Want to know how to get connected with people in your chosen profession? I'm thinkin' LinkedIn is the place to be!

According to the LinkedIn website www.linkedin.com:

  • LinkedIn started out in the living room of co-founder Reid Hoffman in 2002.
  • The site officially launched on May 5, 2003. At the end of the first month in operation, LinkedIn had a total of 4,500 members in the network.
  • As of June 30, 2011 (the end of the second quarter), professionals are signing up to join LinkedIn at a rate that is faster than two new members per second.
  • As of August 4, 2011, LinkedIn operates the world's largest professional network on the Internet with more than 120 million members in over 200 countries and territories.


Think of LinkedIn as the social networking site for business and professional people. You can instantly connect with people within your same employment, business, or professional interests. Your skills, experiences, messages, and letters of recommendation make up the content here. If you're looking for a job or career opportunity, this is the place to get introduced to people who can help you get to where you want to be!

Tired of getting rejection letters from websites? Had a tough time getting past the gatekeeper (computerized or otherwise)? Need a chance to talk to or chat with a LIVE human being? Let's see how LinkedIn can work for you!

For this GOING CIVILIAN Blog post, I've asked each of my USAA Military Spouse Community "Blogmates" to weigh-in on this question:

What are the top 3 jobs/careers within that group of friends?

USAA's MONEY MATTERS Community Manager Tara Crooks said, "Most all of my friends are stay at home moms/volunteers, teachers, or do a job in Direct Sales."

So, I used the LinkedIn search engine and typed in the words "direct sales" and searched under the Groups tab. In seconds, 296 different Direct Sales Groups appeared on the screen! Some of these groups have thousands of individual members too! Imagine the number of new Direct Sales contacts you can create in just a few keystrokes and mouse clicks.

USAA's PCS Community Manager Briana Hartzell responded, "My friends who do have jobs (most do not) are nurses, teachers or fitness instructors."

A quick search on LinkedIn revealed 55 different Fitness Instructor Groups. Anything from Spinning, to Aerobics, to Diet & Exercise, Yoga, and even several groups related to specific gyms. You can even Create A Group if you can't find what you're looking for. And, you won't even break out a sweat in the process!

USAA's DEPLOYMENT Community Manager Wendy Poling tells me that her Friends work in, "civil service or contractors for the Govt. (Public Affairs/Communications, Program Analyst, Work and Family Life Specialist). A few do volunteer work." LinkedIn showed a whopping 425 different Public Affairs Groups! Start writing those press releases and get the word out on what you can do for an organization!

As you can see, the possibilities are endless.

Special thanks to Briana, Tara, and Wendy for providing input!

By the way, don't delay, join LinkedIn today!