Even though I’m retired, I still use LinkedIn

May 18, 2024
Source: Getty Images.

Although I am semi-retired, I still have a profile on LinkedIn. You see, I do some freelance writing for a few publications, so I need to keep some sort of presence.

But most of my time isn’t spent writing. Usually, I’m watching birds for half the day, staring at the vacuum cleaner, pretending I can sing, and trying to decipher a recipe from Linda Lum. These are all great time killers that help fuel my writing.

But even though I’m too cheap to be a paying member of LinkedIn, I do find it useful. I am encouraged by some of the anonymous visitors who have viewed my profile. Sometimes they include marketing executives, Chicken Soup for the Soul editors, and entertainment types. Those bitcoin investors? No, thank you.

Usually, I get three or four messages per week asking me to join some sort of interest group. Some messages claim that I can earn my MBA in three weeks. Or that if I subscribe to some newsletter, my business profits will soar by 2000%.

Why were these groups around when I was 45?

I often use LinkedIn to hunt down people I can’t find on Facebook. Looking for that long, lost love from high school or that married guy you fancied in 1997? If they’re still working, you can usually find them.

I particularly enjoy tracking down former employers who have laid me off. It’s especially gratifying when I see that they are now “consulting” which means that they’ve been laid off as well, and are now trying to start their businesses.

Often they use a profile picture from 20 years ago, showing that they are still in their 40s and are employable. But we all know that once you hit 50, you are low- hanging fruit and the probability of a company letting you go is relatively high. Sometimes It’s very strange when I find people who have passed away who are still listed on LinkedIn. Are they looking for employment in the afterlife? I wonder how you can contact them and if they’d work for free since they have so few expenses.

And then some have retired, but they are still listed on LinkedIn. My partner is one of them. A few days ago I got a request to congratulate her for 14 years at Oppenheimer even though she retired five years ago. So what’s your experience been like on LinkedIn? Do you belong? How current is your profile photo? Is it from 1982, showing your trim waistline and full head of hair? Or has it been altered with some of those AI photo apps?

Well, the birds are calling, so it’s time to go outside and watch them. If I’m lucky, perhaps I can get some inspiration to write another short story or a lucrative poem.

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