Why Authenticity Matters on LinkedInJun 13, 2023
At the start of my career, I remember being so conscious of ageism and the possibility of being perceived as too young or too inexperienced to be taken seriously. So much of my effort went into being put together and “on it” to combat that possible perception. I felt like I could never quite be myself at work. Honestly, it was exhausting.
Bridging the Gap Between Your Work Self and Your Real Self
Walking the line between authenticity and professionalism is admittedly trickier when you’re young and new to the work world. Over time, however, as your confidence and experience grow, so should your comfort in your own skin. I’ve realized since the early days of my work experience that I don’t need to be a corporate robot to do my job well. I’m a high-capacity person and can take on a lot at once, but that doesn’t mean I need to fall victim to an overly high standard for myself. It’s okay to not have it all together. It’s okay to be tired. It’s okay to fall sick. It’s okay to be human! I’ve found that most of the time, bringing your whole person to your work makes you an even better consultant, teacher, analyst, advisor, or leader.
Know Your Industry
Of course, there are some professions where more decorum is required and a clearer separation of work and life is necessary. My friend who’s an anesthesiologist comes to mind. While he loves to let loose on the weekends playing in his rock band, he needs to bring a high degree of precision and professionalism to his day-to-day interactions. The important thing is just to be aware of the norms in your industry. If I were a fashion influencer, sharing a photo of my closet on social media would be perfectly acceptable. Otherwise, probably not. Know the bounds of what’s acceptable where you are, and then don’t be afraid to embrace authenticity to the fullest extent.
A Success Story of Authenticity
I’m constantly preaching the message of authenticity to my clients when it comes to showcasing their stories on LinkedIn. Sure, we keep the gory details of anything too personal out of their LinkedIn narratives (for that, there are personal conversations with clients or trusted colleagues). But generally speaking, I encourage folks to let us help them make their voice heard.
Recently, a financial advisor client reached out to me to thank me for the work we did on his LinkedIn profile. He told me that he had recently landed an amazing C-suite executive client. When he asked her, “why me?” she said because he was the same person he was online as he was in real life.
That’s what it’s all about! Showing up as yourself is not only less exhausting than putting on a facade, but it’s also simply good business. When your clients realize what they see is what they get, you can begin building trust that much faster.
How You Can Embrace Authenticity on LinkedIn
So how can you bring your full self to your LinkedIn profile? Be honest about your story and how you got to where you are today. Don’t try so hard to fit into a mold that doesn’t fit you. Be appropriately candid about your strengths, weaknesses, and challenges. If you’re not sure if you’re oversharing, ask a colleague or trusted friend to give you feedback. Remember the choice to become more authentic in the workplace starts with you.
LinkedIn has realized that we want to connect with whole people, not resumes. That’s why, your LinkedIn profile is designed to help you showcase your story authentically. If you’re struggling to figure out how to show up online in a way that’s real and professional, let me help you. The Profile Transformer™ is a done-for-you, concierge approach to revamping your LinkedIn profile. We do all the heavy lifting for you and help you put your best foot forward.