I had heard of LinkedIn way before going to university but it was something grown ups did to find jobs and that aspect of my life was still too far into the future to bear thinking about. Until, *dramatic pause* Trinity of 2nd year.
The time had finally come to set up a LinkedIn. I did it totally as a reaction. I had applied for a business mentoring scheme; Oxford Women in Business and part of the form asked for a LinkedIn link. I didn't have one. I panicked. I was about to be undone by my own naivety! Not at all, it was a bit irritated but then I set to work making a LinkedIn profile. It didn't take too long, it was mainly transferring CV information over and then I was able to add the link to my application.
Having had some sessions with the mentoring scheme, I have since been told much of my CV information needs updating and improving which is another issue in itself. Despite that, I really enjoyed making a LinkedIn. That sounds so nerdy and embarrassing but I've been able to look into careers and employers more easily and see how other professionals present themselves which is never not useless.
It's also had a mental impact as well. I was recently reminded that in Michaelmas I'll have to start looking into Masters or jobs and basically start planning my life after Oxford which is quite daunting really and LinkedIn has actually made me feel more able to embark on that next step. I feel maybe more professional and part of a professional community and I think there's a lot to be said for a mindset.
I'm still not ready I don't think for work necessarily. I'll definitely need to spend summer making some plans and doing some thinking and then curating my professional online presence to reflect my ambitions so I'll keep you all posted!