One of the biggest “game changers” in the world of job search, career management and business development in the past 5 years is LinkedIn. It is an amazing tool that allows anyone and any business to create a web presence to generate and maintain connections. On the surface, it seems easy enough to draft a basic profile but the richness of the tool starts with thorough completion of each part of the profile including posting a picture and getting testimonials. Now it’s time to dig in and establish a network of connections by inviting colleagues and peers to be part of your professional network. Then you might want to join some groups to broaden your network and follow discussions. Then it’s time to dig in even deeper and learn how to use it’s research capabilities to make even more connections and identify opportunities. It is such a dynamic tool that one could feasibly spends several hours per week just keeping up with connections, updates and discussions and it all can become overwhelming pretty quickly. The key is to remember first and foremost that it is a tool and secondly it is only a means to an end. It is important to clarify the primary reason you are using the tool and what you hope to accomplish with it. Track your success and results against the amount of time you are devoting to it. Make sure it is proportional to your overall job search, career management or business development activities. Without this approach to the the tool, it can get pretty overwhelming.