Personal Posts Absolutely Belong on LinkedIn

Hello, LinkedIn Police!

My name's Chris, and it's nice to meet you. I was born in 1981 and I live in Brisbane. It gets hot here sometimes, but not today – it's a bit overcast.

I have a cat. In a fit of wild creativity, we named him “Puss”.

I also have 3 kids (all girls) – you haven't seen them before, but don't worry – I'm compiling a montage of their lives to gradually share over the next few years.

I'm about 6'4″. I don't like walks in the park that much, but sometimes I feel like I should like them more.

the LinkedIn Police

But you Don't Care about That, Do you?

 

You don't want to know that my eldest daughter and I are about to release a book (it's about a group of super hero cats that go around saving the world from disaster – they're called the Amazing Cat Club).

You don't want to know that my wife and I have been married for nearly 16 years, despite what you might assume from my youthful good looks.

You're not interested in my personal successes.

You only care about this:

I am a [position title] at [name of firm] working in [generic mix of fields broad enough to capture every potential reader]. I have worked for small, medium and large businesses, high net worth individuals and anybody else who might be reading this that doesn't fall into the above mix“.

You only care about articles like:

  • 972 ways you can be more productive before 5:30am
  • 16 powerful strategies to make you more powerful in powerful ways
  • What these multi-trillionaires all put in their water to make them more successful every day

And why is this so?

Because LinkedIn is a “Professional” Networking Site!

That's right, I hear you. After all, LinkedIn itself says its mission is…

to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.

See! You told me, and you must be right – the word “professional” is right there, and so are “productive” and “successful”.

So poor old Puss doesn't get a look in, does he LinkedIn Police?

My girls will have to remain silently anonymous from the LinkedIn platform, until they are old enough to understand truly how to help others be productive and successful.

You're right – you must be!

So when you take valuable time out of your day to help people be “productive and successful” by saying things like:

  • “this post belongs on facebook”
  • “keep this kind of stuff off LinkedIn”
  • “what's LinkedIn coming to with all this nonsense”,

you're actually only looking after my interests. After all, you're a productive and successful professional, using the LinkedIn platform for its highest and best use.

But Wait – We Forgot Something

Oh, sorry LinkedIn police I just realised something.

We didn't quite read the whole definition – we all got a bit caught up in “productive and successful” there. Let's try it again:

to connect the world’s professionals to enable them to be more productive and successful.

Ahh, that little word at the start seems to have slipped our minds.

LinkedIn is about connection.

You must know this – after all, you're the LinkedIn Police.

Perhaps we just understand connection differently?

I mean, when I go to a networking function in person, there's a good chance I'm going to talk about my kids, my cat, my hobbies, my likes, my faith and many other things, right?

But perhaps that's not what you do? Perhaps you get up at the start of the function and make a little announcement to ensure that everyone keeps their discussions “professional” and don't stray into personal areas?

Perhaps your networking functions have rules and regulations? Do you interrupt people's conversations to make sure they aren't getting too personal and are staying professional? After all, how could people really become productive and successful if they are spending precious minutes talking to someone about the dog they had as a child.

Productive and Successful

Hey LinkedIn police, while you're telling people that their post isn't aligned with LinkedIn's mission statement because it's not helping people become productive and successful – does the irony of what you're doing occur to you? After all – are your comments helping people become more productive and successful?

Perhaps you're looking at “productive and successful” a bit too small.

Perhaps you're only looking at the business side of things, and not the human side.

Perhaps my mention about my cat at the start of this letter helped someone remember their own childhood cat, and gave them a little smile.

Perhaps that little smile was seen by a colleague, who smiled back because that person was smiling.

Perhaps those two people are going to go through the day with a little –  just a little – bit of a lighter step.

Sounds like a productive and successful day to me.

Sorry, LinkedIn Police – I'm not Buying It

I'm sorry, LinkedIn Police, but I'm not really buying your argument.

Your way of connecting with people might be to stand back at a distance, looking on with arms folded with a professional visage at all times. Perhaps you connect with people by sending them legislation, updates, and exclusively business related things. And that's fine.

But that's not my way.

My way of connecting with people requires me to be… me.

Not you – ME.

And that means sometimes I'm going to connect with people by sharing stories. Personal stories, professional stories, and made up stories.

I might give others an interesting, inspirational, or intriguing quote sometimes. Yep – it might be on an image of a serene lake or a fuzzy puppy – something like this:

chihuahua-dog-puppy-cute-39317 (1)

It means I'm going to be vulnerable, emotional, genuine, and honest.

It means when I have a success that I can share, then I'm going to share it if I want to.

It means when I have a failure, then perhaps I'll share that too.

And it means that you're wrong. And I'm right.

See ya, LinkedIn Police. It's been a blast but it's time for me to go – after all, I've got professional connections to make, and a productive and successful day to attend to.

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