Avoiding Post-Graduation Inertia with LinkedIn Groups

Avoiding Post-Graduation Inertia with LinkedIn Groups
Vincent L. Cyboran, Ed.D.



Finally finishing your master’s degree brings with it several emotions, including much-deserved pride and a sense of relief. You can finally enjoy your weekends again. You can devote more time to long-neglected hobbies and interests, or just do nothing; at least for a while. Your resume is updated to reflect your new graduate degree. You possess solid, marketable skills and a deep knowledge of contemporary and classic T&D theories and models. You’ve completed a career plan with short- and long-term goals. You’ve even subscribed to a few blogs and promised yourself to read them now and then. Do take the time to relax: You’ve earned it. But when you’re ready to jump back into the game, consider the advantages offered by LinkedIn groups.

LinkedIn groups are free to join, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including the following:

  • Joining a learning community
  • Keeping current with fads and trends
  • Making contacts
  • Searching for a new job.

My Groups


Here are just a few of the groups to which I personally belong. Another advantage of groups is that you can often join a professional association’s group—such as ATD—without actually being a member.


Career Changers

LinkedIn groups are especially useful to those changing careers. You can “join” the conversation of professionals already working in the field, participating at whatever level makes you comfortable. At first, you may just want to read what others are posting. Soon, you’ll want to respond to items that pique your interest. And when you feel confident enough, you may even want to lead a conversation by posting a topic of your own: This will help you to get noticed and to shape your thinking on the topic.

Proceed with Caution, but do Proceed!

Remember that LinkedIn groups are just one more tool in your career toolkit. LinkedIn groups–like all online communities–have norms and rules. For example, members cannot directly sell services and products. And, there are thousands of groups, many with overlapping purposes; so you’ll need to be selective about which groups to join and which to actively participate in. Like all social media platforms, LinkedIn groups can become a burden and a time-waster.

Getting Started with Groups

Like all software applications, LinkedIn does provide online help. Like some software applications, the online help leaves much to be desired. So, the fastest to get started is to view recent YouTube videos, such as these:


If you do choose to jump right in and explore groups on your own from within LinkedIn, here’s the key to accessing them: The ‘Work’ menu item.


  • What groups do you currently belong to?
  • What groups do you recommend to your peers?


  • I am currently a member of the OD Network and Leadership & OD groups. I have found both to be very helpful in drawing my attention to different topics within the OD area and expanding my knowledge of how the field is evolving. This post has been very helpful with the suggestions for using LinkedIn as a tool while also highlighting the thoughtfulness needed in its use for it to be most effective.

  • I am currently a member of ATD, ACMP, and Prosci’s online groups. I enjoy reading the postings because it keeps me informed on current trends and gives me ideas on approaches to incorporate in my work. I didn’t realize until reading this that you cannot sell services on LinkedIn, but I think that’s a great approach to separate sales from a professional networking site. This post has inspired me to update my profile to point to more of my OD background.

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