Every day since your child was a toddler, she’s been bumping into and forming relationships with professional people who have careers in every sector of the job market. Do you realize this?
Your daughter may have met a software engineer at a technology company when she was only four years old, a VP for the Target Corporation on her soccer field, and a sales manager for a national real estate company when she was playing in a friend’s backyard.
Who were these people? They were your friends, Mom. They were your golfing buddies, Dad. And as your child has grown into late elementary school and middle school, she’s made even more professional contacts: her friends’ parents, her volunteer sports coaches, her extended family members and their spouses, and the adults who lead her girl scout troop and chaperone her church youth group retreats. All of these people have professional identities outside of their child-raising, their volunteer sports-coaching, their scout leading, and their church youth group volunteering. Your daughter can connect to all of these people, creating life-long valuable contacts with them on LinkedIn.com.
Parent, I suggest that you help your daughter to set up a LinkedIn.com profile as soon as she turns 14. When you do (and every time you go online with her to update it), help her to find all the adults who’ve been a part of her life since she was a toddler. Her top two most outstanding resources for this are:
* Her parents’ friends
* Her friends’ parents.
As your daughter gets older she’ll add teachers, college professors, those with whom she did research, fellow high school and college students, people she met while doing multiple college internships, and colleagues she’s worked alongside at volunteer and paid positions. Any one of these connections could one day turn into a future employment connection.
Just imagine the day that your daughter is hunting for a serious professional paid summer internship in January of her sophomore year in college, and she uses LinkedIn.com to send this message to a powerful VP at a top five software company: “Hi, this is Claire Ackerman, and I used to play basketball with your daughter Kallie when I was in middle school. I’m at the University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign working on a computer engineering degree now, and I’m wondering if you might possibly help me get connected to a great internship at your company for this next summer.”
Sheer, unadulterated genius.
And of course it works for sons too.
No one else is doing this, folks. If you’re reading this, you have a phenomenal opportunity to start early to set your child up for every kind of career success.
To see one more genius idea for using Linkedin.com to heap up future academic and career opportunities for your middle school or high school student, subscribe to my weekly email newsletter on this website. My most useful article about using linkedin.com to help kids will be delivered straight to your email inbox on July 20, 2015.
To learn more genius ideas you can use to set your kids up to succeed brilliantly in college, graduate debt-free, and move directly into careers they excel at and love, click on your child’s age in the “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section on this website. It’s free.
Who is Jeannie Burlowski?
Jeannie Burlowski is a a full-time consultant, author, and conference speaker. She helps parents set their kids up to graduate college debt-free and move directly into careers they excel at and love. You can find Jeannie’s free help for parents in the “WHAT TO DO WHEN” section at JeannieBurlowski.com. Follow her on Twitter @JBurlowski.
“We only got around to doing a fraction of what Jeannie tells people to do in the free help on her website, and we saved well over $50,000 on college costs. Our daughter earned a four year degree from an excellent private university at age 20, and she’s now in California happily working her dream job at Disney. Get to one of Jeannie’s live classes if you can. Buy a plane ticket if you have to!” — Liz and Tim Weatherhead, parents, Bloomington, MN
Question: What are additional ways you can think of that being on LinkedIn.com can benefit students ages 14-18? Leave your comment in the space below, or LIKE Jeannie Burlowski Author on Facebook and let’s talk about it there.