Last year I got serious about launching my consulting business. I have been a tech for umpteen years and decided it was about time to spread my wings a little bit and see if I could fly on my own. I wasn't ready to cut the ties to the 9-5 job but through a series of fortuitous events was able to make arrangements to cut the on-the-job time back to just two days a week so I could keep a steady income and insurance.
The first thing I figured I needed to do was to create my own website and blog. No big deal. I used a standard template in Dreamweaver and had one up and running in a few hours. I created my blog in Blogger. The next thing I needed was to advertise my services. I know, I'll try LinkedIn. I had heard a lot of good things about it and I don't fit into the MySpace or FaceBook crowd, so why not give it a try? I did.Results from LinkedIn
Wow! I got results right away. The local Chamber of Commerce became a client and then a local computer store started referring customers that they couldn't handle. One of those customers was a local computer consultant who became a partner. I had the Active Directory and Microsoft Exchange skills he needed and he had a lot of existing clients who were growing. Amazing results.
However, the biggest shocker happened just the other day when I received an unsolicited Linked-In e-mail asking if I was interested in a position as an Infrastructure Manager. Sure, I'll bite. How much does it pay? Base salary is a hundred grand. OK, what skills do they require? The email dialog took a serious turn as we went back and forth about requirements, qualifications and responsibilities.Why I turned the job down
I had to think long and hard if I wanted to go to the next level which would be the phone interview, then the in-person interview and finally the compensation negotiations. I decided against it for several reasons. I don't want to give up the three things I have going now - the job that lets me work from home three days a week, the consulting business I'm just getting started and writing this blog for Tech Republic.
I know some of you are going to call me on this. "Tim, how can you claim you turned a job down when you didn't have an offer?" Would you have read the post if the headline read, "I turned down a phone interview today?" I didn't think so. Cut me some slack. The point of this post is that social networking through LinkedIn works. It's a great idea and changes the whole way I used to beat the bushes for business.
Toni wrote about using LinkedIn for job hunting in her post today. I swear I was already planning to write about my success with LinkedIn when I saw her post. It fits perfectly. I have been able to hook up with old buddies from previous jobs and re-establish long lost relationships. Everyone moves on and in today's world most techs will have maybe a dozen jobs in their career. I know I have. LinkedIn is a great product.
The best thing about LinkedIn for me is writing and receiving recommendations. In the past I have had to pull recommendations from annual reviews. Several of those are on my website. Today, if I want to add a recommendation to my profile, I can just solicit it from a former co-worker or supervisor. Third party endorsements are so much more effective then tooting your own horn. Do you use LinkedIn? Try it!Contact me if you want the job
By the way, if you are a qualified IT Manager that can run a large data center for a $400 milion public company in the greater Los Angeles area and are looking for a job, let me know and I'll hook you up with the guy that can get you an interview. Obviously this is a time-sensitive opportunity. Contact me through LinkedIn or shoot me an email through the contact button at the top of this blog. Good luck.