Psychology and Relationships

Thinking about getting personal on LinkedIn? Ask yourself these 2 questions first

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Posts chronicling personal failures, the tedious day-to-day life of being a new parent or one's journey to more confidence used to be reserved for Facebook.

Over the last couple years, though, they have made their way to the networking platform LinkedIn

During the pandemic, the line between work and life was all but erased for many workers around the world.

This, paired with the shift in LinkedIn's algorithm to favoring more personal stories, means the platform has become an acceptable place to be much more open. 

This can result in some cringe-worthy posts (see: crying CEO), but being vulnerable at work isn't inherently bad, says Claire Wasserman, the founder of Ladies Get Paid, an educational platform that helps women get ahead professionally and financially.

Some people, though, might be taking it too far. 

"I find the pendulum takes a little while to center," she says. "So right now we are shifting a bit extreme. Being able to integrate who you are in your professional story is wonderful, but at the same time you use different platforms for different things." 

If you want to share more personal stories on LinkedIn, you might want to consider where you are in your career and exactly what you're trying to accomplish.

Here are two questions Wasserman says you should ask yourself before posting that selfie. 

2 questions to ask yourself before getting personal on LinkedIn

1. What is my level of power?

Many of those who share hyper-personal stories are higher up on the professional ladder or self-employed. 

"It's always great when we humanize, but who is the person sharing?" Wasserman says. "If you are a junior employee trying to get a job, that is a different kind of person than the crying CEO." 

Think about what a potential boss or hiring manager would think about seeing you breakdown on a LinkedIn post.

If that isn't the message you want to send to future employers, keep the posts professional. 

If you are a junior employee trying to get a job, that is a different kind of person than the crying CEO.
Claire Wasserman
founder of Ladies Get Paid

2. What is my goal? 

"Sometimes when I see people share things about death in their family I'm like, 'what is the point you're trying to make?'" Wasserman says. "But if the moral of the story helps people professionally, then okay." 

If you're dealing with the death of a parent who taught you important professional lessons that led to your success, include that in your post. 

"Any type of content you share should help another person and tie back to helping in a professional context," she says. 

Being vulnerable on LinkedIn can humanize you to others and even help your career if you are smart about what you post.

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