LinkedIn is a very powerful too, both professionally and personally. I never realized how much impact it would have in my own life until I truly became part of the community as an active member. In 2006, I was asked to launch the first graduate advising program for National Louis University. With incredible success and amazing colleagues, I ran this program for 5 1/2 years. In 2011, the downturn in higher education hit, and I had to make a difficult decision.
Although I had a profile on LinkedIn, I was never really an active participant. I became active toward the end of 2011, with the full intent of employment. However, I discovered so much more along my journey, and others discovered me.
My personal journey of professional development is unique, and could not have been attained without the platform of LinkedIn.
1. Relationships: I joined many groups and met amazing people with whom I had common interests. I met CEO’s, academic advisors, professors, teachers, principals and superintendents. I had lunch with an amazing superintendent in my state, and I have another one planned in the near future. I could never have met so many amazing people, and I am so grateful for these relationships.
2. My Linkedin Group: I began my own Linkedin Group, ESL/Bilingual Teacher Professionals and Education Career Advising. With close to 2,000 members worldwide, and a new honorary guest, Mr. Jose Rico, Director at White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, we are on our way! I have met so many amazing people who have shared stories, blog posts, jobs and valuable information. Please click the link above to join! Thank you!!
3. Writing: I started writing again, a lot. I wrote an e-book about Linkedin: Linked In Basics: Why You Must Have A Profile, How To Set It Up, Optimize And Get Noticed. Interested in a copy? Copies are now $1.99 and can be purchased here. I am currently working on a new Webinar that will provide step by step instructions on how to use keywords, set them up, and be found easily via Linkedin search. Sign up for my newsletter here for the release date. And..I launched this online educational magazine. Guest writers have included superintendents, principals, teachers, professors, CEO’s and students. This community has developed into something very special. I took a chance and shared my work. Many people listened and responded. I triggered amazing higher education conversations. My work was noticed and my voice was heard.
4. Chicago Now: With a growing sense of skill, I decided to start blogging for Chicago Now (owned by the Tribune). I wrote about any/all topics in education. I shared my stories on Linkedin as well. In June, I received an email from Xavier University, as they requested an interview with me about my life, work, and dedication to the field of education. In August, amongst other chosen participants such as Jesse White, Tim Schigel, and Stuart Aiken, the most amazing interns came out to Chicago and video recorded my interview for their “American Dream Project,” the only permanent video registration of American Dreamers. This interview will soon be released and shown to students for generations to come.
5. Publishing: With a new grown confidence, my work was starting to spread via social media. My articles were ‘trending’ often on Linkedin Today. I wrote for Edudemic, Reading Horizons, Chicago Now, Buffalo Grove Patch and more. Edutopia.org noticed and highlighted my work. Dell contacted me about an educational writing program for my magazine.
6. Art & Slide Share: As my work with LinkedIn kept ‘trending’, I was very surprised and honored when I received an email from Slide Share, asking me to participate in Linkedin for publishers. This opportunity brought back the art skill that was hidden in my pocket for so many years. I started creating again. I was so excited to be part of such an amazing program that I began working on slides immediately. My first 3 slides took off, and my visual CV was highlighted on the “Featured Page.” I kept making more, creating, writing, and sharing, but most of all, giving. People from all over the world were writing to me, and I was making even more connections….and it is simply so much fun.
7. Business Deals: I am new to the business world. However, my writing was taking off and I was asked to participate and share my work with weareteachers.com. I am now a part of their wonderful community, as my articles are pulled and shared each with their growing audience. I couldn’t have done it without LinkedIn!
8. New Confidence: I found a new sense of strength and confidence within myself. I learned that I am so much more than what my career states I am. I feel a great sense of accomplishment and hope.
9. Sharing: I can share all of my work in one place! My art, web design, publications and more are now a ‘virtual summary’ of who I am and the skills I have to offer. This platform is so much more exciting than a black and white resume.
10. Giving and Learning: Last, but not least, as a teacher, all I want to do is give, learn, share and help others. I have been able to share my knowledge and learn from so many people and different cultures from all around the world, and for this I am most grateful.
As all of these things took off, I developed a new sense of who I was and where I wanted to go. I now know, and I know only because I have a place to discover. Thank you LinkedIn, as you truly changed my life.
If you have any questions about your LinkedIn profile or how to use LinkedIn, please reach out.
Please join me on this journey at: www.linkedin.com/in/robynshulman
I would love to hear your LinkedIn success stories as well! Please share!
Here is a presentation you can download and share as well.