Linkedin is an important social media network for professionals to maintain their network and find work. But for Australian expats, there is even more value in being on Linkedin.
6 Reasons Why Australian Expats Should Be On LinkedIn
Social media is shaping up to be one of the defining changes in the 21st century to the way society works. Most people are signed up to some form of social media, whether they use it to post holiday snaps, keep in touch with friends or, follow the latest news or chat with like-minded people in groups. While websites like Facebook and Snapchat are great for sharing your personal life online, there are boundless professional opportunities that many fail to capitalize on when it comes to social media. Creating an online presence can not only help you to market yourself professionally to both clients and employers, but it can lead to opportunities you didn’t even know were available. LinkedIn is a social media website with the sole purpose of connecting professionals within their industry so as to facilitate networking between members. Aussie expats are travelling all over the planet to work and build careers in different countries, but it can be tricky to maintain relationships over long distances. When living abroad, a tool like LinkedIn in can help you to keep in touch with your friends and colleagues back home, as well as expose your skills and talents to an entirely new audience in your new home.
Here are just some of the ways a LinkedIn profile can help you maximize your career potential as an expat:
Maintain your network in Australia while working abroad:
Your industry will continue to develop and evolve in Australia, even when you’re not there to participate. Keeping up with professional news back home will make it far easier for you to adjust when (or if) you decide to move back to Australia for the next step in your career. Losing your industry knowledge and social connections could mean that you have to start almost from square one when coming back into an industry that may be drastically changed from the one you left. Maintaining your existing network through LinkedIn will help keep you abreast of industry changes, new opportunities and job openings which could help you hit the ground running on your return to Australia.
Conversely, maintaining your relationships back home can be hugely beneficial in your overseas career. Plenty of overseas companies are looking for an ‘edge’ to set them apart from their local competitors; if you can offer them that point of difference with your up-to-date knowledge of what’s going on internationally, it could add value to your job abroad. Whether this means you’re able to set up deals for international business, or provide networking connections for colleagues across the world, maintaining connections between countries could really boost your career opportunities.
Stay in touch with former colleagues:
When living abroad, possibly for years, it’s easy to lose contact with your former colleagues and friends, especially those with whom you have a professional connection, rather than a personal one. These members of your network will obviously continue to develop their own careers and professional connections while you are away, making it a real loss for you to miss out on being a part of this ever expanding network of people who might be beneficial to know. But short of keeping correspondence with each individual colleague, there didn’t used to be a way of maintaining these relationships. Using a LinkedIn profile allows you maintain these relationships, streamlining communication and avoiding the many potential faux pas that can happen when trying to force a relationship for purely professional reasons. This social network is ideal for maintain friendly business relationships in a pleasant, yet pressure-free way.
Don’t mix personal life with business:
While you may be using a site like Facebook to keep in touch with your family and friends while working abroad, this may not be the best idea for creating and maintaining a professional network. Those stories of failed applications or employees losing their jobs because their bosses saw their Facebook profiles are just as relevant today as they were when the website first gained popularity. Photos of you drinking cocktails on the beach or partying at a nightclub are just not conducive to a professional image and can turn off both colleagues and employers. You also open yourself up to criticism or discrimination from contacts who may not share your personal values. Keep your personal and professional lives separate by having dedicated social media accounts for each. A LinkedIn profile can be used solely to promote your workplace skills and develop an online image appropriate to the job you have or want.
Use the Linkedin network to find your next job:
When living abroad or moving back home to Australia, it’s not easy starting fresh in a whole new job market. This is even more so when dealing with language barriers, which is often the case when working overseas. Using LinkedIn to research the local job market and connect with people who share your language and interests can be a huge help when finding your next job, especially in an international setting.
Expats who want to continue travel should especially be using an online network to be finding their next job, given that it’s always easier and more secure to move to your next location if you already have a job set up for when you arrive.
Use your Linkedin network to find someone with the specialist skills you are seeking:
Employers are increasingly using LinkedIn to recruit new talent. Don’t wait for skilled people to come to you, get proactive and find people with specialist skills online. The international job market is becoming ever more digitized, especially among expats who rely on digital correspondence to communicate long-distance. It’s no longer necessary to ‘make do’ with people who may be in a location near you, but who lack the skills you really need. There are thousands of people who are willing to work remotely, and they’re using social networks like LinkedIn.
Meet like minded people:
Connect with people based on common interests rather than just common location. Too often, we choose our network based on the fact that we happen to be at the same place at the same time, but does this coincidental way of forging connections really serve our best interests? LinkedIn brings together like-minded people who are looking to achieve similar goals and who have similar interests. Connect with people who know your existing friends, join discussion groups and get first-hand testimony from people who have worked in your chosen field or even the specific company you hope to join.
Social media doesn’t have to just be the fun, yet ultimately pointless pursuit of ‘liking’ our friends’ photos or viewing the latest viral meme. LinkedIn is a social network which can actually improve your life and your career. LinkedIn presents the opportunity to research people who are already doing what you hope to do, companies who are hiring and even potential clients. Online connections can eventually lead to face-to-face ones, and LinkedIn could extend your business network across the globe.
The Australian Expat Investor will be increasing its Linkedin presence in the coming months, so why not follow The Australian Expat Investor on Linkedin and keep up with our latest news and articles.