Most of us use LinkedIn these days.
I am often there two or three times a day, and whenever I met someone new, I will look them up and usually offer to connect right away.
Sometimes people will have really low numbers of connections, which is surprising, and other times people won’t have a photo – which can be a simple privacy thing. But every so often a person won’t show up at all.
It’s jarring. Make sure I got the spelling right? Maybe Matthew goes by Matt, but LinkedIn usually corrects for that.
Why on earth would an adult in the business world not have a LinkedIn profile?
It’s still weird, but there are some reasonable explanations for this.
- Culture. The best explanation is that it’s a company culture thing. So when I find one person at a company not on LinkedIn, it’s not quite so jarring to learn that other people in the company don’t do it.
- No interest in expanding their network. Some people are totally happy doing their jobs and have no interest in meeting new people or possibly getting a better job.
- Privacy. Some people are extremely private, either because they were raised that way, or because they are extremely wealthy and don’t want people to find them out on LinkedIn.
- Above it. Not in a snooty way, but my guess is that someone like Elon Musk or Satya Nadella or Donna Karan doesn’t need to spend time on LinkedIn.
- Extremely common name. I have the luxury of having an uncommon spelling of a pretty common first name, and a not so common surname, so I am easy to find. John Smith is another story – and I wouldn’t be surprised if people opt out – unless they want to add their middle name or something, just because they are hard to find.
- They are Raymond Reddington. If you are on the FBIs most wanted list or in the witness protection program, that’s also a good reason.
There may be more reasons, but having realized there are sane, plausible explanations for people not being on LinkedIn has helped take some of the edge off of learning they are not part of it.