A really awful thing happened when I started to think about my career: I actually had to take the LinkedIn profile I haphazardly created in freshman year seriously.
My apprehension about LinkedIn is rooted in my ever-present fear of professional thinking in general. As a life-long self-depreciator, I find it hard to publicize my accomplishments and skills. Growing up, many teachers and peers–directly and indirectly–pressured me to stay quiet about the fact I excelled in academics to keep others comfortable, and that mindset has stuck with me.
Furthermore, university culture practically romanticized struggling in school, with people frequently joking about being close to failing; I always felt like I couldn’t say that I was doing well around peers who were struggling to understand the course content. The idea that I should be open and proud of my abilities is a very difficult concept for me to grasp.
But that’s enough Emotional Sharing™. Time to get back to the jokes.
I’ve been growing more comfortable with LinkedIn, realizing it’s a lot like Facebook, except people share content I’m often interested in and my mom doesn’t post rude comments on my page. I truly enjoy seeing people in my network share their achievements and cheering them on from behind my screen.
It’s been reassuring for me to learn that LinkedIn isn’t that different from other social platforms. For example, I set up an informational interview with a professional in my field via LinkedIn message, only for him to ask to reschedule. Then, when I did reach out to reschedule, he ghosted me :).
To this date, however, this is still my favourite LinkedIn anecdote:
Navigating the professional sphere and its nuances is hard, and LinkedIn is definitely a reflection of that. I still don’t really know what I’m doing, but I’m trying my best to get more acquainted with it.
And that’s okay.
Comment your most ~interesting~ LinkedIn experience!
Coming up next: a guest blogger post!