Sunday, April 2, 2017

500+ connections on Linkedin, yes, but what does it mean?

Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
I have 500+ connections on Linkedin. Fantastic... But what does it mean? I know Microsoft paid 26,2 Billion USD to acquire the site paying $60 per user (dear Microsoft, you could have given me the money directly, thank you). But truth be told, I still have no clue what these connections mean!
I often get added by entities only to receive emails that say "Hello Tarek do you into import export??" - yes this is a verbatim email with errors included - and that's it. Someone with 15,000+ connections once added me and apart from him collecting connections, I have no clue why on earth he ended up adding me.
Some other times someone in a totally unrelated profession to mine would add me as a connection - with zero common connections between the two of us. Naturally, apart from those updates which keep popping up, there is no discussion whatsoever between the two of us. At other times, some people you meet at a conference, or some other function end up adding you - which is quite professional even if sterile.
I get a lot of "jobs" coming my way - the quasi totality of them are entry-level or junior positions which barely register to someone with a profile as heavy as mine and with a quarter of a century's worth of work experience.
Sure, there's the inflluencers, or whatever they are called, that you follow on the site - heavy hitters for sure - but then again following all their contradictory advises can be very confusing (disclosure: I follow no one there).
I get periodically sent emails from Linkedin eticing me to try their Premium service which includes perks such as being able to see who viewed your profile, InMail messaging, unlimited people browsing and courses one gets from their Lynda service.
After reading a sample of the notifiers from my connections, I wonder if I should quit my job and persevere with my dream, or persevere with my job and put my dream on the back burner, if I should go into a Ph.D. or drop out a la Zuckerberg and so on and so forth.
It all reminds me of the hilarious article satiric magazine The Onion published in 1999: "Eggs Good For You This Week". But hey, if Microsoft is sure to have put 26,2 Billion USD into the site, then it is worth just as much and the above is just a rambling - but I am still waiting for those 500+ connections to yield a solid job offer or some other interesting joint venture which does not include me "doing into import export".