Don’t worry. I am not turning Career Enlightenment into a political blog. Yes, I have my own opinions about things, but this blog is for helping job seekers to use social media to find work. So why am I mentioning the President’s Town Hall talk this week? Because he spoke at LinkedIn’s headquarters! That’s why.
Think about it. Our #1 elected official has publicly acknowledged that LinkedIn is indeed one of the most powerful tools for ending the employment crisis.
This was implied, of course, not explicit.
Jeff Wiener, CEO of LinkedIn, emphasized how his company is connecting over 200,000,000 people. He said there are 350,000 Americans in the US workforce, 14m Americans are unemployed and 3.2m available jobs. Every member of LinkedIn can make a positive difference in helping our economy recover and connect the right people with the right jobs. This was LinkedIn’s shining moment. And I think the President could have picked up on that theme a bit more.
One audience member talked about how he was unemployed for 9 months (9:38) and asked how he can help other Americans find work. The president said, what we can do to help pass the jobs bill and jump start the economy. In fact, a lot of his messaging was “It’s not your fault, it’s the economy. Just hang tight and support me in creating programs to fix it.”
My answer would be different. I would suggest that if anyone is asked by a friend for help in their networking efforts, to recommend a resume for a position or make a connection, to do it. Send the elevator back down. Leave unsolicited recommendations on LinkedIn. Tell folks about openings you hear about. Make connections. Every time you do, you bring us closer to recovery. Like Jeff Wiener said, they way we work and find work has changed. Which means, I think, that technologies like LinkedIn and the people who use them have more power to help the economy than ever before.
Also, I would agree with the President in most cases that your unemployment or difficulty finding work may not be your fault. But I don’t think sitting around waiting for your unemployment benefits to get extended is the right approach either. The challenges we face as job seekers present us with an opportunity to really refine our professional image, polish off our networking skills and invest in training ourselves to be more competitive.
This is a call to work both harder and smarter for your career. Your professional survival depends on your ability to adapt. There are 4 Americans for every available job on the low end. Not everyone is going to win. That’s the reality.
Be proactive. Stay positive. Use technology strategically.
That’s my message and a message I hoped would have been more present in the talk.