When I retired, the website LinkedIn was the bane of my existence. I started using it when it first came out back in 2003 or so. It was great for networking. Originally, it was set up for helping people find jobs because experience tells me that you find jobs faster through your network than any other means.

Then LinkedIn started to grow and expand. If you were like me, decisions on who to hire for consulting projects are made either in the C suite or at the vice presidential level. More times than not, the firm is selected based on a prior relationship. LinkedIn became a way of reconnecting with former clients.

By the time I retired, I was spending two – three hours a day on LinkedIn looking for people who I knew who might have relationships in companies I was targeting. One co-worker told me that they spent thirty to forty percent of their time on LinkedIn. I shouldn’t have been horrified because I was in the twenty to thirty percent range.

When I pulled the plug and retired, I wanted to have nothing to do with was LinkedIn. It was a time sump and wasting precious writing time surfing the site was not in my plan. And, I rationalized, for what?

Two years, eight months later and I’m back on LinkedIn, but not in a big way. Yet. The site has a way of sucking you in, but I am determined to minimize my time on LinkedIn.

It started with getting messages from people I hadn’t seen or heard from or emailed in years. They were congratulating me on an anniversary with a firm! Huh? Irritated, I wanted to correct the record, so I logged back into LinkedIn to try to figure out why.

The last profile I created was still there and I tried to add a new workplace. There was no category called “full time author” nor one for “retired.” So, I created one called “full time author” and started responding to requests from people who want to connect with me. Most of them were interested in seeing if I knew of a job opening or am I looking. Answer to both is no.

The next thing I did was run through the people who requested a connection selecting the names I recognized and answering. Halfway through, it dawned on me. All these people are potential book buyers!  This was one of those head slapping moments. Now, if I get a request, the person gets an answer. Sure, I’ll connect with you!

The next head slapping moment was when a friend sent me an article he posted on LinkedIn. I didn’t know that you could do that. Now, my latest newsletter, slightly modified has been posted.

Net net – that’s a common business expression related to ‘the bottom line is – I’m back on LinkedIn. Trust me, when I retired, I never thought I would use it again.

Marc Liebman

February 2018