Dear J.T. & Dale: I really don’t like using LinkedIn. I don’t have a lot to put on my profile, and I don’t feel like it really represents who I am as a professional. Plus, I feel like it’s all old people on there. Is there something else to build out my professional identity online? — Nelson
DALE: Well, as one of the old guys on LinkedIn, I feel a need to say something supportive. Yes, it’s annoying (especially when serving as a kind of digital version of telemarketing), but it’s still a great way to find people and their backgrounds. I use it regularly, and I’m betting that many of the people you should connect with do, too.
J.T.: I agree: Don’t skip LinkedIn. You need to be on there so that people can find you. That said, there is a new tool that I also would encourage you to try. Full disclosure, I started partnering with this company at the end of 2021, when I realized that they would be a great complement to LinkedIn. The company is called Contra, and they allow you to create a profile that is far more creative and lets you showcase your work in a way that LinkedIn doesn’t. It’s free to use, and I love how easy it is to build out your profile. Plus, it’s also a great place for recruiters and companies to find you. They’re building in functionality that lets people work as independents and keep all of their information in one place.
DALE: After hearing J.T.’s praise, I eagerly went to contra.com to check it out. But, you can’t check it out, not easily. You must create a profile to get started and that’s not just a quick couple of data points; they want more than I was willing to give. Nevertheless, I was able to see that it’s quite different from LinkedIn in that it’s built around projects, not titles. Seems like something freelancers and gig workers could benefit from.
J.T.: I’m a huge fan, and I now use my Contra profile on all my social media links.
Best of career resources
J.T.: We like to occasionally pass along useful career tools, so let’s jump back into the findings from the 2022 Job Seeker Nation Report. The survey is from Jobvite and others, with help from research firm Zogby. (Report at jobvite.com)
DALE: While employees everywhere have welcomed the strong labor market — featuring nearly twice as many job openings as unemployed people — the report’s data suggest a problem the economy is creating for employees, not just employers: 40% of survey respondents reported that their workload increased because of high employee turnover. This led to 78% reporting increased stress and feeling burnout. So, we see that turnover itself leads to more turnover. What have employers done to interrupt that spiral? We learned that 56% of workers who reported increased turnover in their workplaces did not receive increased compensation to offset the additional workload.
J.T.: That ties into other set data, where 45% of employees say they are actively looking for a new job (or will this year). I’d urge managers to look around at their staff and picture about half of them looking to leave. Why leave? Just one in four say it’s compensation.
DALE: That percentage strikes me as low. There’s some odd reticence to admit you’d move “just” for money. It’s part of that “find your passion” approach to career planning.
J.T.: The other stated reasons for changing jobs were growth opportunities (20%), work/life balance (16%), flexibility to work from home (16%), and health benefits at 15%.
DALE: Finally, there are statistics that we can’t repeat often enough, statistics on how candidates search/find jobs. Here’s the data (multiple answers allowed): online job boards 59%, friends 46%, social media 39%, employer career sites 33%, professional connections 25% and career fairs 23%. The numbers add up to far more than 100%, and I’m betting this is why: because the most common way to search, online job boards, rarely works, successful job searchers end up with all the other options.
Jeanine “J.T.” Tanner O’Donnell is a career coach and the founder of the leading career site www.workitdaily.com. Dale Dauten is founder of The Innovators’ Lab and author of a novel about H.R., “The Weary Optimist.” Please visit them at jtanddale.com, where you can send questions via email, or write to them in care of King Features Syndicate, 628 Virginia Dr., Orlando, FL 32803. (c) 2022 by King Features Syndicate, Inc.