or position to hide behind.