Empowering Teens to Link Into Their Future
November 8, 2013
In today’s professional world, you’ve got to know someone. For teens like me, that’s exceptionally important. In a fiercely competitive workforce, teens are going to face a huge challenge when we graduate – finding a job. But how do we even get started? For starters, we have to figure out what we want to do after we graduate. Maybe we want to continue our education and if that’s the case we have to decide which school to attend and what we’re going to study. Those are just a few of the many questions that seem impossible to answer some days. That’s why I was excited that LinkedIn is now welcoming high school students like me onto the site.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spark in me, which drove me to find something that I love to do, while making money at the same time. For me, that’s social media. Being able to connect with people who have acted on similar aspirations as mine is invaluable. The ability to see where they went to university, how they landed their first job in their field and where they are today makes it that much easier for me to research career paths. They are real-life examples of the decisions I can make.
So many people tell me that they wish LinkedIn was around when they were in high school, when they were trying to decide what they would do with their life. To me, that’s not surprising. At our fingertips is a resource that allows us, as teens, to help understand what we want to do. It’s a place of refuge from our overabundance of selfies, where we can showcase a side of us that people tend to think doesn’t exist.
Personally, I’m a strong promoter of having positive online reputations. But unfortunately, I see digital reputations destroyed every day when my friends post questionable content to their social streams. A few of the most important things I've come to realize are:
- Having a place where teens can exhibit our professional side is a surefire way to ensure that appropriate content appears when someone searches our name.
- Volunteer work, causes that are important to us, awards and courses that we’ve taken are all important aspects of our professional life that we tend to forget, and LinkedIn is a place where we can start publishing that information.
- Building a list of whom I’ve worked with or could use as a reference is a great tool that can be extremely useful for many teens because you never know where an opportunity may arise.
- Teachers, friends and colleagues are a few of the people that teens can start connecting with right now.
Allowing teens to be active on LinkedIn offers us the opportunity to link into our futures. It gives us so many opportunities to start building a professional profile and having a social stream dedicated solely to our career path to help jumpstart our future. Who wouldn’t want that opportunity?
It’s now been a little over a month since LinkedIn was made available to high school students and I’ve already set up a meeting with a new potential client – and I’m only sixteen. LinkedIn, the largest professional network, is soon to become the largest network for budding professionals as well.
Editor’s Note: Students, learn more about how you can launch your career on LinkedIn - http://students.linkedin.com/.