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Say you’re in advertising and you use Linkedin to make connections with other people in the ad community and the greater marketing industry. So what happens when one of your friends wants to connect with you on Linkedin – but they’re a nurse?

If you’re committed to using Linkedin professionally, not personally, then this is definitely a dilemma. Being a nurse, it’s highly unlikely your paths will ever cross professionally.

I came across this very topic the other day, and have multiple times with my Career Coaching clients. It’s DEFINITELY something we should all talk about.

Here’s my take: you don’t have to accept their connection request. Just as Facebook serves a purpose (socializing online and keeping up with real world friends), so does Linkedin (doing the very same thing in a professional context).Your friend will understand this, and you can both agree to spend your social networking time together on Facebook or possibly Twitter.

Jason Alba is a friend of mine and is what I consider to be the guru of LinkedIn. He wrote a book titled, “I’m on LinkedIn – Now What?”, and has several great Linkedin training videos.  He points out that LinkedIn IS a place where you can nurture relationships, and is in fact a very great platform on which to do it. But the point is that you’re developing those relationships within a professional context.  The important thing is to first identify your purpose for using LinkedIn, which will help you determine who you want to connect with.

What do you think?

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • linkedinnewbiew says:

    Can you be absolutely sure that your path and your friend’s path won’t cross, especially if there is some remote connection between your careers but your relationship is amicable rather than professional? Someone can always recommend you as someone they know and trust rather than as a peer.

  • David Hults says:

    I’m not saying that you should never connect with your friend on LinkedIn. The goal if using LinkedIn for the purpose of finding new employment is to build of pool of people that are experts within your career target. The faster you are known within the industry and career target the faster the opportunities will come. However if using this for business you might build your contacts with a different strategy all together. Be clear about your purpose, that’s with any social media you use.