How important is your professional network in determining your future opportunities, and providing career resilience - which has become increasingly important over the past 12 months?
To glean insight into this, LinkedIn recently analyzed a randomized sample of three million LinkedIn members from across the world, in order to determine how their LinkedIn connections and activity have facilitated job transitions and developments.
LinkedIn's research focused the relationship between people's LinkedIn connection graph and career mobility - i.e. how quickly somebody moves into their next job.
Factoring in a range of variables, LinkedIn found that among users who share similar demographics, educational backgrounds and professional experience:
- Members with at least 13 connections from companies other than their current employer, are 22.9% faster in transitioning to their next job than those who do not.
- Members who are a part of at least one group on LinkedIn are 8.6% faster in transitioning to their next job than those who are not a member of any groups.
- Members who follow at least 5 organizations on LinkedIn are 7.1% faster in transitioning to their next job than those who do not.
In some ways, this makes perfect sense - if you're more actively engaged in establishing connections, you're more likely to find new opportunities, and faster, as a result. But it may also reflect how hiring managers are assessing people, based on their LinkedIn presence, which could reflect their industry engagement and focus.
Though it is interesting to note the marginal boost being a member of a LinkedIn group provides. 8.6% is still statistically significant, but LinkedIn groups remain largely filled with spam-ridden clutter, and for the most part, in my experience, are not overly beneficial. A single-digit increase in the likelihood of finding a new job as a result of being part of a group is probably not a great reflection of the value of the option.
LinkedIn says that these findings:
"...underscore the importance of building a “diverse” network, and they illustrate that your professional “network” is not restricted to direct connections with individuals. LinkedIn offers our members a number of tools (connections, groups, follows) through which they can access information that can potentially accelerate their careers."
So essentially, LinkedIn's saying that these stats show that you should be more actively growing your LinkedIn network if you want to build more flexibility and security in your career.
Which, again, makes sense. Making connections has always been part of finding opportunities, and the more active and open you are, the more chance you have of coming across relevant connections and positions that align with your expertise and interests.
LinkedIn provides more opportunities than any other platform in history to facilitate such, and it is definitely worth building your professional network and looking to connect with relevant users, and share knowledge, in order to build out your presence.
The stats don't lie, and while the relative numbers on group memberships and following organizations are not mind-blowing, it all adds up.
It may well be worth looking to build those connections on the professional social network.
You can check out LinkedIn's full "How to build an effective professional network on LinkedIn" research here.