/ Asked by Ken
I'm in the midst of a career change -- I'm going to school part time for IT, while working full time as a writer at a publishing company. I'm starting to look for an internship to get my foot in the IT field, and I'd like to increase my odds of getting a good one by utilizing my Linkedin network by broadcasting my desire for an internship to all my connections. Just one problem -- I have a supervisor and a few co-workers at my current job who are on my connections list. I'd ideally like to keep my internship search on the down low -- would it be worth "disconnecting" from these people?
Answered by Michele, Hiring Expert at ADP, on Thursday, June 19, 2014
Congratulations on considering internships as a means of increasing your marketability.  Good choice!
While LinkedIn is a very important site for networking and connecting with employers and recruiters, it is not intended to be private.  Even if you 'disconnected' from your current employer, and I am not sure that is an easy task, your activity is still very public via 2nd and 3rd connections, etc.
If you chose to market yourself via LinkedIn or any other related site, you should only share content that is public. 
A suggestion might be to connect to recruiters, employers, groups, blogs, etc that are in fields and areas of interest.  This is always a strong approach as these interactions may serve you now or in the future.  
If you connect with a recruiter from a company that interests you, perhaps you can take your more specific conversation off line and in a private message or in mail.
Best of luck to you!
Answered by Steve, Hiring Expert at Caterpillar Inc., on Friday, June 20, 2014
I think there is a way you can accomplish what you are trying to do without disconnecting from your colleagues.  I would recommend using LinkedIn to identify potential companies at which you would like to pursue an internship, and once you have done that, try to identify and connect with recruiting and other key employees from those companies.  Once you are connected with them, you can begin to privately reach out to them through LinkedIn's e-mail capability and inquire about potential interships, plus request exploratory interviews with them.  This will help you to expand your professional network, which will be key to finding the right internship.
Answered by Sharon, Hiring Expert at Mutual of Omaha, on Monday, June 23, 2014
Are you looking for the internship to replace your current position? And does your employer know you are attending school for IT? The answers to both of these questions drive your actions from here. If you employer is in the know and expecting this transition at some point, it's better to be open and honest with them - for their planning purposes too. If you plan to work full-time and have an internship, I would not disconnect from people on Linked In nor announce your search for a position that way. Disconnecting from people can send odd messages, and typically a Linked In blast message won't net what you are looking for. You need to seek out internship opportunities just as you work another job because it is another job. My recommendation is to approach it in that manner.
Answered by John, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on Thursday, August 28, 2014
Being in the midst of a career change can be an exciting time. It sounds like you’re off to a good start. Internships are a great way for you to gain exposure into a specific field.  It may be of benefit to reach out to LinkedIn and explain to them your scenario and see if there are any ways for you to block certain communications from select individuals. Good luck to you on your job search!
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