The LinkedIn Conundrum 

Every few weeks, I log into LinkedIn and to accept/reject connections and clear out the stupid notices of people who’ve said I can do something well.

(I don’t think the people are stupid. I think the notices are stupid and spammy. Which, I think, you could say about pretty much 99% of LinkedIn’s email communications.)

I clear all the notifications, flags, messages, requests for human blood from LinkedIn and then I notice my profile is out-of-date. As I go to update it, I encounter The LinkedIn Conundrum.

“What’s The LinkedIn Condundrum?”, you ask? Good question.

The LinkedIn Conundrum (or at least, what I see as the conundrum …) is the desire to update your profile so that it at least reflects reality, but then the fear to do so because you don’t want it to look to your colleagues that you’re shining up your resume to look for a job.[1] Some people clearly don’t have this fear, and they update their profile one hundred times a day, outlining every new thing they’ve done in their job (“skills: getting coffee four times a day without anyone noticing I’m away from my desk”). There are certainly others, and I fall into this category, where I struggle over whether to update my profile at all, fearing that someone will assume I’m looking for a job. So instead, my profile stays there, frozen in carbonite, forever out of date.

  1. The corollary to The LinkedIn Conundrum is the same fear whenever you accept the connection of a recruiter on LinkedIn, which clearly makes people think you’re talking to a recruiter, when in reality, you’re just accepting some connection to a recruiter who reached out to you, or you’re using for sourcing. Of course, none of this would be a problem if it was socially acceptable to not connect with everyone on LinkedIn, but that doesn’t seem to be the societal norm. Though, I do, on occasion, not accept a connection, if only to exert some feeble power over the LinkedIn borg.