Hi -- sure, you can start out by adding former supervisors & employees that you've enjoyed working with before, even if they're not in your target industry. That's how a lot of people start out when they first create their LinkedIn profile. Your LinkedIn connections (1st-level connections) will help expand the pool of 2nd and 3rd-level LinkedIn connections you can make with other people. After that, I would recommend that you search for people on LinkedIn who are working in your target career sectors. See if any of them publish articles or posts on LinkedIn, and like or comment on the posts that interest you ... it's a good way to learn about the industry and engage with people who work in the careers that interest you. Look at people's LinkedIn profiles -- if their career or activities interest you, you can send them an invitation to connect. I would recommend adding a short note in your invitation that says why you would like to connect with them (e.g., to learn more about their industry, because you enjoy reading their posts, etc.).
Carolyn recommends the following next steps:
- Connect with former coworkers & supervisors
- Like or comment on interesting posts on LinkedIn about your target career sectors
- Connect with people in your target career sectors (include a personal note in each connection request that says why you'd like to connect)