Friday, June 3, 2016

Am I using LinkedIn the wrong way?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I am an "all star" in terms of profile rating on LinkedIn, I have a very respectable amount of connections, I understand the business hub that it is. Let me recap: Yes, I am aware what LinkedIn is what it does. My problem is: I have no clue what it does to me.
Of all the connections I have, I only added less than 10, the rest of them added me - acquaintances, friends, colleagues, ex-university graduates, former students and what not.
But I still don't get what I am supposed to be doing there. No one interacts with me or sends me emails (yes, I am very grateful to all those who endorsed me even if at times I wonder if they know me at all as some of the names are totally obscure to me), the jobs offered to me totally do not fit my profile - most of them are too junior, too far, too imprecise in description, I tried using it the same way I use, G+, Twitter and Facebook, meaning an outlet for my blog articles, but the readership was dismally low. LinkedIn chronically sends me suggestions of people to add - but it turns out it does so to those same  people and they end up doing so themselves. Friends of friends turn up now and again, so - just like Facebook - it allows me to see what former colleagues and people I was once connected with were up to, but then again, if I wanted to keep touch I would have and not waited for any social media website (no matter how business-oriented) to do so.
Everytime I log on, I am bombarded by hundreds of posts as to "improve productivity", "be a better leader", "have more acute entrepreneurial skills" - and now they even have their Lynda site on which I am (chronically) offered free membership for a certain time, which, again - I have no clue what to do with. For all the wonderful talk on "management potential" and "conflict resolution" or whatever Apple applied as an internal rule in HR that week, I would love a LinkedIn professional opnion on how to solve the fact that when I went into my usual classroom with my students, it turned out it was taken by a different teacher with his own brood (because he asked for a free room and was given mine for no logical reason).
Perhaps LinkedIn works best where there is structure and organigrams, where people report to higher ups, and where there are real decisions taking place. Most of my working environment I have no control on, the day when my class was taken, I ended up in the corner of a different class, and without involving any "management" it was a tripartite agreement between three teachers who understood that we had to make do with what we have and find a pattern in that "creative chaos" that surrounds us.
I am going to repeat myself for emphasis that I am aware what LinkedIn is and does. Just I am not understanding where I fit there. Perhaps the problem is more mine than theirs. Still, for all my connections, endorsements and "all star" rating, I am still trying to figure out what I am doing there.