I am an entrepreneur who was always afraid to quit my day job. I sold rock concert T-shirts in college and even after I began work in the Silicon Valley, I started selling high-end fountain pens from Realpens.com and writing articles for industry magazines. These were little more than hobbies until my first pink slip showed up, after I’d spent nearly 29 years in the industry. After exiting the building and taking stock, it was obvious that networking was the answer. The scuttlebutt was that few people were being hired off the street and recommendations to managers were worth their weight in gold. Using LinkedIn’s advanced search feature, I reached out to old friends and co-workers for references but instead discovered that many of them were independent consultants and actually making a living at it.
While still searching for a full-time job, I began the work to become a trusted adviser on my favorite topic – protecting businesses and people when something goes wrong. I used LinkedIn Answers to get tips and tricks from my contacts on how to set up a consulting business including the need for liability insurance and why I should incorporate as an LLC. To prove my credibility, I used the WordPress application on LinkedIn to publish my regular blog post entries on to my network. An Australian friend of mine saw my posts on LinkedIn and recommended me to a company in Los Angeles. My first contract came quickly, in fact before the ink was dry on my incorporation papers. After that I was requested to author an online article and was paid to write and give two educational sessions at a technology conference – and this all started with a LinkedIn contact.
- LinkedIn Tips