By Bryan Bennett
If you are the person who reads the last page of the book first, I'll save you the hassle: a LinkedIn upgrade is like a gym membership. If you put in the work and have a plan, a gym membership can help you make great strides. Then again, most people could get a decent workout in at home. Not exactly a definitive answer is it?
Some Say Yes.
I trained for my first half marathon on a treadmill at a YMCA in Dallas, Texas. It was great. I could track splits and compare day-to-day results while having easy access to water, a bathroom and free wifi. I was religious about making the time to work out and found a sweet spot timewise where the place wasn't full.
Likewise, if you are in a full-time job hunt, going to make use of the features, and can afford the expense of a LinkedIn upgrade, then it is probably worth the money. Look at the chart below taken from this article on Quora.
There is a fair amount of information that you get on the exposure you receive. Here at SMD, we live by the analytics of views and the quantification of how our content resonates. The value of the extra information job seekers get with a LinkedIn plan is worth the money, at least for the basic plan. Depending on the kind of push you are engaged in to get that next job, the extras from the more expensive models may be just what you need.
Some Say No.
For my second half marathon, I trained outdoors as family obligations took me out of town for 8 solid weeks. The weather was varied and there were hills. Water was hard to come by, and some days the runs just didn't happen due to the heat. But, they were all obstacles that I could have overcome with some planning.
If you are starting student loans, a dwindling bank account and rising credit card debt you may not feel like taking on one more expense. If you go that route and skip the paid options, you will fall in with over 80 percent of LinkedIn users.
You can still pound the virtual pavement and scout your network looking for people who have the contacts you want. You can peruse your contacts’ contacts, ask for introductions directly and then, after making contact, add them via LinkedIn. Some would say that this is the preferred method for establishing those contacts anyway - not to just blindly connect.
I Say Maybe.
So, is a LinkedIn upgrade worth it? I’d venture to say yes, but only if you commit to actually using the features. That may seem a lot like a cop out, but it isn't. The reality is, your LinkedIn networking isn’t all that different from the networking your parents used to find a job. And the use of online job searches is not much different than the newspaper classified ads - you may have seen them in movies.
After all, it’s just like that gym membership you got in January but haven't used since February 1st. Likewise, ultimately, my race results were impacted more by the effort I put in, and the 4,000 foot elevation difference, than the places I trained.
There you have it, the cop out answer. YMMV.