Social media networking sites have taken over the world. Pretty much everybody you know has a Twitter feed or Facebook page that lets everybody know everything about how you're doing, what you're doing, where you're doing it and with whom you're doing it with. We live in a social media crazy world. It never used to be like this. Before if you wanted to know when your husband would be home with the fresh bread you'd call him. Now you can just Facebook message him or Tweet at him to find out the answer.

Social media networking sites aren't relegated just to personal lives. No, there are now social media networking sites dedicated to the work environment. It used to be simple to keep in contact with fellow business owners. All you had to do was exchange business cards and be done with it. Now, in addition to exchanging business cards you also have to swap phone numbers, user handles, e-mail addresses, Facebook pages, Twitter feeds and LinkedIn accounts.

What's LinkedIn, you might ask? LinkedIn is a very popular social media networking communication tool designed specifically for professionals. From animal vets to creative marketing directors to actors to financial analysts for banks, anybody who's anybody has a LinkedIn account. According to their website LinkedIn has over 120 million different professionals registered for their site.

Professionals with LinkedIn accounts get to exchange ideas, opportunities and information with each other on a daily basis. Let's say you have a question about having a new HVAC system installed in your home, but you don't know any contractors in the field. You can search on LinkedIn, where your connections share their connections and recommendations, which may lead you to discover that your banker has dealt with Builders Choice Air Systems in the past and found them to be a reliable organization.

Being a member of LinkedIn means always being informed about what's going on in the industry you work in and what your contacts are up to, as well as being able to get all the help and contacts you need to achieve your work goals. LinkedIn is also a great way to get connected to new jobs or business opportunities. If you're tired of running a retail company and want to try something new one of your LinkedIn contacts might have something you'd be interested in. Without LinkedIn you wouldn't have access to such a thing.

If you're not a member yet and don't have a LinkedIn account you might want to consider signing up for one. That way the next time a colleague asks you to be their LinkedIn friend you'll be able to say yes. LinkedIn is just one of many social media networking tools you have access to as a professional so be prepared for a whole new world once you sign up for your first LinkedIn account.

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