“Want to join a bowling league?” That's something that you may not have heard in awhile, if ever. Bowling leagues were established after the modern form of bowling was organized in 1895. For many years, it remained a popular group activity, that provided many of the benefits of joining a group including having fun, achieving a sense of belonging, fulfilling social needs, and pooling talents to achieve a common goal while also gaining a sense of individual achievement. Seems like a no-brainer! Then why has there been decline in people joining these leagues? As cited by Robert Putnam in “Bowling Alone: America’s Declining Social Capital”, he discusses the contributing factors and the importance of people reconnecting.
While many don’t have time for themselves these days, there are quite a few reasons why joining groups is extremely beneficial. From a professional standpoint, joining in-person groups and professional organizations is strongly encouraged, but may not be feasible for all. Therein lies the beauty of LinkedIn Groups!
LinkedIn is the world’s largest, online professional network with over 467 million members and over 2 million groups, some more active than others. With numbers like that, it is easy to see why having a LinkedIn profile and joining LinkedIn Groups is critical for all professionals, especially if in the market for a new job or engaged in professional development. As outlined in an article on Job-Hunt.org, some of the benefits of LinkedIn Groups are as follows:
- You are allowed 15 InMail messages monthly across your Groups for FREE!!! This provides access to decision makers and industry experts who you would otherwise not have access. These can be “meaningful and valuable” connections. The more connections like this in your profile, the more people will want to connect with you.
- By participating in discussions within a Group, you can showcase your expertise and increase visibility. Statistics have shown that Group participants get 4 times more profile views than non-participants. This improves your overall ranking on LinkedIn, meaning recruiters are more likely to find you.
- Companies post job openings in Groups. You can find these under the “Jobs” tab next to the “Conversations” tab at the top of the page.
- Ability to ask questions and get advice from like-minded professionals with industry/career experience.
So, are you ready to join a few LinkedIn Groups? For assistance and to get more information on how to identify groups and avoid the pitfalls, feel free to contact your AthLife Advisor. And, just for the heck of it, hit up the local bowling alley for some good old-fashioned fun! Here’s looking forward to a perfect game on all fronts!