Why I Publish on LinkedIn: Inspire the Next Generation of Leaders

April 30, 2015

In the final post of a three-part series, LinkedIn asks members to share why they publish on LinkedIn. Janet Matta is the Career Development Manager at UTS-University of Technology, Sydney, helping companies identify the right student and recent grad talent, and providing young professionals with the skills and confidence they need to lead their professional lives.

Why do you feel it’s important to share your professional perspectives with the world?

I spent most of my twenties confused about what I wanted to do with my life, what path I should pursue, how to balance what I thought others wanted from me, how to discover what I wanted (that’s the hardest part!), and how to succeed. I struggled with having the confidence to identify and pursue a career path that I thought would be interesting and impactful. I remember that experience so clearly. I wanted someone to give me answers, and looked to many mentors to help me figure out my professional path. I feel like I'm finally in a place where I do have it figured out, and can support those who are still in that place of uncertainty. I want to be able to give other twenty-somethings the chance to discover what it is they can do to make a difference in the world, and to help others feel relaxed and excited about their professional future. For me, writing and sharing my experiences is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.

Why did you decide to publish on LinkedIn?

I took a risk, I didn’t plan out my first post. I was hearing the same themes over and over again in my career advising work with students, and I thought that I could help many more than just those who made it into my office. I started with a post on salary negotiation because I had a particularly poignant meeting with a student who seemed so uncertain about how she should approach the question of salary in her industry. I remember her saying, “I just feel bad asking for more, y’know?”, and her obvious struggle with confidence and stepping up to propose what she wanted is something that I got really passionate about. It was a golden opportunity to tackle an issue that’s really common in young professionals, how to build and claim an identity as a professional.

So I wrote the story of her challenges with confidence and my advice on how to ask for more money. I got such a huge positive response to that first post I knew there was an audience for what I had to share. So I’m still writing!

How has publishing on LinkedIn connected you to new opportunities?

Publishing on LinkedIn has turned out to be an incredible personal career boost. It’s made me more visible to my professional network, and to the base of young people who I’m best able to serve. My recent job opportunity in Sydney came out of my publishing efforts--my boss saw my presence on LinkedIn and my writing, and we brought that up in my interview as an example of how I stay connected and engaged with my professional community. And when I published a post about the experience of quitting my job and moving abroad, I received media coverage in Australia: my post was republished on news.com.au and I’ve been a guest on Australian radio with Radio2UE. I was even asked to give an interview recently on the question: “Is the internet killing jobs?”.

We talked on the air for 15 minutes about how the internet has changed the world of work, all because of what I’d been writing on LinkedIn. Publishing has undeniably changed and launched my career to an entirely new place (literally!) I have a global reach now that I never had before.

I’ve even started a consulting service to meet the demand for support that I received in feedback to my writing, and I’ve started working with young people all over the world to help them plan for their professional futures.

What would you say to someone thinking about publishing on LinkedIn?

Get support from others --It was helpful to have someone edit my early pieces so I could refine what I was writing and make it clear and clean for a large readership. I remember my first comments were pointing out typos and lack of formatting in my post (embarrassing, but thankfully I don’t get those anymore!), so share your draft with peers to serve as an extra set of eyeballs (and help give you the confidence boost to hit “Publish”!). Don’t let yourself think about how you might compare to others, because every author has a different voice. The more you write, the better you'll get, and the more impact you'll have. I'm still in awe of how the decision to write for LinkedIn has changed my career, and how many new possibilities it’s created. I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t made that choice.

Check out the earlier posts in this series by Kathy Caprino and Robbie Abed.

Have you published yet?

Click ‘Publish a post’ on your Homepage and give it a try – then share your posts on your social channels to increase your reach.You can also check out some easy best practices here and take inspiration from The Most Memorable Posts of 2014.

Editor’s Note: If LinkedIn has helped you transform your career or business, please share your story with us or write a post on LinkedIn with the hashtag #MyLinkedInStory. For more inspiration, check out more success stories.

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