Journal

Focus Social Media, Market Research, Networking
Theme Tools

Saturday night, I was having difficulty sleeping and took a little bit of time to watch some TV, something I don’t do very often. Since watching TV isn’t typically mentally engaging, working on clearing out open tabs and tasks was a good way to keep my hands busy and be productive. Ultimately, though, I ended up getting distracted by employer research information from the day before, and dove into spending more time on Twitter and Linkedin connecting to people.

I tried to find interesting people from around the region in different places and specializations who looked like they might be active and posting content. My LinkedIn suggestions are completely saturated with people from a development firm that I’m really interested in, however it isn’t always front-and-center on people’s profiles that they work there, so I probably clicked on a good 20 people before realizing this! 😬💦 I certainly do not want to be that guy and send everyone requests, but there seems to be such an interesting pool of talented developers that I’m hoping I can more organically network with people sometime. I really miss lunch-and-learn events downtown, which I was starting to frequent again back in January and February.

(In retrospect this morning, maybe I shouldn’t have sent out connection requests while insomnia scrolling. Hopefully no one was pinged!)

My profile was due for a little update, so I modified my title and refreshed my showcase links. I’m excited to one day add my portfolio as my main site on all my socials. Truthfully, I am somewhat concerned about having Learning Log or my portfolio be front-and-center on my LinkedIn right now, so I will need to REALLY overhaul my branding when I transition into a new role. It is probably going to look/seem a little strange to recruiters and hiring managers for now, but hopefully people will be understanding and not penalize me too much for it.

Along with connecting to people, I spent some time looking for employers and postings. Out of my sample data, many of the employers I have identified as interesting and value-aligned have SaaS platforms at their core. I am unsure if this is a latent internal preference of my own, or if these roles in particular are perhaps a bit more well-defined, or maybe it’s a visibility / availability bias issue.

A very intriguing scale-up company based in the Netherlands caught my eye, with an open role that I may be a good fit towards. This sent me on a tangent of looking into cost of living differences and considerations for wages. My spouse and I have been very interested to travel to the Netherlands for a while now, but with COVID, it hasn’t happened yet. Remote work is something that I would certainly be interested in and capable of managing.

Here’s the new totals for my outstanding research tasks:

  • New Employers: 23 / 14 (+9) (Over goal for the week!)
  • Detailed Employers: 2 / 2 (+1)
  • Job Postings: 11 / 14 (+4)

Establishing a goal for networking is a bit more challenging. I do ultimately want to build genuine connections, and do not just want to hit a number. That being said, I have a defined goal of 50 new connections by end of the year as asserted by career mentor - a push outside of my comfort zone (which, honestly, I’ve needed).

I was also told to send connection requests without a message, which feels awkward to me. An interesting trend that I’ve noticed from this process is that, typically, people who are in more senior or leadership roles are more apt to connect back, whereas peers are less likely to engage. It helps that I don’t have a recruiter title, and admittedly I am inundated by spam cold messages on LinkedIn, as are probably many of the people I’m connecting. Perhaps that’s the reason behind the suggestion to just connect? I’ll have to see how this process goes and ask for more information.

Back to the challenging component of all this, achieving the defined connections goal isn’t something I can actually do, as it ultimately relies on people being willing to connect. At the time of editing, I’m at about a 10% engagement rate so far from the batch of requests I sent out. Of that set, one of those connections had a very unique background and I messaged them to inquire about their perspective… so while I’m very interested in their input, I’ll probably need to remove them from the dataset for the “cold-connect” approach metrics (putting things at 5%).

It was recommended to avoid curating a network like a “cool kids club,” but to genuinely engage with people’s content, I feel like being a little focused makes sense! Honestly, most people probably aren’t specifically very active on LinkedIn, but for the people who are, I’m interested to see and potentially interact with their content. Hopefully what I share can similarly be beneficial to others.

To try and push towards the goal, I’m going to mindfully identify and send 20 connection requests 4-5 times a month. I know that 80 * 0.05 = 4, which is a little less than my established goal of 50, but it has also been only one day, and a weekend at that! We’ll have to wait and see what the days ahead bring.

  • LI Connection requests: 21 / 20 (+15, over goal for the week!)

As I’m ready to push this update live, this is honestly the most uncomfortable-feeling blog I have written to date. I’ve rewritten it numerous times now, but it is no longer diminishing that feeling of discomfort. Getting to meet and build connections with people is something that I genuinely get excited about, so there’s this deep conflict about putting a goal and specifically numbers around it.

The connections I have recently made and had conversations with so far have all been wonderful, and it gets me really excited to be more of a part of this community with time. If anyone has insight or perspective into this, please, it would be helpful to hear your thoughts in the comments below. I will be continuing to evaluate this process moving forward.

Tasklist

  • Complete Task ID 11
  • Complete Task ID 14
  • Create new task for LI connection requests sent (ID #17)
  • Complete Task ID 17