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The Importance of Role Renewal

Source | LinkedIn : By Scott Roberts

Earlier last month, I returned from a vacation to start a new year at LinkedIn in my current role overseeing Business Development for LinkedIn’s Enterprise businesses and activities. Since I joined LinkedIn in 2007, this year’s return marked my 10th new year at the company, a long time for any career stop, let alone at a Silicon Valley technology company. Since joining the company, LinkedIn has grown from 130 employees to over 10,000 now, evolved from a private company into a public one, and recently transformed once more through an acquisition by Microsoft.

On my flight back from vacation, I reflected and put down in words some thoughts about the importance of renewing one’s commitment to their role and employer. I shared this with my team and several others at LinkedIn on the first day of the year. Though I originally had no intention of sharing it publicly, I was encouraged to do so by several of my colleagues.



I hope you had a restful and enjoyable holiday break with your families. As we come back to the office for the New Year, I wanted to share some thoughts about the year ahead.

In addition to getting some rest and decompressing from a long and busy year, I hope you all took some time to think and dream big about your role and your future. I think it is important to challenge yourself to think about what success looks like several years out for your area of focus and for you personally. If you have not done this yet, try to visualize some of those things and think about how to make this success a reality. Think through what support you need and share that with those whose support is critical for your success.

Most importantly, as we begin 2017, I want to share some thoughts about renewal and refreshing our focus and commitment. Some of these thoughts have been influenced by my year-end conversations with many of you, can be found in parts of some of my previous LinkedIn posts, and are certainly influenced by Reid’s book The Alliance and Jeff’s post, The Three Qualities of People I Most Enjoy Working With. While the following ideas are important at any time, I think they are especially relevant and important at the beginning of a new year.

  • Ensure that you understand, and reconfirm, why you are in your role. Try not to let inertia and habit drive your continued participation at LinkedIn. You are here by choice and it is important that you act that way.
  • Define what you want to achieve personally and make sure that there is alignment between you and your manager. If you have not read Reid’s book The Alliance, I encourage you all to do so. The concepts of Tours of duty and Allies are core tenets of the healthy pact between managers and their employees.
  • As long as you are committed in your role and giving your best effort, it is ok, perhaps even preferred, for you to advocate strongly for yourself and by doing so thoughtfully redefining and evolving your role. Playing a bigger, more impactful role is good for both the employee and the company, so don’t be shy about wanting and striving for more. Don’t wait for opportunities to fall into your lap and present themselves to you. Seize and create opportunities for yourself.
  • If you don’t see leadership emerge when and where it is needed, fill the void and step up. Don’t wait for leadership to show up, provide it yourself. It takes more effort but ultimately it should lead to greater fulfillment.

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