Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Why not share your passion?

LinkedIn users who have access to a lot of employment opportunities (headhunters, for example) have more to trade than mere mortals like you and me.

They are highly "liquid" connections.

So how can normal working professionals like us make LinkedIn work for us? What do we offer to our connections? We can't offer jobs, most of us can't offer reference letters, and we can't offer career intelligence (for example, a counselor working at a placement agency might have intelligence on key corporate employers, such as which departments are growing and might need new personnel, etc.).

Yet, I think most professionals have something that they underestimate: their valuable knowledge.

This knowledge can be work-related, or it can be hobby-related.

For example, I have 20 years of experience in calligraphy, as an artist and instructor. Yet nowhere on my profile does it say that I am ABLE and (most) WILLING to share my calligraphy expertise with people who would like to learn.

(Which is why I created a blog to promote calligraphy, at

I know many people who are talented and possess valuable knowledge related to a hobby or a non-work-related activity. Yet their LinkedIn profile does not mention it at all.

Of course, the reason is that LinkedIn is (correctly, I believe) positioned as a professional networking webware.

So one solution, I think, would be for talented people to create a blog to share their hobby-related expertise, and to promote the blog's URL on their LinkedIn profile.

After all, hiring managers are not just looking for a cold brain and a skill set devoid of humanity. They want to hire people who have passion and who pursue their own dream in their personal lives. Such passionate people usually make the workplace more fun, so they serve as a positive element to increase team morale and make the working lives of others more fun and more relaxed.