How to use LinkedIn to plan your career success

What is your goal?

If you follow my articles, you’ll know I’m big on goals. You need a goal in place to give you something to aim at. You also need a goal in place so you know when you’ve succeeded.
With my LinkedIn plan, your goal is your dream job. I can’t tell you what that is. You need to figure it out for yourself. It could be a role higher up in your current industry, or it could be a total career change, but you need to find the role that will keep you fulfilled for years to come. Here are a couple of ways you can do this:

Find the person that has achieved your goal

The easy way to do anything is to find someone who has already done it and copy them. Have you ever browsed around people on LinkedIn, got yourself a bit lost, then came across someone and thought, ‘Wow. I wouldn’t mind doing their job.’? If you haven’t, then give it a go. When you’re on someone’s profile, there are links to other profiles which are similar. Keep jumping between them until you have found that person who is living your dream.
Once you’ve found them, read their profile over and over again. You’ll find clues about how they got there. Assuming they keep their profile up to date, you’ll see the jobs they had before they landed your dream role. You’ll also see the courses they took and the skills they acquired. See if they have published any articles. You’ll get a feel for their background and their working style. It’s all there. You just have to see it.

Reverse engineer your goal

Another idea for figuring out your goal is to dream big, then use LinkedIn’s search facility to find something that matches it. Think about the house you’d like to own, in the town you’d like to live in.  Think about the car you’d like to drive and the holidays you’d like to go on. How much money would you need to earn per year to achieve this lifestyle?
On LinkedIn’s jobs platform, you can set many different search criteria such as salary and location to find an advertised job that matches your dream. Click on the link to find out what you need to do to land it.
The job description will tell you what the successful applicant will look like. It will tell you the skills they possess, the kind of experience they’ve amassed, maybe even the exams they’ve passed and the certificates they’ve got framed on their wall. Again, it’s all there. You just have to see it.

Just do it

So, you’ve found your dream job, either by locating the person who currently has it, or by reverse engineering your dream. Now it’s time to go get it.
If you don’t have the required skills already, create a plan to acquire them. Find courses that you can enrol on to give you accredited new skills. Volunteer in the industry you want to work in to give yourself a foothold, then work your way up.
This won’t be easy. It will take time, effort and probably some heartache, but this is your dream we’re talking about here. It’s worth it.

Carry on using LinkedIn

Don’t neglect LinkedIn after you’ve used it to figure out your goal. You can utilise LinkedIn to achieve it too. Build your profile to really sell yourself as you apply for new roles. Connect with influencers in the industry you’re trying to build your career in, and recruiters. Become an influencer yourself by posting regular articles giving your personal take on the industry. Contribute to the industry-wide groups that have formed on LinkedIn. LinkedIn gives you the opportunity, free of charge, to become a go-to figure in your chosen field. Why not make the best of it?
So, we’ve seen how you can use LinkedIn to plan your career success, and even how you can achieve it. Now tell me.

What’s stopping you?

Now it’s your turn. Do you have any of your own tips on how to use LinkedIn to build your dream career? Have you tried anything that has really worked for you? Leave a comment to let everyone know.
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